Sunday, November 29, 2009

Our Main Objective Is To Love While Living

Years ago, when I was a child, all I wanted to do was go to "California" and be a star.

I grew up in a lower-middle class family, with no money. All I had was a beautiful, loving family, immediate and hugely extended.

My Mother and Father, God bless them in Heaven, each had eleven brothers and sisters. And our house was "the" house - not only...for family but for everyone in the neighborhood.

As I grew into my teens and later my early twenties, all I wanted was, again, to leave Rochester (NY, my hometown) and go to LA. I used to say to myself, "Ugh...there's just so many people around. Let me out of here. I just wish all I had was me."

Well, years later, after I went to LA, and found my measure of success, and then returned to Rochester to care for my parents in their elderly years, everyone was gone.

No more aunts, no more uncles, no cousins, no more nightly visits. I had my measure of sucess...not the stardom...but a portion of it. And I would have given anything to have my massive family back...certainly, my Mom and Dad...who left me nothing when they died...because they had nothing...at least nothing of what this world calls secure. And yet, of course, I did not care for them to gain anything. I cared for them because I loved them. And feeling their love in return was enough for me...especially as I grew to appreciate the family that was long gone over these last few years.

And today, as I hold residence now in LA as well as Florida, my dreams are in line, my heart is softer and kinder, and I wait to create a family of my own...even at 49...knowing that the knowledge I have gained through loss...and love...conquers daily the big purchases and the big parties.

And the great friends I have retained over the years...merely having coffee with them and/or good conversation, has come to mean so much more to me. All of it combined has allowed me the grand opportunity to understand that we are "here" in this world...not so much to reach our goals...but to reach out to each other in the process of seeking our goals...to reach out to each other with nothing less than joy, peace and loving kindness.

Should we write our scripts, star in our TV shows, teach our classes, operate in our surgeries, develop our ideas, etc., in the process, then we are all the better for it. But we are still all the BEST for it should none of those things ever transpire.

If so, we will still have the "time" we have spent with one another...as we "live" the scripts of life.

My Top Ten Christmas Songs, Animated TV Specials, and TV-Movies of All Time

1] CHRISTMASTIME IS HERE (Written by Vince Guaraldi - from A Charlie Brown Christmas):

Show me a better song representative of Christmas? Okay, maybe The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole - but nothing revs up the Holiday heart strings like this classic tune sung by the Peanuts gang on one of the best Christmas TV specials of all time (see previous post - and see video link below).

2] THERE'S ALWAYS TOMORROW (FOR DREAMS TO COME TRUE) By Janet Orenstein from Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer TV special:

Like Christmastime is Here (from A Charlie Brown Christmas) this true-love bearing (and en-deer-ing) song from TV's other classic perennial, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, hits all the right chords. Years after first hearing it as a kid, my college crush Debbie Bell (yep, that was her name) sang this for me on her piano. And I couldn't believe she had the sheet music.

3] SILVER & GOLD (performed by Burl Ives in Rudolph):

Stripping away the materialism of what it may appear to mean (silver and gold money, for example), this song caters to core of Christmas - and teaches us to decorate our trees with only the sincerest of colors (that you just know somehow glisten on and make into Heaven - which, of course, is already paved with silver and gold).

4] HOLLY-JOLLY CHRISTMAS (performed by Burl Ives in Rudolph):

Put away your frown, Mr. Scrooge...I dare you not to dance when you hear this jingle bell.

5] LAST CHRISTMAS by George Michael:

George has certainly had his share of issues in the years since his early days with WHAM, but this song wasn't one of 'em. Instead, it goes down in history as one of the most beautiful and somber pop-rock carols of all time.

6] ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU by Mariah Carey:

Like George Michael before her, Mariah Carey has experienced a few personal challenges in recent years. However, her talent is astounding - and her voice is pure - as is so pristinely evident heart-felt holiday rockin' tune.

7] FELICE NAVIDA by Jose Feliciano:

Before it became hip for non-Latinos to speak Spanish in the US, the gifted Jose Ferrer introduced mainstream Americana to the international sounds of Christmas with this bangin' gee-tar-driven holiday present that broke the language barrier.

8] SO THIS IS CHRISTMAS (offcially titled Happy Christmas) by John Lennon TIES with LITTLE SAINT NICK by Brian Wilson (and Mike Love):

One would expect nothing less from Lennon - the man who brought us the timeless beauty of Imagine - while the genius of The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson is front and center for Christmas. And is it really any wonder that Little Saint Nick appears on TBB's first Christmas album, which just so happened to be released in the same year (1964) that Rudolph debuted on TV? 'Course not. The angels know what they're doing.

9] DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS? Before being charitable in the super-mainstream public eye became cool, this haunting tune was recorded to help feed the hungry - not only of the body - but of the heart and the soul. In the process, it reminds us exactly what Christmas is supposed to be all about (clue: not buying Christmas gifts at the mall, which opens at 4 AM on Black Friday).

10] EDELWEISE by Rodgers and Hammerstein from The Sound of Music. If this isn't a Christmas song, I don't know what is. It is infested with love, and as far as I'm concerned, is one of the most beautifully melodies on the planet. And though The Sound of Music is not "really" a "Christmas story," per se, it really kinda'sorta is.

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MY TOP TEN ANIMATED CHRISTMAS TV SPECIALS


1] A Charlie Brown Christmas (CBS, 1965): Directed by Bill Melendez. Written by Charles Schulz.

Young voice-over talent Peter Robbins made his indelible mark as Charlie Brown in this poignant holiday classic that spawned a series of similar specials for every holiday. Here, Charlie Brown searches for the true meaning of Christmas and the perfect tree. While directing a school play, he ultimately finds both, though not before our young low-acheiver is confronted by a number of obstacles. None the least of these conflicts is presented by his own dog Snoopy's obsession with winning first prize for a local decorations competition, or by his mean-spirited peers who mock his choice of a tiny sickly tree. Through it all, Charlie continues to struggle for peace of mind in his December time, when he is forced to visit with his pseudo-psycholgoist friend (and foe) Lucy, who offers him a 5 cents therapy session. Following a desperate plea (during which he screams, "Can't anyone tell me what Christmas is all about?!"), CB finally hears the real deal - from Lucy's young brother Linus, of all people. "I can tell you," Linus reveals. And in one of the most uniquely animated moments in the history of the genre, Linus goes on to quote the Biblical story of the first Christmas. In a matter of moments, CB's misguided pals realize their inconsideration and, with the help and reconfiguration of Snoopy's prize-winning decorations, breathe life into a once-listless tree - further uncovering and "illuminating" the true meaning of Christmas. "Hark the herald" these young animated angels then all sing.

2] Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer (CBS, 1964): Directed by Kizo Nagashima and Larry Roemer. Written by Robert May and Romeo Miller.

A "true love" story. Lessons about maturity, responsibility, pride, prejduice, ambition and acceptance; deciphering "deer pressure" from "elf-improvement." Dispelling the fear surrounding a visit to the dentist? Learning that no toy is happy unless it is truly loved by a child? Some of the most beautiful Christmas songs ever written (There's Always Tomorrow; Silver and Gold). What else could anyone want in a Christmas TV special? This classic always signals the commencement of the holiday season - and reminds me so much to slow my pace and shine on until the morning - and beyond. Featuring the awesome talents of Burl Ives, who we first meet in the North Pole midst of a field of Christmas trees ("Yep -this is where we grow 'em?).

3] Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town (ABC, 1969): Directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. Written by Romeo Miller.

Taking it's cue from Rudolph, this smart Christmas tale expands on the popularity of a Christmas song and threads a charming tale about the origins of St. Nick - here voiced by Mickey Rooney. Also along for the ride: Fred Astaire (serving the narrator purpose, alla Burl Ives on Rudolph) as the Christmas Mailman. Also featuring the vocal talents of Keenan Wynn, Paul Frees, Joan Gardner and Robie Lester.


4] The Year Without A Santa Claus
(ABC, 1974): Directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. Written by William Keenan and based on the novel by Phyllis McGinley.

Mickey Rooney returns as Santa, this time joined by Shirley Hazel Booth as Mrs. Claus in smart take that may be sub-coded, Santa Takes A Holiday - as the jolly one gets sick and decides to take a break from Christmas. As such, a quite sophisticated animated tale is delivered, along with an astounding message and pristine dialogue. In fact, this cartoon was so impressive, it spawned a life-action TV-movie (starring John Goodman) in 2006.

5] A Christmas Carol (Syndicated, 1970): Directed by Zoran Janjic. Written by Michael Robinson and based on the classic novel by Charles Dickens.

Who says television isn't educational? This was my introduction to the great mind of Charles Dickens. Up until then, I thought cartoons only meant Scooby Doo, Where Are You? - not to mention, great literature. Starring the voiceover talents of Alistair Duncan, Ron Haddick (as Scrooge), John Llewellyn, Bruce Montague, Brenda Senders and many others.

6] The Night The Animals Talked (CBS, 1970): Directed by Shamus Culhane. Written by Peter Fernandez, Jan Hartman and others.

