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Archive for February, 2009

I have been trying to read (skim) the blogs that I have read everyday for so long now..  I breath deeply between blogs and cry some because I miss what life I had.

A short update is that I am still not sleeping more than 3 hrs a night and then wake feeling sick to my stomach.  A couple hours later and at least 2 cups of tea and the stomach settles some. 

I don’t want to say much because it’s hard enough in everyday life to find things to smile about and it’s way too easy to bring others down to ones own doom and gloom.

I found this post in my Windows Live Writer.. I guess I was going to post it the day David died…  not real sure that this holds up right now… but as I look down on them, I do my usual and cry again… seems to be all I can do anymore, that and beg David to come home from work at least a dozen times a day.

Things are very uncertain for me, and although I am still able to be on line, that may well end. (hopefully, not for a couple months)   If I can find a way to keep it you know I will !  It’s been a reason to keep going to me for many years and that hasn’t changed.. so it will be fought for.  Meanwhile, after I post this I will try not to post of my life and depression, though that means posts will be few.

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I’ve noticed this meme going around.   Since I have a lot of depression it isn’t always easy to come up with things that make me happy… but it might help to have to focus on this.. so here goes nothing.

 

1.  Books:    

Yeah, I know.. big surprise.  But I do love books.  I love the feel of them, the looks of them, the stories they hold beneath the cover.  There’s not much I don’t like about them.. except maybe the price.  But, that’s only because money is a necessity and many would have you believe books are not a necessity.. but they are, even if only in small amounts.

 

2.  Movies    

Another shocker huh?!  I do love movies.  Had I ever been at the right place and the right time, I might have something to do with them instead of just enjoying watching them.  Often I thought that if computers had been available when I was in High School that I would have leaned towards learning how to do special effects. 

Having had the privilege of being on both Paramount and Warner Brothers lots when I lived in California.. I can safely say that I would have loved to been a part of making the magic happen.

 

3.  Dragons and Pern     

Boy, I am just loaded with surprises eh?!  Anyone who has read my blog for any amount of time knows how I love dragons… and especially the dragons of Pern! 

Mnementh, Ramoth  , Canth, and Ruth are only four of the most endearing dragons ever to grace a book.  I realize that, “endearing” and “dragons” aren’t normal in the same sentence, but when your dragon saves your life time and again, can read your every thought and lives just for you.. well… endearing isn’t even the strongest word to use.

I do love dragons of all sorts, I even collect book dragon statues.. and Pern.. well, I’d give Pern serious consideration as where I’d want to live if it wasn’t here on earth.

 

4.  Being Around Creative People     

I feel very comfortable around creative people, even though I don’t have their talent, I feel no jealousy and seem to understand where they are coming from.  Creative people are many and varied.  Actors, writers, artists are a few that come to everyone’s minds, but there are many many others.  The neighbor who can design and make clothes, the mother who crochets, the cook who makes their own recipes… they are all creative people.  But I will admit that being around talent such as actors and writers and designers of all sorts, and after I am in their company for any length of time.. I feel as if I could do it too!..  of course this is a fallacy but hey.. it feels good!

 

5   Autograph Shows/ Conventions 

I bet if I put this list on someone else’s blog ya’ll would still know that it’s MY list!  sheesh.    Yep, I love my conventions and autograph shows!  Love collecting the autographs and love meeting both the celebrities and the folks that love the celebrities!  (some of them are better than the celebs lol)  It’s a feeling that comes over me… that anything is possible.  It’s a high that’s stays only as long as the show.. but it’s a great high, and although you have to come crashing down.. there’s always the next one to look forward to!

6.  Imagination     

I saved this for the end.  Because it’s the one thing that can give me all I could ever want.  It takes me away.  Sometimes to a distant land, sometimes just to a place I have never been.  I can linger there as long as I want.  I can forget all that life has dealt me and replace it with a whole new life.  I can become young again.  I can do magic!  I can fly on a dragon!  I can be happy. 

Without the imagination.. the books and  the movies wouldn’t really mean very much.  With imagination you give yourself permission to run away and be anything you want, wherever you want,  and change everything anytime you want…  how could anyone not love imagination?

(extra credit)

7.  Animals     

All my life I have lived with animals.  When I was very young we had dogs and cats.. along with rabbits, mice, turtles and birds!  I know I loved them all because I’d cry when we’d loose them.. so it has to be love.

As I got older I trimmed it down to just a dog and cat.   And then just a cat.   Then I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren in California and helped out around Lions and Tigers, Cougars and Elephants!  I loved every minute of it!

