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The murder of Cinna

The murder of Cinna

In his play, Julius Caesar, Shakespeare writes of Cinna, a gentle poet who loses his life to an angry mob as part of the revolt against Caesar. This story is based on historical fact, as Cinna the conspirator and Cinna the poet were indeed mistaken due to their similar names in 44 B.C. and the poet was murdered simply for his surname.

Ah, the Bard. He knew so much about what was about to come, or perhaps we are simply living up to his low expectations?

Well, it’s happened to me, so I kinda get this poor Cinna fella. I’ve been labelled a racist, a right-wing nut, a member of the KKK, and later even a Nazi. Yep. Little ol’ red-haired, married to a Jew, performs gay weddings ME is now a white-robe wearing Nazi. Know why?

My first name is similar to that of the FLOTUS.

I guess that is all it takes these days.

Let’s never mind that not a single one of these things is true about either the president OR his wife. Witch-hunts abound in this emotionally (though not factually) charged political climate. People troll Facebook so that they can post on OTHER PEOPLE’s feeds (uninvited) and bully anyone who doesn’t either agree with them or shut down in response to their temper-tantrums. This happens to me literally on a daily basis simply because I like to double-check things and look up the actual facts before I decide on something. Even just asking a question has lost me “friends.” Good riddance. I seek friends who are intelligent and grounded — they don’t have to agree with me, as I love a good challenge — they simply have to be…well…not insane.

I’m in good company, though, since every public figure in modern history since the Führer himself has been called Hitler. Literally. Anyone who disagrees with someone else is “literally Hitler.” Trump is “literally Hitler.” Alex Jones is “literally Hitler.” Everyone who voted for Trump is “literally Hitler.”

This particular exchange was so ridiculous that I can’t help but share. She began by calling everyone on a friend’s post a bunch of names…you know, so they would carefully consider her viewpoint. Then, when most ignored her for that, she let loose on the prez in her decidedly intellectual fashion.

When someone asked why she was so upset, she declared war on them. There were no names slung at this point by anyone other than her. I tried not to, God help me, but she was just so…erk! How can you say that WE are racist when YOU are the one who calls the former president monkey-eared? You say that they had class, but would you know what class was if it bit you on your own ear? Yikes.

Of course, being the intellectual she is, she quickly does a fact-check…

She then goes on to stalk me by IM. She was not smart enough to figure out how to attach whatever it was she was ranting about.

Then she pops up on my own site – even my stir-fry is eeeeeevil.

As you can see, Trump Derangement Syndrome is real. It’s perverse, intellectually lazy, and dangerous. Just like another mental ailment, folks who suffer from TDS hear voices in their head (such as CNN, Huff Post, and other propaganda machines) and BELIEVE they are real and what they have to say makes sense. Scary. Then they act out on the insanity that is floating around in their muddled brains and act as if anyone who questions them and their fantasy world — even just to compare it to reality — is crazy.

The unfortunate Cinna becomes a victim just because he has the same name as one of the conspirators. He is desperate to prove that he is not one of them, but his pleas fall on deaf ears. The crowd is driven not by reason, but by rage. Sound familiar?

How long before TDS causes these folks to start stabbing innocents due to their blinding rage? Oh, wait, that’s already happening.

Happy; Not Gay – Dog Abby

by Abigail Hope 0 Comments
Happy; Not Gay – Dog Abby

Dog Abby:

I was recently invited to a girl’s night out with a couple of co-workers. During the course of the evening, a co-worker blurted out that a rumor had been going around that I was gay. I was floored at hearing this, and managed to simply state that am straight. I held it together long enough to say goodbye, but I drove home in a rage. I realize that I am not the most feminine woman in the office, but this is ridiculous! I try to keep my personal life separate from my work life, and frankly, none of that is anyone’s business anyway! Do these people not have enough work to do? Or am I overreacting?

Angry in Altoona

Dog Abby paw print

 

Dear Angry:

I am always really happy when friends come to visit. When I get this happy, I get really close to them so they can pet my head and give me belly rubs. Dad calls this “getting up in their grill,” but I am not sure what he means. (I have heard them say they have dogs on the grill, but they have never put ME up there.) One thing Mom taught me when I was a puppy is to respect it when people say, “back off.” If someone does not want me that close to them, all they have to do is say, “back off” — they don’t even have to yell or explain why. I will then back to a respectable distance so my friend is no longer uncomfortable.