Just about his far away from Dr. Doolittle as you can get, we learn here what the animals were thinking at the birth of Christ. They are granted the gift of gab - and we are granted the gift of insight. Mind-boggling - and aeons ahead of its time. Starring the vocal gymnastics of Pat Bright, Ruth Franklin, Bob Kaliban, Len Maxwell, Joe Silver, Frank Porella and others.

7] 'Twas The Night Before Christmas (CBS, 1974): Directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. Written by Jerome Coopersmith and based on the poem by Clement Moore.

Producers/directors Bass and Rankin steered away from stop-action animation (Rudolph, Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town) and headed into the then-more traditional animatrics of the era. What's more, it's also told in a 30-minute format (as opposed to the aforementioned 60-minutes, though first completed a few years before with Frosty the Snowman in 1969). But their style is still evident especially drawn in the eyes and "heart" of each character. A sweet narrative delivery of a perfect holiday ryhme. Feauturing the voices of Patricia Bright, Scott Firestone, George Gobel (Hollywood Squares), Broadway giant and film legend Joel Grey, and Tammy Grimes (the original choice for Samantha on TV's Bewitched; but she said no).

8] The Little Drummer Boy (NBC, 1968): Directed by Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin, Jr. and others. Written by Romeo Muller.

Two years after CBS got heavy with A Charlie Brown Christmas, the Peacock network delivered this equally-deep and spiritual take on an animated Christmas TV special. Based on the classic song (that was later historically duetted by Bing Crosby and David Bowie on one of BC's traditional NBC Holiday specials). Starring the vocal prowess of Jose Ferrer, Paul Frees, June Foray, and narrated by Greer Garson.

9] How The Grinch Stole Christmas (CBS, 1966): Directed by Chuck Jones and Ben Washam. Written by Bob Ogle and based on the book by Dr. Seuss.

Director Ron Howard and actor Jim Carrey made a valiant attempt to bring Whoville to the live big-screen a few years back, but ain't nothing like the original unreal thing - especially due to the vocal brilliance of Boris Karloff.


10] Frosty The Snowman
(CBS, 1969): Directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin. Written by Romeo Miller.

Here, Jimmy Durrante (like his compadres Burl Ives and Fred Astaire before) serves as narrator to yet another Christmas carol come to life - along with Frosty. A sequel (Frosty Returns) later followed (with John Goodman, years before he donned the live action edition of The Year Without A Santa Claus - stepped in for Jackie Vernon). But it wasn't the same. Also starring the voices of the great Billie De Wolfe (The Doris Day Show), and Bass/Rankin/Miller stalwharts Paul Frees and June Foray.

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"MY TOP TEN CHRISTMAS TV-MOVIES OF ALL TIME"

1] THE HOUSE WITHOUT A CHRISTMAS TREE (CBS, 1972): Directed by Paul Bogart. Written by Eleanor Perry and Gail Rock. Based on the book by Rock.

Jamie Mills (played by the great Jason Robards) has grown bitter over the years after losing his wife a decade before. As such, he no longer celebrates Christmas and refuse to put a tree. But this is no run-of-the-mill take on Scrooge - especially after watching Jaime's young daughter Addie (Lisa Lucas) ultimately drag a decorated tree through town and into the Mills living room. If you're looking for your heart, you'll find it in this movie. Mildred Natwick offerred her usual perfect performance, here - in a supporting role - as Robards' mother. Special note: This flick's budget was low, forcing it to be videotaped (like everything pretty much today - though some TV shows and movies make it look like film). But somehow it adds to the "reality".

2] MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (CBS, 1973): Directed by Fielder Cook. Written by Valentine Davies, Jeb Rosebrook (and others).

No, it ain't the original 1947 feature film classic (with a tiny Natalie Wood), but it sure as heck ain't the overblown remake from 1994. Nope, this little puppy of a version starred the late Sebastian Cabot (Mr. French from TV's Family Affair), David Hartman (soon to be an early rising staple on ABC's Good Morning, America) and Jane Alexander (who was just about to find super fame playing Eleanor Rosevelt in a series of TV-movies for ABC). Look also for this astounding supporting cast: Roddy McDowall, Jim Backus (Gilligan's Isalnd, Mr. Magoo), James Gregory (Barny Miller), Conrad Janis (Mork & Mindy), Roland Winters, and David Doyle (Charlie's Angels) and Tom Bosley (Happy Days) - the latter two of whom have been cross-identified by viewers for years - and who appeared here on screen together for the first time. you can't beat that - and you can't beat this TV-flick for slick production values (for its time), nostalgia (on so many fronts) and a straight-forward "logic within the illogic" script. Awesome. Just awesome. Everything a Christmas TV-movie (or any TV-movie for that matter) should be.