Now in old life I moved in with my brother and David, who when I first moved here had 10 (that’s TEN) cats!  Now 9 yrs later it’s down to 5.  I like to think there will always be at least one animal in my life, but I have to admit, the cost of owning one anymore is getting outrageous, especially the Vet bills for them.  But if the time comes when I am not an owner of an animal.. well, I’ll just share the neighbors animals!

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Thank you again everyone.. this post is not so much for everyone’s information as to just write and see it it helps getting it off my chest…

I still can’t believe this has happened and am constantly sick to my stomach.

I  am having some smallish medical problems which are worsening my frame of mind since I can’t go to a doc until March first when medicare kicks in.  I did call and talk to my doctor and she sounds like it’s not “very serious” and she sounds confident but I guess because David went to a doc a week before he died and did get an EKG and chest X-ray and they said they showed nothing that now i am leery and nervous but if I go to the doctor (full price) and it was something  they want tests for, I really can’t afford that! I can’t do anything until March 1st.  part of me thinks it can wait, the other part of me is so alone and afraid of what life might have in store for me that I am obsessing on this… being totally alone in this house with the 5 cats doesn’t help. 

I know I need to eat but have zero appetite.. I am drinking tea though to try to settle my stomach.. for two night have slept with the TV on, which I never do..am only sleeping about 3 hrs a night. It doesn’t help that I’ve been having trouble sleeping for some time now.  I know it’s nerves and I know I keep using the word “afraid” because it’s how I feel. 

Fearful things going thru my head..

Where I will go when I can no longer be here. I cannot afford to live on my own from my social security and even if I was given a free apartment I have so little SS left after medical coverage I couldn’t afford monthly bills.  Big problem also is I don’t drive anymore and don’t think my eyes would let me get another license and can’t afford a car and gas and insurance even if I could.

afraid of the two medical problems..but I truly get fearful of all medical things so this is normal that I get full of anxiety and cry over things like this until they are fixed. (it’s the not knowing that gets me this way)

afraid at night being alone in this house in this neighborhood.  again, probably more than I should be but I can watch drugs being sold day and night out my window .

I’m afraid in general because this sort of stuff stays in my head day and night. I haven’t read even a sentence in my books, I can’t concentrate. I keep waiting for David to come home from work.

I look around my room at all my books and clothes and think of packing them up and think of boxes still in the garage that I could never empty because this is not my house and there was no room for more.  I wonder if I can even keep my books and things in boxes because I don’t know where I will be… my son isn’t working due to machine shops closing up where he lives in Ft Lauderdale and they are close to loosing their home… they are doing the “refinancing” thing with the bank right now so that should help, but they can’t continue to live on one income and I couldn’t contribute enough to matter, not to mention their house isn’t designed to house another person, at least not more then very short term without possessions.  I probably own a half a garage full of boxes (maybe 5 ft high) once all packed up.. a bed and desk one free standing book shelves and my computer.. that’s it.  I can pack but I don’t know where to go. (I will be here a few months before this occurs)

David is supposed to come home. 

My brother and David were my “security”.. now they are both dead within 4 months of each other.  My brother beat the odds of a number of years so I am glad he did that much but I wish he wasn’t dead. 

David never retired, he was 72 he never enjoyed his savings.  We were just beginning to get out of the house and go to movies.  We were leaning heavily on each other over my brother and it helped us both. He did love his job and the people he worked with, but he hadn’t enjoyed his older years yet and he could have afforded to. (nothing grand but he could have retired and relaxed and even some traveling if he wanted to)  

sorry to ramble I thought if I wrote as things were going thru my mind it would help.. maybe it does, but it’s not stopping me from crying as I write… 

Thank you all for your concern.  I especially appreciate it because I know, without a doubt, that all concerns come from people that all have their own problems to deal with… I hope  you troubles are few not too terribly serious and not long lasting.

The funeral is Sunday and the burial Monday. David will be buried in the same grave as my brother (he had gotten a double deep one) They’ll be together again..but they left me here alone.  I wish I could stop crying long enough to be mad at them.

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A nightmare..

David went to work and died today… i don’t know what will happen next.  His relatives are here to find papers and do what needs to be done… I don’t know what will happen with me.. i’ll let you know when I do… I am in shock at the moment.

