The JFK Assassination: The Orville Nix Film


I won’t be blogging for awhile as I’m completing a biography about my grandfather, Orville Nix, and his home movie of the JFK assassination.  The Nix Film is widely considered the second most important film of the assassination.  Of course to our family, it’s the most important:  it shows the Grassy Knoll.

My grandfather was an undereducated, hardworking, government believing Democrat in the Sixties.    He had no idea how important his place in history was, he just knew his film could mean a little extra money for his small family.  The government took advantage of him.  The Media took advantage of him.  His friends and some family took advantage of him as well.  It’s the American story!

I hope to remedy some of these wrongs while again, pleading for the return of the original film he took on that fateful day.  It has been lost.  Yes, lost.  The only copies available are first-generation copies that still leave room for skepticism that Oswald didn’t act alone….or possibly prove that he did.  No one will truly know until the original is found and enhanced using technology not available in 1963 or in 1978 during the Warren Commission the last time the original was presumably seen.

I have spent years dealing with CEO’s (CNN’s Burt Reinhardt & Reese Schonfeld) Politicians (Joe Biden, Robert Blakey) Filmmakers (Oliver Stone, John Barbour) Television producers, experts and authors (David Lifton, Robert Groden, Gary Mack, Jim Marrs)  trying to find the Nix Film to no avail.  If there is no conspiracy, is our government this mismanaged?  It all seems odd to me….and it did to my grandfather as well.

I hope to share some portions of this work here before its published.  In the interim, feel free to comment on any social media using the hashtag:  #FindtheNixFilm

Thank you!

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Fighting the Redneck Jihad: Vocabulary


There’s nothing I detest more than when a person uses/mispronounces/misspells a word in a public forum. At least at home, your family can correct you. But shows like Honey Boo Boo, Storage Wars (Darryl who wears the wife beater shirts) and well, honestly, most all Reality Shows seem to glorify the butchering of the English language. It’s as if there’s a redneck Jihad against grammar! Maybe I’m sensitive about it because I’m a blonde, and well, to fend off the “dumb blonde” jokes throughout my life, I didn’t develop bigger breasts, I developed my vocabulary. I’m now passing on that neuroticism (but a healthy one!) to my daughter. (she’s blonde too!)

Having a great vocabulary makes it easier to communicate, gives you self-esteem and frankly, can be a bit of a relationship ‘gatekeeper’. If the guy you’re dating can’t understand what you’re talking about because you have an extensive vocabulary, maybe you should leave him to the dance club girls.

Here’s a great article from College Resources on making yourself sound better.

College Resources

Resource Center → Getting in & Applying to College → Standardized Tests → Improving Your Vocabulary

(Reasonably) Pain-Free Ways to Improve Your Vocabulary

Sure, a great vocabulary is bound to enhance your already sparkling conversation skills. Of course, even better than acquiring some witty bon mots, a strong vocabulary will help expand your reading comprehension skills in general and your standardized test scores in particular. And, fortunately, acquiring a vocabulary doesn’t have to be a painful process, especially if you employ a variety of methods.

Here are few ideas for how to build a robust vocabulary:

Read a lot. Seriously, replace an hour of TV with an hour of reading every day (outside of school assignments) and you’ll make a lot of progress toward building an amazing vocabulary.

Remember, quality writing over fluff. We’re sorry to report that People magazine, US Weekly, and USA Today do not count. You can read them, but don’t expect them to enhance your reading comprehension or vocabulary or improve your performance on the SAT/ACT.

Read a variety of literature on a variety of topics. Magazines, daily newspapers, online blogs and books cover all sorts of issues. While you can start with your favorite subjects (say the arts, currents events or maybe science), be sure to expand your horizons and catch up on a myriad of other areas.

Read actively. It won’t help if you just pull a random book off the shelf and passively begin to skim through it. Make sure you understand what it is that you are reading. Try to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words through their context and use a dictionary when you need assistance. Then, try to incorporate new vocabulary into your own!

Don’t just read, listen. Modify your TV habits and start incorporating an occasional episode of PBS News Hour or a nature documentary. TED Talks are another great (and fascinating!) option. We also recommend listening to NPR every once in a while on the radio. Remember – every tip above can be applied to listening as well!

Make it fun. Building your vocabulary doesn’t have to be boring. Try to stump your parents by using new words at the dinner table. Or, see who amongst your friends can “collect” more unusual words each week. Activities like this provide more effective ways to build your vocabulary than if you just memorized lists of words and their definitions.