3] FATHER KNOWS BEST: HOME FOR CHRISTMAS (NBC, 1977): Directed by Norman Abbott and based on the original TV series created by Ed James.

Like The House Without A Christmas Tree, this TV-flick was produced with an extremely low budget (it wasn't even filmed like the original series, but videotaped - like a daytime soap opera). But little matter. The script is in place, story is home-made-for-TV, and the cast is dynamite, including all original members of the original Father series, such as: Robert Young (Marcus Welby, MD), Jane Wyatt (Spock's mom on Star Trek), Lauren Chapin, Elinor Donahue (who later married the much-older executive producer Harry Bewitched Ackerman), Christopher Gardner, and Billy Gray. When Young as Jim Anderson puts up those Christmas lights outside the house, I can't help but be reminded of my super Uncle Carl - who did the same for so many years on Erie Street. This movie will remind you of similar memories I'm sure.

4] SAINT MAYBE (1998, CBS): Directed by Michael Pressman. Written by Robert W. Lenski. Based on the book by Anne Tyler.

Not a Christmas movie, per se, but filled with the astounding spirit of one. Thomas McCarthy plays a lonely teen who works past a tragic car accident that kills his sister, and forces him to care for her three children. Moving, pristine and downright awe-inspiring. Also starring Blythe Danner, Edward Hermann (who played alongside the aforementioned Jane Alexander in those Rosevelt TV-movies), the beautiful Melina Kanakaraedes, Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds), and former TV-movie queen, Glynnis O'Connor.

5] CHRISTMAS ON DIVISION STREET (1991, ABC). Directed by George Kaczender. Written by Barry Morrow.

As usual, Fred Savage (The Wonder Years) delivers another fine performance, this time as the privledged offspring of wealthy parents who learn the true meaning of Christmas from their son (who learns it from a homeless man). Hint: it doesn't have anything to do with buying lots of expensive, materialistic gifts for people. Also starring Hume Cronyn, Badja Djola, Cloyce Morrow, Kenneth Walsh and Kahla Lichti.

6] A DAD FOR CHRISTMAS (a.k.a. Me and Luke, 2006, CBS). Directed by Eleanor Lindo. Written by Alan Hines. Based on the novel (Me and Luke) by Audrey O'Hearn.

As with Saint Maybe, this pristine small screen film is not clearly defined as a Christmas TV-movie (though there's a Christmas dinner in there at the end). But it's infested with the spirit. Newcomer Kristopher Turner plays a compassionate teen father who sets out to protec and claim his newborn son from the likes of the child's selfish mother. The Oscar-winning Louise Fletcher, as the Turner's grandmother, steps up to the plate as the first-time Dad's main ally. Also starring Philip Akin, Lindsay Ames, and others.

7] BORROWED HEARTS: A HOLIDAY ROMANCE (1997, CBS): Directed by Ted Kotcheff. Written by Pamel Wallace and Earl W. Wallace.

Roma Downey is no angel. But Hector Elizondo is in this flick, which also stars Eric McCormack in a pre-Will & Grace straight role. Bottom line: She's poor. He's her rich, snobby corporate boss - and they're both brought together by her daughter Carly (Janet Baily) - with a little help from an Elizondo.

8] IT HAPPENED ONE CHRISTMAS (1977, ABC): Directed by Donald Wrye. Written by Jo Swerling and Frank Capra.

Before the rest of the universe realized how wonderful It's A Wonderful Life is, That Girl star Marlo Thomas reworked the 1947 Jimmy Stewart classic with a female twist. And the results were impressive. It's probably BECAUSE of this small-screener that people began to become obsessed with the original. Also starring the iconic Orson Welles (as Mr. Potter), Wayne Rogers (M*A*S*H), Cloris Leachman (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Dick O'Neil, Cliff Norton, Christoper Guest, C. Thomas Howell and Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond) and Ma Baily.

9] A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1984, CBS). Directed by Clive Donner. Written by Roger O. Hirsen - and Charles Dickens

Though the Charles Dickens classic has been remade about a gazillion times, this version starring George C. Scott takes the cake - and the entire dessert table. A top-level, A-List production from every angle. Also starring: Frank Finlay, Angela Pleasence, Edward Woodward, David Warner, Susannah York, Roger Rees, and so many other fine actors.

10] THE NIGHT THEY SAVED CHRISTMAS (CBS, 1984): Directed by Jackie Cooper. Written by Jim Maloney.