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Biography of Niv

Niv: The Authorized Biography of David Niven  by Graham Lord

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1 edition (November 18, 2004)
ISBN-10: 031232863X

From Publishers Weekly
How do you write a biography of a film star whose memoirs are already considered among the best the genre has to offer? Lord, former editor of London’s Sunday Express, begins by pointing out that the tales in Niven’s books were frequently exaggerated, if not outright fiction, then sets out to gently correct the record. The real story is filled with absorbing details, particularly when Lord recounts the young Niven’s struggle to make it in Hollywood and his varied military career during WWII. But as the “authorized” biographer of Niven (1910–1983), Lord is often overly sympathetic to the actor, most notably when the subject turns to “Niv’s” second marriage to a Swedish model. Lord and his interviewees repeatedly attack the wife for alcoholism, extramarital affairs and an allegedly ridiculous desire to be an actress, while shrugging off Niven’s constant womanizing and heavy drinking. Other unsavory aspects of his personality, like his treatment of his book publishers, are similarly glossed over. It’s worth noting, however, that an overwhelming number of Niven’s films are described as among his worst; even The Pink Panther is surprisingly dismissed as “dreadfully unfunny.” Yet such harsh critical assessments do little to diminish Niven in his biographer’s eyes, and the star’s reputation as a lovable raconteur remains untarnished, even by the truth. Photos.

Before I talk about this book I need to fess up about something…

Recently, I read my first book by Charles Dickens.  I liked it, but it took me longer to read than other books, due to the language.  So, from there I wanted something to take me back to the present language and I read “the Parade’s Gone By”, which is about the making of silent movies.  Upon finishing that I thought:  I need a real get away book.. so I thought I would read The Time Traveler’s Wife to escape.  *my head is hanging*.. I read the first 18 pages.  If you’ve read the book you know how it goes:  Henry.  Clare.  Henry.  Clare.  Henry.    Clare.  I was not being drawn in to this and wondered if this is how the whole book was going to read, and so I grabbed a bunch of pages and scanned them in my brain.  They went:  Henry.  Clare.  Henry.  Clare.   Henry.  Clare.

I closed the book and put it back in the tbr pile in hope that it’s just “me”.  I will try it again another time, but right now.. it was driving me nuts and was not sucking me in to a world of wonderful characters and story. 

So.. that’s the confession.  I know MANY love that book… but it’s not for me.  I will however give it a second try at another time, because I do know that sometimes things don’t grab you just because of how you think or feel at the moment.

Ok.. now.. on to the book I picked up after that one! (not a fantasy)

David Niven, or Niv as he was known to his friends.  This is not an autobiography because his is out of print (The Moons a Balloon), and used copies seem to begin at 35.00, but an “authorized biography” by Graham Lord.

I have always liked David Niven’s movies.  I can’t say I’ve seen them all, but the ones I have seen I can say that he’s a fine actor.  You are drawn to him and his character, his outgoing personality and of course to his wonderful British accent.

Now, about the book, I will say that I read it.. I didn’t put it down nor set it aside, but I do wish I had been able to have his autobiography instead of his biography.

For one thing, if the author says the name of Niven’s autobiography once, he says it a million times! (not exaggerating either! Not a page goes by that he doesn’t refer to it)  Mr. Lord also seems driven to name every female that David Niven every slept with.. and trust me.. it’s many!   Though he doesn’t go into detail (thank gawd) he can’t let the smallest chance that Niven slept with “so and so” get by him… it got old .

Somehow, in between ladies, he did get to mention Niv’s youth and how he broke into movies, his marriages, and his kids.  

He also managed weave the movies into the book nicely and didn’t spend too much time on individual movies, which was really done well; I didn’t feel this was a list of movies and movie descriptions like in other books I’ve seen.

Something I was interested to see if it got mentioned was a favorite movie of mine that Mr Niven was a part of (though not the main star) called Murder By Death.  It is an absolutely comical movie spoof of old detectives, and a murder that happens at a house at “2 -2 Twain”  (that alone get a smile from me).  Anyway, that particular movie was made in 1976, his character was named Dick Charleston (a take off on Nick Charles) and the woman who played his wife was Maggie Smith.  Her character was named Dora Charleston (Nora Charles).  Together they spoofed  The Thin Man series of Nick and Nora with their dog Asta.  Anyway, I was shocked to find out that David Niven was 65 yrs old when he made that movie! That blew me away.  And beautiful Maggie Smith was a mere 32 yrs old.. and even with that huge age difference between Niv and Maggie.. they looked great together!

In some respects, there were some things that made me not think Mr Niven was the greatest of guys.. yet as you read the entire book you also realize that, although Niv was known as being a happy fellow all the time, that much of his life (married life) was actually pretty sad.  There seems to have been two David Niven’s.  The happy carefree David..  and the man who’s life you really wouldn’t want for yourself.  Once all told, even with things in the book that irked me somewhat, David Niven, like anyone else, had a life story to be told.  He was a fine actor who made the best of his life that he could, and was lucky enough to have loved the work he did.