Because I am very red for a Golden Retriever, people often ask my mom if I am an Irish Setter. While I was born on St. Patrick’s Day, so mom says I am an honorary Irish, I am not a Setter, I am a Retriever. Mom lets them know and they usually just nod and smile, and we can still be nice to each other. I don’t get upset that they got their Setters and Retrievers mixed up, because we are just acquaintances and it was an honest mistake. If we were to become friends, then they would know me better, and it would not be an issue at all. As a dog, we get called “boy” all the time, even if we are not boys. I don’t get upset about that, either, because these are people who don’t know me yet.

It looks like your coworker got a little too close, and it is okay to say, “back off.” You do not need to be angry, though, because you already said you do not consider them friends. Friends would not spread rumors, so I recommend you don’t become friends, either. You do not need those type of people in your life. As far as protecting your reputation — who cares if people you don’t really know or care about are sure whether you are a Setter or a Retriever. When they matter to you, then it will matter to them.

Love, Abby

Gaspocolypse 2018!

Gaspocolypse 2018!

Catching up

Hard-hitting news as we go live on the scene of Gaspocolypse 2018! Learn more about how Oregon State is coping with new self-pump laws.

(The quotes used in the recording are pulled from ACTUAL QUOTES from customers)

Jim

Jim got a brand new phone that does not play nicely with his headset. He got the phone for his birthday, which is this Thursday. He doesn’t feel any older, and his wife agrees (she felt him up just this morning to be sure).

He’s had an odd week working four 10s. He doesn’t like it, no sir.

We had an amazing breakfast at the Eagle’s Club, of which Jim is a member, then had a dirty chai latte at a great little coffee place – Viva Café in the Boulevard Mall.

Mélanie

She’s delivering a live webinar titled, “Management Skills for Introverts: Influencing With Confidence” 10A on January 30 for the Lorman Institute.

She’ll also be doing a FREE 45-minute presentation on Storytelling 10A on January 20 at the Summerlin iHop.

She is also excited to be booked to the end of the month with guests for the show.

Good news

Abby asked to share a story about another Golden that sought out treatment for himself from a vet.

A restaurant regular surprises James Booker, his favorite service worker, with a car for Christmas. Good service means so much more than just a job!

Dog Abby

What do you do if it’s rumored you’re gay? Read Abby’s answer here.

 

 

 

Lead-in music by Purple Planet

Michael Skinner

by CCWadmin 0 Comments
Michael Skinner

Certified Brain Trainer

I first met our guest at a Toastmaster’s competition where he hung out with the likes of Magic Al Jensen and Kimberly Faith — both of whom have been guests on this show. He was charming and well-spoken, so of course we hit it off. He then came to visit the Las Vegas Improvisational Players at one of our workshops, and we’ve been smacking into each other in similar circles ever since. He has a lot to say on health, wellness, and mindfulness. With his boyish good-looks and his can-do outlook, Michael is a high-energy, positive force that awakens any room he walks into.

***Special for CCW Listeners — message him on Instagram or email Michael@coachskinner.com to get your FREE copy of his book, One Minute Marathon!

Website: OneMinuteMarathon.com

Facebook: OneMinuteMarathon

Instagram: @OneMinuteMarathon

 

2018 Woofolutions – Dog Abby

by Abigail Hope 0 Comments
2018 Woofolutions – Dog Abby

In 2017, I took more than 200 car rides, almost 300 walkies, and even mom cannot count how many balls I have brought home. I got to play in my pool almost every day, I got to welcome a huge lot of guests to our home, and I’m still mom’s favorite model. And I got my very own advice segment on a real radio show! Overall, it was a very good year.

Mom asked me to write some resolutions that I might share for 2018, but dogs don’t resolve much further than what they can see in the moment (right now, I’m resolving on the ball that rolled under the couch). Still, I think the best advice I could give as a Golden Retriever might just be some good resolutions for human people, so here you go.

Golden Retriever and orange tabby hanging out at the pool

Hanging by the pool with my cat, Max

Don’t bite people or cats. They don’t like it, and most people don’t taste that great. Cats bite back.