To help you begin, we’ve compiled a list of great resources. However, this is just a start. We encourage you to cultivate your own list as well.
•Newspapers: The New York Times; The Washington Post; The Wall Street Journal
•Magazines: The New Yorker; Foreign Affairs; Time; National Geographic
•Online Magazines/Blogs: Huffington Post; Salon
•Books: There are simply too many great authors and books to list here, but check out “best” lists such as the Modern Library’s “Top 100 Novels” and “Top 100 Nonfiction Books” as well as anthologies such as the annual “Best American Short Stories” and the “Best American Essays.”
•Radio/TV: PBS (Frontline, Newshour, NOVA); NPR (On Point, Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered, Fresh Air, Radiolab, Planet Money)

Freedom Extinction in America


UnfairLogo01

 

I’ve been meaning to blog this for a few weeks.   After a recent run-in with an employee at Starbucks, I knew I had to write this.  My friend from Colorado was visiting.  She has Cancer.  She also has a medical prescription for marijuana.  She was using a vaporizer in my car (she was on the passenger side) and while we were paying for our iced coffees that the barista with the affected voice for character got wrong ,said barista said pointedly to my bald friend, “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but you cannot smoke in the Starbucks line.” I started laughing, thinking it was a joke.  It wasn’t…read this.  (nota bene:  I got no contact high, and sent the iced coffees back)

The problem is, this subject runs me through a gauntlet of terrible feelings:  Getting older, becoming crotchety, feeling helpless, feeling like I haven’t done enough, blah blah blah….and then the neurosis sets in and I begin worrying about my children.  Am I teaching them how to protect their rights?  Am I teaching them to question their government?  Am I propagandizing  or am I sowing seeds of questioning in their minds?  The First World problems meme is often funny.  This one isn’t.  We truly DO have first world problems.  If American logic has become so denigrated that we must depend on our government to tell us what to do then we truly have problems.  Our freedom is becoming extinct and we are helping it happen!  We worry about losing the ozone.  We worry about pedophiles.  We worry about global warming.  Why aren’t we worrying about out freedom?  The liberties, freedoms, rights however you like to label them that I have seen become extinct in my lifetime are:

  • Wearing seatbelts
  • If living in New York, the extinction of the Big Gulp and soon salt.
  • Freely giving sensitive information to Google, Facebook, Skype, AOL, and YouTube then allowing them to sell said information for profit, espionage and “homeland security”.
  • Allowing over-taxation without protest.
  • Being told where, what and when to smoke while vices like texting and driving and alcohol abuse still run rampant.  Starbucks, are you listening?
  • Being told how many pets we can have while shelters are over-crowded.
  • The watchdog press. Except for “The Guardian”, they’re still trying.   The media has reverted to becoming pimps for whichever political party is in power as they write.  Sad, sad, sad.  Woodward and Bernstein where have you gone?
  • Riding motorcycles without helmets.
  • No longer honoring the right to allow someone to say something we don’t agree with: Freedom of Speech.
  • Paying Verizon, ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile and any other cell phone provider to GIVE our information to the government due to the US Patriot Act.
  • PRISM

The sad fact is, when we codify our freedom is lost.  The more we let government into our lives, the more they will take our rights and individualism away.  It’s the nature of the greedy beast.  Why can’t we all just be a little more logical, a little less greedy and a lot more verbose of what we will and won’t stand for?  Think I’ll be on some PRISM list for blogging this?  I don’t care!  List me!

6 Sure Signs You’re a Sapiosexual


words

 

 

Urban Dictionary defines “sapiosexual” as ” (adj) A form of sexual orientation characterized by a strong attraction to intelligence in others, often regardless of gender and/or conventional attractiveness.”  Well, Urban Dictionary notwithstanding, a sapiosexual is someone who finds intelligence the most sexually attractive feature of another.   Since the brain is the largest sexual organ of both sexes yeah, I hear some of you snickering how size doesn’t matter a sapiosexual person isn’t as taken by visual stimuli as they are with intellect and wit.   This isn’t to say that sapiosexuals aren’t attracted to attractive people, but the attractive person MUST have a keen mind.   Still confused?  Here are 6 sure signs you’re a sapiosexual.

1. When playing Scrabble or Words with Friends, you know Sapiosexual isn’t a valid word but you’re impressed that they tried to use it any way. Words can be so damned sexy!

Here are some of my favorite words: hedonistic, cacophony, tempestuous, fervent, cognoscente, voluminous, indelible, enigmatic, serendipity, retronym, flourish, luminous, assiduous, poignant, impassioned, and contentious.  Funny, some of these words could describe my ideal man!

 

2.  You can spot a pseudo-sapiosexual which means if you can spot a fake one, you’re a real one,  by how they text, write letters or tweet.  They may want to impress with their vocabulary, but if they misspell, dangle participles unless its a measure of enticement or use words out of context, their intellectual virility may parallel their performance.  Well okay, with phone usage, you must build in a buffer for auto-correct mistakes.  For example, the following two sentences use uncommon words.  One is correct, the other isn’t.  Can you spot the sapiosexual sentence?

His braggadocio was acerbic in a pleasurable way.  His biting wit was at once tempting and revolting.  Her rationale knew better than to get involved with such a boorish character, but her hubris caused her to lucubrate during nights they weren’t together as to how to channel his discourse into intercourse.

or

Though he ruminated as to why he consistently chose women who were nymphatic, disingenuine and inane, he was happy he had a woman who could turn heads with her physique.

3.    Sapiosexuals actually LISTEN to lyrics of songs and will happily choose Leonard Cohen over Lil Wayne.  The brain must be stimulated and teased with feathery words, not shanked by “in your face” sexual terminology.