A lot better than you would think - with the additional benefits of Charlie's Angels beauty Jaclyn Smith, the legendary Art Carney (The Honeymooners), Paul Le Mat (who starred opposite Smith's Angels co-star Farrah Fawcett in 1985's ground-breaking TV-movie, The Burning Bed), June Lockhart(Lost in Space), Paul Williams, Scott Grimes and many others.

http://www.jarradhewett.com/files/Love_Life_God.pdf

http://www.jarradhewett.com/files/Love_Life_God.pdf

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Find True Love With The Loving-Kind

My friend is troubled. Her husband left her, but he was abusive and it was never a happy relationship. So, please - if you're in an unhappy marriage or relationship with a husband, a wife or a martian - dump that puppy. There'll be no broken promise to God, who doesn't want you to be a doormat. LOVE is not a doormat. Move on to a happy life & find someone who is loving-kind. God, who IS LOVE, will understand and endorse THAT.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Message of Light For The Holidays

In the beginning, we were all one big ball of light. Then a few of us decided (through the gift of free will from God=Love) that we needed to separate into billions of tiny balls of Light. Then a few more decided that we needed to take physical form. Sooner, than later, we found ourselves divided by all kinds of issues (with no answers) that we created, not God=Love.

So, now we have to create the circumstances (i.e. Earthly challenges with which to learn life lessons and/or reincarnating until we get it right, learning that Love is the answer to everything) so we can return us to where we started:

Together, united as one - back to God=Love.

Here's a quick guide:

Christmas and Easter are symbolic messages of whom and what God=Love is in our lives. God=Love comes to us as we believe Him/Her to be. If we are Christian, then we believe Him/Her (and will see Him/Her) as Jesus.

Jewish? God.

Muslim? Allah.

Buddhist? Buddha.

And so on, and so forth, and so good.

For Christians, Jesus was God=Love Incarnate on Earth. As a Son of God=Love, He was and remains the Awesome Deliverer. As the Son of Man, He was and remains everything that each of us should aspire to be in/on this Earth realm ("You can do what I do - and more). As a Human Being, he was one of the kindest to ever have lived. As a Historical Figure, he was a genius.

Jesus' life was a living parable...a parable similar to those he was so fond of dispelling while he was on Earth.

The Birth of Jesus is symbolic of the Birth of the Christ Consciousness in each of us.

The Resurrection of Jesus, is symbolic of the Resurrection of our Hearts, Minds and Souls to our Higher Consciousness.

Joseph Campbell was right: Look to the message behind the myth, myth, here meaning, story, a.k.a. Bible Stories.

This doesn't mean that the Bible stories are myths, as in "fantasies" or as if they never happened. No. Indeed, they were real and did transpire. But they transpired as history and parable, and we must concentrate on the latter as lesson for the development of our souls.

In doing so, we must not employ judgment. Rather, we must Love and respect one another, ignore our differences, and concentrate on what makes us the same - which is God=Love.

God=Love doesn't give a flying fig if you're Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Black, White, Straight, Gay, or Martian. We're all on different paths that lead to the same destination. Once again, back to God=Love.

It's that simple, and it's not difficult and it has nothing to do with hate, for there is only Love. It has nothing to do with death, for there is only life. After what we call death, there is only more life, and that has nothing to do with division and the end of the world. For there are only new beginnings, and unity, linked by God=Love.

Therefore, hold on to God=Love, and let go of the world.

Happy Holidays!

Herbie J :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thank You.

Thank you, God, for all the Peace, Joy, Love, and Loving-Kindness that I've received and shared. Thank you, God, for my eyes, my nose, my lips, my ears, my brain, my heart, my kidneys, my blood, my bones, my muscles, my immunne system, my endoctrine system, my nervous system, all my organs...my entire body temple. Thank you, God, for all the money I have ever made, and all the food I have ever eaten...all the laughter I have ever laughed, and all the gifts I have ever received and given. Thank you, God, for my education, my history, my talents...my ability to write, to act, to sing, to dance and so much more. Thank you for my career. Thank you for all the words I've ever written, all the books, all the scripts, all the songs I've sung and danced to, all the shows in which I've acted and directed. All the classes I've taught and taken. Thank you, God, for all the music in my heart, and all the music that I hear. Thank you, God, for all the dances I've danced, and thoughts I've thought, and sounds I've heard and made. Thank you for all the dreams I have ever dreamed, and all the dreams that have come true. Thank you, God, for all the safe walks home, all the the safe plane rides, all the safe drives in the car. Thank you for all the kisses I've kissed, and all the kisses I've received. Thank you for all the hugs, and all the times I've made love, and the various pleasures I've received and given. Thank you for all the Light that lives in me and that which is beamed out through you. Thank you for all the work I've ever worked, and all the play I've ever played, and all the life in between. Thank you, God, for all the trees I've ever climbed, for every flat pebble I've skimmed across the water, and every swim I ever swam. Thank you, God, for every single breath of fresh air I've ever breathed. Thank you for all of my family and friends. Thank you, God, for every moment, every second, every year, every day, every month, every season and every time. But most of all, dear God, thank you for you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Origin of "Want" Does Not Mean "Desire"

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."