When someone you love comes home, meet them at the door and let them know you missed them. It will make them happy they came home, and they’ll give you treats.

Walkies are the most excellent part of life. It doesn’t matter where you start or where you go, as long as go for walkies every day. Even little ones make you feel better. Plus, you get treats when you get back.

When you are happy, don’t hold it in. Dance, bark, wag, and wiggle. It makes everyone around you happy, too.

People love to touch you. Let them. There’s nothing more reassuring than a pat on the shoulder, a hug, or a rub behind the ears.

When people ask you to speak up, do it! There are always treats afterwards.

If someone is scared or sad, just be with them. Sometimes that is all you can do, and most of the time, that is all they need.

I hope this New Year is amazing for you! See you at the pool…

-Abby

Christmas Extravaganza!

Christmas Extravaganza!

Dog Abby

Abigail shares her special version of The Night Before Christmas — with a call to action.

 

Links to the stories we shared:

Christmas miracle in the form of a canine helper

Nate Feola, only 9 years old, has been through so much that a service dog was the least he could ask for. After suffering abuse from his real parents and a set of foster parents, Feola’s medical condition forces him to carry a 20-lb oxygen tank on his back. A furry assistant will make all the difference.

Kid is a good Samaritan AND can do math

Another extraordinary 9-year-old, Mikah Frye recognized that asking for 30 blankets for the homeless was worth more than one Xbox — though both would cost the same.

Toys for Tots logo

THE TOYS FOR TOTS STORY

(In honor of my Sweet Baboo, Jim, who served 4 years)

Copied from the Marines web site here: https://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/toys-tots-story

Each year since 1947, U.S. Marines throughout the United States conduct local Toys for Tots campaigns from October through December. For over 50 years, these Marines have worked tirelessly to bring the joy of Christmas to America’s neediest children.

The program started in 1947, just 2 years after the end of World War 11, and was the vision of Marine Corps Reserve Maj Bill Hendricks. It began with a “Raggedy Ann” doll handcrafted by Hendricks’ wife, Diane. She asked Bill to find a charitable organization that would deliver the doll to a needy child at Christmas. Bill searched the Los Angeles area but was unable to locate any agency with the mission of providing toys to needy children. His search convinced him that there were thousands of children in Los Angeles who would not know the joy of Christmas. At the urging of his wife and with the support of his CO, Maj Hendricks and a handful of Marine Corps Reservists collected 5,000 toys that they distributed to needy children on Christmas day. In so doing, they launched the Toys for Tots Program.

The 1947 campaign was so successful that the Marine Corps expanded it into a nationwide program in 1948. Each succeeding year, every Marine Corps Reserve site throughout America has conducted a Christmas toy collection and distribution campaign in the community surrounding their Reserve Center. The program has grown from that initial collection of 5,000 toys to a present day average of over 8 million toys each Christmas. Marines now fulfill the Christmas dreams of more than 4 million children annually.

The program was enhanced in 1991 with the introduction of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation as the fundraising and support organization for Toys for Tots. During the past 7 years, the Foundation has supplemented the collections of Marines with 16 million toys.

In areas where there is not a Reserve Center, local community organizations, with the approval of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, conduct Toys for Tots campaigns within their local communities each Christmas. These organizations, groups, corporations, and individuals have made it possible for Marines to collect and distribute over 243 million toys between 1947 and 1998.

Anonymous couple buys entire Good Will toy section — EVERY YEAR

The Fort Collins Goodwill knows this couple well. Every year they buy out the entire toy section and allow the kids to choose any toy they want to take home.

Secret Santa pays for all Toys “R” Us layaways

Charlie K (who is not sharing his full name so that he can remain a SECRET Santa) spent $10,780 of his hard-earned cash to pay for 62 people’s Christmases.

“I’m trying to bring some happiness to people, to the community that brought happiness to me and my family,” said Charlie K. “I love this community and I am trying to provide back to it.”

He also had everyone in the store choose 3 toys each to donate to Toys for Tots. “The Marines and Toys for Tots are one of the best organizations, and I don’t want to forget them,” he said.