This book was good.  Not great, but good.  I did tire of the “conquests” because they were so “in my face” , and Mr Lord did like to mention any money that Niven made and compare it to what it would be equal to when he wrote the book, which made little sense to me, I couldn’t understand his obsessing on what it would be equal to “today”.. it didn’t matter!… ah well,  I did get information about Niven that I didn’t know, so  I did enjoy the book. 

If you like to read celebrity biographies or autobiographies and want to read about David Niven I hope you are luckier than I was and can get your hands on the book written by Mr Niven titled The Moon is a Balloon.   But this was by no means a bad book.. and should you want to read it and can overlook the quirks of the author, well.. all the better!

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Who, out there, can believe so many years have gone by, since Star Trek was on television that Walter Koenig (the beloved Chekov of Star Trek fame) is now 73 yrs old!

Hello?! 

How can the cute little Russian from Star Trek be 73???  When did this happen?  Where did time go??!!!  ARGH!!!

I first met Walter at a convention in Florida in the 80’s; over the years I’ve accumulated a number of Walter’s signatures..

  Here’s one from Star Trek

..  he began when he was only 31  yrs. old.. such a baby, and such a baby face!

 

(above: is a great little script Walter wrote. It’s a chat between “Walter Koenig and Pavel Chekov” I actually saw him read this aloud. He went in and out of the character of Chekov so fast it was incredible! I could swear his face changed from Walter to Chekov too!)

Then there was Babylon 5

( he played Alfred Bester from 1994-1998)

 

… He even signed a photo I took myself.

(unknown year)(he wrote: We’ve got to stop meeting like this!)

Anyway.. I found out that Walter has signed to do the Chiller Autograph Show that I go to here in New Jersey in April.

So if he shows up at the Chiller Show, the last thing I need is another autograph…. but.. but…  I’ve been thinking (*big mistake*) and wondering.. I mean, I don’t have his signature on a book. 

But.. do I need one?

Of course not.

Will I get one?

Mmmmmmm, maaaaybeeeee…  :o)

I have three of Walters books. His autobiography: Warped Factors: A Neurotic’s Guide to the Universe (actually, I just sent for it) , Buck Alice (a yellowing paperback) and this one:

 

I adore this book. With THIS cover.  I smile just looking at it. 

At first glance you might be able to tell that there is something not quite right with this book.

.. at second glance, you have to admit it.  It’s not lookin’ good.  It is beginning to look like I used the “warp” tool on it in my paint program.  But I didn’t ! The only *warping* is done by Walter .. in the book!

And then there’s the third glance.  Yuck!  Many pages are stuck together and if you turn the pages many are ready to break away from the spine of the book. It’s stiff and brittle.  It’s been quite some time since I found this book like this and I have no idea how the book managed to get horribly wet but you are viewing the result of it. 

Yet I can’t part with it… it brings smiles to my face, I can’t possibly toss it out.  This is the book where I learned just how funny Walter’s mind is.  It made me like him all that much more.  I mean, after all,… he’s Chekov! I adored his character!  But that was just a character.  Then I met him… several times over a number of years.  He was nice. I like him as a person.  He used to come out and walk around the dealers rooms and anyone could approach him and he always responded with a smile and conversation.

So I thought, and thought, and then searched and searched for the exact copy of the above book.  There was another addition released but I liked this cover.  I’ve found one or two of them.. on ebay and I don’t have paypal, so that’s out.  When I find them else where they are generally the other cover or “no photo” and no ISBN number that I can tell it’s the same book.. or, it’s not listed as being in good condition. *sigh*

Let me tell you that this book is a journal Walter wrote while filming Star Trek the Motion Picture.. Now that you know that, let me give you a small excerpt page 28 (once I unstuck the pages!)

3:54 pm        Back on the set.  We’re all gathered on the bridge now, around the conn for the group shots.  While we wait for the Rinky-Dinks, Baby Juniors and K-Tens (lights) to be positioned, Bill illustrates dramatically the myriad problems he foresees in climbing in and out of his command seat.  Everyone quietly stands and watches as Bill takes center stage and pleads his case; animated gestures, irresistible eye contact, moving oratory.  In all, very theatrical, very convincing.  Those who must contend with the changes he seeks nod hypnotically !  We all not hypnotically. We’re all his audience.