This Biblical passage does mean what everyone has thought it's meant through the years.

The "want" in question here is defined with reference to "wander." As in, "I shall not wander."

Shepherds cared for flocks of and herds of sheep, which they had to guide and corale...sheep which would tend to "wander."

We, the children of God=Love and Light, are referenced here, metaphorically, as "sheep."

As such, God, the Universe or however you name the Creator of All Good Things, does not seek for us to "want" anything with regard to "desire." Instead, God=Love prefers that we do not "wander" away...from the Light...from positive thinking...from sound living....from loving-kindness.

"Begging" and "wanting" and "desiring" has no true place in our relationship with "God=Love." We do not - and should not - have to "beg" or "want" for any desire.

Instead, it works in our favor when we choose not to "wander" away from loving-kindness, peaceful living, joy, and the "Light choices."

When we choose not to "wander," God=Love, according to the great gift of "free will," and bound by the laws of Love itself, will have no choice but to grant our heart's deepest desires anyway.

In other words, our truest desires, based on loving-kindness, then come to us, freely and fully, with not a beg in sight.

So, indeed, the Lord is our shepherd...we shall not wander away.

Why should we?

Wandering leaves us lost in the dark...when "being still," keeps us found in the Light.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Tribute to Rita Valerie: Her "Presence" Remains Her Best Gift

Today would have been my cousin Rita Valerie's 50th birthday. She died in early 2003 from various physical ills - as she had not been in the best of health for the last ten years of her life.

Rita was always one of the smartest people I ever knew - and also one of the most generous. We fought like cats and dogs while growing up - and it was a very challenging relationship as adults. But we loved each other. And she would have done anything for me.

Rita would have done anything for anyone. In fact, sometimes too much so. She was always buying gifts for people. In the late 1970s, she moved to Phoenix, Arizona with her Mom, my Aunt Amelia (sister to my Mom, Frances), older brother Bill, and Aunt Alice (another of my Mom's sister) and her husband, my Uncle Ange. They all went there to join Rita's other brother, Fred, who had moved to Phoenix in 1972 with his wife Dani, and then-young child Wendy.

In time, Aunt Alice and Uncle Ange passed away, and years later, no one expected Rita to be the next member of the Arizona family to leave this world. But she did, even before her own mother (who passed away in 2006).

Meanwhile, it was like Rita was somehow a mother to us all. In her frequent trips back to Rochester, and whenever she would stay at our house at Greenleaf Meadows, or with my sister Pam (in Irondequoit or Webster), I remember bags and bags of gifts that she would purchase for people here in Rochester. And when she wasn't bringing gifts to close friends and relatives in Rochester, she was taking them out to dinner. And certainly, the Holidays was Rita's favorite time of the year. Because for Rita, it was all about "visiting" - and family.

As I write these words, almost seven years after she passed into spirit, I still find it difficult to believe that she has left this world. That's how strong a personality she was...how strong a presence she had. That's how much of an affect she had on me. And that's how I will always remember her...for her generosity and for all the "presents" she gave to the world...and for the "presence" she still keeps in this world.

God bless you forever, Reeds. I will love you always - as will everyone on Earth who was blessed enough to know you - and who remains blessed enough to receive your "presence" - each and every time they remember you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Understanding, Unconditional Color of Love

What is Love? And HOW do you Love?

Is Love something you give only when there is something in it for you? Something to get back in return? For a job-well done? For a reciprocal thought? Is Love something you give to only "yes" people who tell you what you want to hear - to build and sustain your ego?

Or do you Love simply to Love, unconditionally? To give unconditionally? to be kind, unconditionally?

Anyone can be nice to someone, and call it Love - when they are seeking something in return. Anyone can pretend to be nice and kind to a business client or a potential business client - in order to seal the deal.

Of course I'm reminded of the TV character "Larry Tate," portrayed by the brilliant actor David White in my favorite classic situation comedy, "Bewitched."