Town surprises boy who is allergic to sunlight by turning night into day

Peyton Madden is an otherwise healthy 11-year-old who likes superheroes, playing with his friends, and biking around his neighborhood. But, in order to go outside during the day, he must suit up in protective clothing that covers him from head to toe. Like Christopher Snow (one of Mélanie’s favorite Koontz characters) Peyton has a rare genetic disease called xeroderma pigmentosum, which means that his skin cannot repair itself after being exposed to the sun.

The citizens of El Dorado partnered with the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) so they could orchestrate a special day for Peyton in which they turned “daytime into nighttime”.

Peyton had no idea what was in store for him until he biked into town and found that every member of the community had shown up in full force to give him a “day” that he would never forget. See the video here.

OK kid scares his mom, when all he wanted was to earn money for her gift

After calling in her son missing, Sophia Reed got a special surprise from the OK City police department. It turns out her son was not missing, he was gathering cans to earn money to buy her a Christmas gift. Mom had spent all they had left in a recent move, but the local PD made sure they had a Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Dog Abby

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Dog Abby

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through my home

The cats hogged the bed while I wrote this poem.

The stockings were hung by the upside-down tree

Which was decorated with an ornament that looked just like me!

 

The house was all quiet, and I ran the show —

Not that anyone sleeping would know.

Dad snored away, like a hurt angry moose

Mom cuddled pillows in hopes of a truce.

 

When out on the carport I heard such a loud noise

It stopped me from yanking the stuffing from my toys.

I ran barking to the door in a frenzied hot rush

And barked until mom and dad both yelled out, “HUSH!”

 

So I turned and ran out the doggy door flap

Where the back yard was completely full of my…

Tennis balls…

The rotating light from the airport glowed bright

I sensed there was something strange going on that night.

 

I felt an odd presence, my hackles stood high

I looked on the roof and saw a strange guy.

He was dressed all in red; his hair was whiter than dad

He smiled down at me, so he could not have been bad.

 

In true Golden fashion, I invited him in

He said, ‘’what a guard-dog” with a big, goofy grin.

He said he was sorry for waking me up

I saw in his arms that he held a small pup.

 

I had heard of a Santa that came on this eve

And, as a dog, I did not know what to believe.

He didn’t have a sack full of candy and toys,

His sleigh had no bells and did not make much noise.

 

I didn’t smell reindeer (though how they smell, I’m not sure)

But he had the eye-twinkle and a heart that was pure.

The pup in his arms looked hungry and cold

I realized it wasn’t a pup, but a dog that was old.

 

“I’m looking for homes,” he said with a sad smile

“This dog has no family, and has been alone for a while.

It’s hard to find homes for pets that are older

And I’m worried as the nights are growing much colder.”

 

I told him about my friend who lived near

Her dog, Millie, had crossed over last year.

She’d be a good mom, and could use a new pet

But she had not brought herself to find one just yet.

 

He thanked me, then hopped back into his sleigh.

He said, “This will make two souls happier today!”

“What we need are more families with more love to give.

I’ll keep searching and matching for as long as I live.”

 

As he faded to a dot I could no longer see

I remembered how my mom had once rescued me.

This year for Christmas, don’t go into debt

Instead, use your blessings to rescue a pet.

Dog Abby paw print

 

Merry Christmas!

Love, Abby

 

The Presidential Pet Museum website has a fabulous list of dog rescue organizations by breed.

Negative Utopia, Nutcrackers, and News

Negative Utopia, Nutcrackers, and News

Catching up:

We spent an amazing weekend at the CasaBlanca Resort out in Mesquite NV where we participated in the Pink Tutu Ballet’s production of THE NUTCRACKER. We enjoyed ourselves immensely, and highly recommend the CasaBlanca resort for either a show or to spend a day or two.

 

THE NUTCRACKER will also be presented in Las Vegas at Container Park next weekend. Please come and see us! Friday night at 7PM, and Saturday and Sunday at 3PM. Container Park is a great place to visit, with many fun stores and restaurants. The show is FREE, so come on out!

 

Jim’s good news:

Carrie Fisher’s Dog Attended The Premier Of ‘The Last Jedi’ To Watch Mom’s Final Film. Her doggy sat on the lap of Ms. Fisher’s former personal assistant, and perked up whenever his mommy appeared on the screen!