There are reasons why some actors are leading men, get the girl and captain starships… even ten years later.. while others eternally push buttons.  For the first time that eerie feeling of familiarity for times bygone begins to creep up my neck.  Despite myself, the words escape my lips: My God, nothing has changed!” DeForest is standing nearby. Out looks hold for a moment. I can’t be sure he is sharing my experience.  I would like to believe he is.  It’s lonely being the only one who understands such profound concepts.

5:30 pm         I’ve finished with another costume fitting and am on my way home.  I’ve only been at the studio for six hours, but I feel exhausted.  I feel like I’ve been on the film for months.  It would seem that in recreating my role I am also recreating the circumstances surrounding it.  In our series days I was always drained after a long day at Paramount, and now, back at Paramount, back on the bridge, back as Chekov, I’m back being tired.  Somebody should do a treatise on the psycho-neurotic nature of fatigue.  Oh, well, nothing scheduled for Friday.  I have all day tomorrow to rest up from my memories.

I have some time before the show so I will continue to search for a copy that is in good condition and I can afford.  But if I don’t get it.. I’ll survive lol.. it’s not like I don’t have Walter’s autograph!

Before I forget, I want to leave some links to Walters Books:

Chekov’s Enterprise  

Warped Factors: A Neurotic’s Guide to the Universe     Autobiograpy.

Buck Alice And the Actor-robot  

Raver (comic book. one of three)     yes, Walter wrote a comic book! A trilogy no less.         

I guess you’d say Walter has been on my mind since I saw he was coming to NJ in April.. then Carl, with his Sci Fi Experience, started mentioning the Star Trek franchise, and I found that I couldn’t get Walter off of my mind… I sure hope he doesn’t cancel for any reason, I’d love to see him again.  I did see him 3 or 4 yrs ago when he did this same show.  I remember I was helping Kevin McCarthy and while having a short break I went over to Walter.  I hadn’t seen him in years, so my approach was expected.. “I don’t know if you remember me, but I was a friend of DeForest and Carolyn’s“.  I was shocked by his answer, “Sure I remember you!”.. and we proceeded to talk about De and past times.

All this Trek talk made me remember all those years ago when I met first met Walter in Florida. 

And then again at other conventions.  (numerous conventions!)

I remember being shocked when Walter was rushed to a hospital and had quadruple heart bypass surgery.  And I remember the first time I saw him after that surgery… he was quite thin.. but that special smile was still there.

I also remembered the time DeForest brought me on the set when they were making Star Trek 6.  That was the ONLY time I met Pavel Chekov.. in uniform!

We were both much younger back then.  

We didn’t have gray hair back then.. or many wrinkles! 

Walter is one of the good guys, and he always appreciates his fans.

If you are interested, here are a few links to find out more about Walter..

News about Walter!  (very interesting!)

IMDb

Wikipedia Biography

Appearances:  Florida      New Jersey       Canada         Spain

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porno

A Happy package arrived in my mail.  Actually, 2 happy packages!

One from Amazon containing 3 books.  The other from SQT containing an ARC copy of The 13th Reality (book II):The Hunt for Dark Infinity, which is due out on March 4th.

I can only add one name to the Accused list this week, and that would be to SQT for The 13th Reality.  The other three books are my own fault.  Well, … almost.  I have to admit that the purchase of this particular copy of A Christmas Carol went on my wish list due to a number of reviews.  None of which I can remember at the moment.

I am happy to say, as I did a quick flip thru each of these books they gave me the feeling that I will enjoy them all.

A Christmas Carol is filled with great illustrations!  And I love all the movies of Scrooge and have wanted to read this for some time.  Now that I have read The Old Curiosity Shop by Dickens I knew I’d like reading this one.

The Maureen O’Hara book, ‘Tis Herself,  I sent for this right after seeing the movie (for the umpteenth time) A Quiet Man.  It had reminded me of how much I loved the movies she made, and pushed me do a search to see if any books were out about her. I was surprised to find this one.

Over many years I have seen a number of books about the Little Rascals, and I guess because I am on this kick of reading about old movie making, that I finally decided to get one.  Once I made that decision I was also hoping that there would be photo’s in the book of my friend Dorothy who played a little girl with banana curls named Echo in the Little Rascals.  I am pleased to say I saw several photo’s when I did a quick flip thru the book of Dorothy!  Unfortunately most of the book is a list of each movie/ tv series they made and each contains a small synopsis. I can’t say I like that sort of book.  It does  have a few chapters in the beginning and in the end though that I will enjoy, and then I will choose the episodes Dorothy de Borba was in and read those and a few selected others, but to read summary after summary is no fun.  I am glad I got it already though, just for the photo’s inside!

 

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From the Australia Fires….

 

 

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