"Larry" was the ultimate manipulator. As the head of "McMann & Tate" advertising, the client was always right - even at the expense of his friends, employees or his own integrity. In fact, he would fire "Darrin" (as played by either Dick York or Dick Sargent) "on the spot" if he felt it was a threat to any business deal. Or he would reward Darrin with a hearty, "You son of a gun" response if he felt Darrin was doing a wonderful job.

Certainly, in the business world, the "reward/punishment" system, or at least a scaled-down moderate version of it, works.

But with interpersonal relationships - and when it comes to Love across the board?

Uhm...not so much.

We cannot only Love people when there is something in it for us...or only when they are nice to us...or only when they do the things we ask...or act the way we would like them to act...or behave, say, think or do in the way, which is in agreement with our personality or mindset.

Instead, we must Love people no matter what. And forgiveness plays into this scenario, intrinsically. We must forgive those who hurt us. We must forgive those who hate us. We must Love them.

And we must not punish them when they treat us indifferently, or "fire" them or "cancel" their friendship - just as much as we should not only Love them or reward them with our Love when they treat us well. What if everyone envisioned each other as "potential business clients" - with multi-million dollar deals to be made if we won these "clients" over? Everyone would probably and very easily Love one another then, would we not? But again, for all the unhealthiest of reasons.

And this way of thinking also applies to how we treat ourselves. We must Love ourselves, no matter what. We must forgive ourselves, no matter what. We must not reward or punish ourselves for doing "good" or "bad" - but we must Love ourselves, unconditionally.

Now then, if indeed "Love IS God," and "Love is never jealous," then how could there ever have been a "jealous God"? And how could we ever justify allegedly loving someone, and then only doing so when they Love us in return, or if there is only some other "reward" for us in return?

Love is Love, my friends. You either Love someone or you don't. You either Love, unconditionally, or you don't. For it is impossible to Love with conditions, because with Love - there are no inbetweens.

Yet at the same time, nothing is black and white in this world.

If anything, the color of Love is gray...the brightest, most beautiful and understanding gray you will ever lay your eyes and heart upon - and WHO will ever lay their eyes or heart upon you.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Surround Yourself Only With Positive People

If you are in an abusive relationship, whether personal or professional, physical, verbal, psychological or emotional - you need to distance yourself from that person and/or environment - and surround yourself only with positive people.

You were born as a Child of Light - as was the individual who may be abusing you. However, you are not directly responsible for the actions of that abusive individual. You are only responsible for your actions, and how they may affect the actions of that individual.

In other words, remove yourself from the tracks before the train comes by.

Your actions in caring for yourself with in turn shed Light on the abuser, and bring Light to the abuser as well, healing them in the process.

But you must make the decision first to leave your abuser - for the benefit and highest regard of all those concerned. You will increase your Light and theirs by distancing yourself from them. If you remain, the Light dims - from all directions.

So be strong - have faith - make the move - and surround yourself only with positive people!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cheerleader Develops Dystonia After Receiving Vaccine

Hello Everyone -

Please be careful when it comes to vaccines...which see the video link below.

HJ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGT0r-udstQ

"Love Is The New Religion" (The Video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRRY8F_Bqmo

"Love Is The New Religion" - by Brian Piergrossi (From the book, THE BIG GLOW)

LOVE IS THE NEW RELIGION

by Brian Piergrossi
(from the book, THE BIG GLOW)

On the surface of the world right now there is war and violence and
things seem dark...

But calmly and quietly, at the same time, something else is happening
underground...

An inner revolution is taking place and certain individuals are being
called to a higher light...

It is a silent revolution...

From the inside out...
From the ground up...

It is time for me to reveal myself...

I am an embedded agent of an secret, undercover...

Clandestine

Global operation

A spiritual conspiracy

We have sleeper cells in every nation on the planet

You won't see us on the T.V.
You won't read about us in the newspaper
You won't hear about us on the radio

We don't seek any glory
We don't wear any uniform
We come in all shapes and sizes
Colors and styles

Most of us work anonymously...

We are quietly working behind the scenes in every country and culture
of the world...

Cities big and small, mountains and valleys, in farms and villages,
tribes and remote islands

You could pass by one of us on the street and not even notice...

We go undercover...

We remain behind the scenes...

It is of no concern to us who takes the final credit...

But simply that the work gets done

Occasionally we spot each other in the street...

We give a quiet nod and continue on our way so no one will notice

During the day many of us pretend we have normal jobs...

But behind the false storefront at night is where the real work takes
place

Some call us the "Conscious Army"

We are slowly creating a new world with the power of our minds and
hearts

We follow, with passion and joy

Our orders from the Central Command

The Spiritual Intelligence Agency

We are dropping soft, secret love bombs when no one is looking...