 

Melanie brought on a Special Guest for her Good News:

Her very own sister! Sheila Hunt is a musician, songwriter, and now a school teacher from Texas. Sheila and her former band Negative Utopia wrote, recorded, and performed songs dealing with overcoming addiction taking responsibility for one’s own life. Sheila recently followed her passion for teaching and completed her teacher’s certification. She is now an art teacher and loves her work.

 

Dog Abby tells a writer the best way to deal with a friend who is consistently late. You can find the link here.

S. Frank Stringham – back for more

by CCWadmin 0 Comments
S. Frank Stringham – back for more

Just last night I was on stage with our guest for a festive, fun, and amazing friend doing musical improv and other improvy things. We’ve had S. on this show before, and we did not do enough damage the first time — plus he has a new book out he wants to pimp — so here he is, the author of 12 Reasons Why You Don’t Have Money, Mr. S. Frank Stringham!

Web site: HapPizzazz.com

Twitter: @Scapades

Instagram scapadesss

Etsy: etsy.com/shop/HapPizzazz

Clock Time vs. Friend Time – Dog Abby

by Abigail Hope 0 Comments
Clock Time vs. Friend Time – Dog Abby

Dog Abby,

I have a friend who is always late. I mean literally always. She isn’t just a few minutes late all of the time, she is sometimes half an hour or more, and sometimes she will call an hour or so after we were supposed to meet to say she is not coming at all. I have brought this up with her on several occasions, mainly because we also work together and it affects her job. She recently got fired for being late so often, and she wants me to stick up for her. I can’t. I believe she deserved it, frankly, and I was really hoping this would be an eye-opener for her. Since she is blaming everyone else for her firing, and refuses to admit that being 25-45 minutes late every day is an issue, I have a feeling that this may end our friendship, too. What should I do?

Always Waiting in Allentown

Dog Abby paw print

 

Dear Waiting,

Mom made a promise when she first adopted me that we would do walkies almost every day. She said there would be some times when she would be out of town or on something called a deadline, but she would do her best to toss balls or go swimming with me at least once a day. Mom has been super good at this, but the busier she gets, it seems the more difficult it is for her to keep her promise. I don’t think it is because she does not love me, but she has been really busy sometimes. Mom never made a clock promise to me, so our walkies can happen any time of the day or even the night. When she can tell I’m bored, she will sometimes say she is going to take me on a walk in an hour or a few minutes. Dogs can’t tell time, so hours and minutes are the same thing to us. It is only when we do not go at all that I get worried.

I sometimes will make my presence known by peeking into mom’s office, just in case she forgot. When I have waited a really long time, I remind mom about her promise by finding every tennis ball in the house and lining them up across the doorway so that she has to step over them when she gets up. Mom uses words like, “subtle” and “effective,” and I am not sure what they mean, but they typically lead to her closing her laptop long enough to take me to the park.

If it starts getting dark and looks like mom will not have time after all, I take my tennis balls to dad. If he’s busy, he may tell me to wait, but usually he will at least toss them down the hallway for me so that I get some fetching in. The noise and commotion is typically enough to get mom involved and we then all go for a walk together.

Walkies are different, though, than when mom makes an actual clock promise to someone. As I said, I do not understand time, but mom and her clients and her friends sure do. When she says she is going to be on the clock at a certain number, she will do that for them because she respects them. She expects the same out of them. When her friends or her clients say they will be there on a certain number of the clock, and they are not, mom gets frustrated because she has lots to do and waiting for someone to be late makes it hard for her to get not only their things done but all the other things she has to do. One of those things she has to do is go on walkies, so this affects me, too, and I do not like it. I will forgive them, of course, because that is what dogs do. Mom forgives a lot, too, but she also gets to a point where she does not trust that person and will no longer work with them. That makes sense. I mean, if you cannot trust someone to respect your time or their own promises, then what kind of relationship will you have?

You have tried being subtle, and it was not effective. Your friend has already heard a commotion even louder than tossing tennis balls down a hallway. They know how important this is to you and to everyone they work with, but they do not care. I do not think your friend is going to change, so I suggest making a new friend who respects the clock, respects themselves, and respects you.

Much love,

Abby

Buying Time

Time is money, but I’d rather have tennis balls.