4.   A Sapiosexual understands that the best foreplay is a philosophical discussion.  Or a debate without anger but filled with respect for the other’s thoughts.  Or a union of words, emotions and thoughts made flesh.  Mind and flesh orgasms are the best!

5.   A Sapiosexual  will analyze before they finalize.  They are informed not just opinionated. They know what constitutes an impractical Utopian.

6.  A Sapiosexual is more impressed by the flexing of the intellect than the flexing of the biceps.

So….do any of these describe you?

 

Monday Musings


happiness

 

The weekend was great!  Heck, the whole month has been.  I’m not used to having week after week of good things, but I’m happy to brag that it is occurring in my life.  Percy Shelley said, “the sweetest songs come from the saddest times in life”.  I don’t know if I agree with that anymore.  I’ve *heard* some pretty sweet songs lately and none of them have to do with being sad.  Okay, enough optimism.  Here are the thoughts that have been on my mind lately.  I haven’t even shared them with Glen….Livet that is.

If pitchers are hailed for throwing first strike pitches, then why does everyone lose it when a batter swings at the first pitch?

Isn’t discernment just a nice word for judgment? And what’s the big deal about judging?  If you don’t use your common sense and judge whether something is good or bad then is everything a gamble?

And speaking of morals, what are morals based on?  In speaking with an Atheist this past weekend, he said good and bad are innate.  I don’t agree.  I think that in some cultures, especially ancient ones, it was just fine to kill someone for your god.  It was just fine to take on many wives and not be faithful to only one.  It was just fine to kill your children if you couldn’t afford to feed them.  None of those things were considered wrong, so how could they be immoral?  Are morals a cultural phenomenon then?  I don’t think that either.  I think morals are God-based.

 

What do you think?

 

The Shadows


The shadows can be a beautiful and mysterious place to explore. They can also be the Sirens of destruction.  Lies are like shadows. Terrorists live in the shadows.  I have found myself lurking there during the bad times of my life.There is far too much evil in the world. It lives in the shadows of ill-conceived power, misguided religion and desperation.  It is a darkness iften times masked in familiarity.                Like Milton said, we must make the dark visible

Mental Reminder: This is Why I Hate Dating


Ahhhh romance!  Ahhh, the newness of meeting someone you might really like.  Ahh, the lessons you learn when it doesn’t work out!!!!  Why do we not catch on faster to the speedbumps lying in wait to tip over the relationship?  Why do we overthink, overreact,  but never overcome those redlights that are blinking madly at you through your rose colored glasses?  Is it romance?  Is it the courtship?  Is it the budding realization that there really are sincere people in the world and they haven’t all gone attention-greedy mad?

I don’t know.

I’ve had my fair share of romance.  A man once wrote me a song.  Okay, it wasn’t the greatest song, it was more like a song that would have been on the Beverly Hillbillies Soundtrack, but it was written for me.  And the man hired a band to play it and cut a few hundred copies of it for….I guess me.

Another man courted me with quotes from Shakespeare and Greek tragedy and unbelievable sex.  We were electric.  We were in sync.  He begged me to be Penelope to his Odysseus.  Of course, Odysseus had multiple affairs while Penelope waited patiently for him to grow up and come home.  You know the story.  And you can guess how mine ended.

The last romance I had was again, electric.  This man was  (in my mind) an intellectual without a degree.  A man with a large Italian family but no home.  A rebel with many causes.  And he wrote poetry.  Lovely, heartachingly beautiful poetry.  A few he wrote for me.  He was much younger (which bothered me greatly) and had HUGE emotional issues, but I believed that “love would overcome”.  He didn’t.  He believed in Sugar Mammas.  The feminist side of me thought it okay.  I mean come on, there are many women who get involved with older, rich guys so why shouldn’t a man?   The problem was I was older, but not that rich.  Okay, not rich at all.   And the true part of me thought getting involved with another strictly for mercenary reasons quite crass.   And so the story ended.

Here we go again.

I went out last weekend for the second time with a nice gentleman.  Before yesterday, I thought of him as romantic, intelligent and a little spontaneous: all things I truly appreciate.  He filled my emails with thoughts, book excerpts, poetry I should read, interesting stories and he sent me sweet texts throughout the week.  (do you see a pattern here?)  On our first date he drank more wine than I.  On the second date, he moved on to Scotch.  Not that it bothers me, Glenlivet is a dear friend of mine.  But I noticed he was quite, let’s say, dependent on having a drink in front of him before he could converse with me.  Am I that scary?  Does my mere presence push men to drink?   There I go overanalyzing again.  But it’s one of those character flaws (or plusses) I own.  Overanalyzing is my way of making sense of the whole relationship thing, heck, of the world!  So I overanalyzed, then stopped and mentally berated myself for being so neurotic.

Then I got this text:

“Gayle, I heard this today and it made me think of you”

Attached was the the following video.  Listen to the lyrics carefully.

I guess he does have a drinking problem. I guess he does think this is romantic (um….it’s not!) and I guess this is why I hate dating.  I won’t be seeing him again.