Poems...

Hugs

Music

Photography

Movies

Kind words

Smiles

Meditation and prayer

Dance

Social activism

Websites

Blogs

Random acts of kindness

We each express ourselves in our own unique ways with our own unique
gifts and talents...

"Be the change you want to see in the world" (said Gandhi)

That is the motto that fills our hearts...

We know it is the only way real transformation takes place

We know that quietly and humbly we have the power of all the oceans
combined

Our work is slow and meticulous...

Like the formation of mountains...

It is not even visible at first glance...

And yet with it entire tectonic plates shall be moved in the centuries
to come

Love is the new religion of the 21st century...

You don't have to be a highly educated person...

Or have any exceptional knowledge to understand it

It comes from the intelligence of the heart...

Embedded in the timeless evolutionary pulse of all human beings

Be the change you want to see in the world...

Nobody else can do it for you

We are now recruiting...

Perhaps you will join us...

Or already have....

All are welcome...

The door is open.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"God=Love" Over Pompano and Now - Everywhere!

I began my new daily walk regime, looked up into the sky - and saw this astounding phrase: "God = Love" - created by some beautiful high-flying, skywriting Earthly soul in human form (and a human engineered aircraft). Bless whoever did this "out of the clear blue skies" - over Pompano Beach Florida.

[See top two photos to the left.]

It's Not About A-List Stars. It's About CONCEPT.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hollywood studios are rethinking their strategy about casting A-list actors and costly productions in reaction to the poor economy, but also because of the surprising success of recent motion pictures with unknown actors.

With the 459-million-dollar success of the "The Hangover," a "buddy" film feauturing a relatively unknown cast, made several films have shown that a great concept or story can trump star appeal when it comes to luring fans.

"District 9," a low-budget sci-fi flick in which the biggest stars were aliens treated like refugees and the lead actor was South African Sharlto Copley, made $200 million. Thriller "Paranormal Activity," starring Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat, has cash registers ringing to the tune of $100 million.

Next up, on Nov. 20, comes Summit Entertainment's relatively low-budget ($50 million) franchise movie "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," a sequel to 2008 hit vampire romance "Twilight" which made global stars of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Online ticket sellers report "New Moon" is one of their highest pre-sale movies of all time, and box office watchers expect the film to have a smash opening.

"Nobody says that a big wonderful movie needs to be expensive, it's just that that's been the trend, and perhaps the trend is misguided," said University of Southern California cinema professor Jason E. Squire.

Last weekend, comic actor Jim Carrey's "A Christmas Carol" became the latest celebrity-driven movie to stumble at box offices, opening to a lower-than-expected $30 million.

Aside from Jim Carrey and "Carol," which cost at least $175 million, A-listers who suffered box office flops recently have included Bruce Willis ("Surrogates"), Adam Sandler ("Funny People"), Will Ferrell ("Land of the Lost"), Eddie Murphy ("Imagine That") and Julia Roberts ("Duplicity").

"The (major movie) machine didn't fly last summer, if you look at the movies and the names, they were not star-driven movies, they really weren't," said Peter Guber, chairman of Mandalay Entertainment and former head of Sony Pictures.

Hollywood insiders say A-listers currently are having trouble with salary demands in the $15 million range or participation approaching 20% of gross profits -- deals that were once somewhat common for top talent. Instead, they are being asked to take less money upfront and greater compensation only if a film breaks even.

In "New Moon," actors Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart rekindle their romance between an immortal vampire and a high school girl that they brought to silver screens in last year's adaptation from Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" books.

At the time, Pattinson and Stewart were unknown stars but that did not hurt "Twilight," which made $384 million at global box offices and gave Summit a bona fide franchise.

It's not unusual for franchises like the "Harry Potter" movies to begin with unknown actors, but as the films' popularity takes root, production budgets relax and actor, producer and other salaries soar.

But in recent years, Hollywood has been racked by the recession, competition from videogames and the Web, declining DVD sales and fewer licensing deals with television networks

This week, Disney chief Bob Iger said in a conference call that the sluggish DVD market is one reason the major studio has altered its moviemaking. "It causes us to really reconsider not only what we're investing in our films, but how we market them and how we distribute them," he said.

For its part, fledgling Summit has positioned "Twilight" as a franchise for the recession era by keeping the pressure on the costs for "New Moon," and Hollywood producers are praising them for it.

"Good for them, they are really keeping the costs down. It is unusual," said Lauren Shuler Donner, a producer on the "X-Men" films and 2008's "The Secret Life of Bees."

Summit, whose executives declined to be interviewed, took a page from the playbook of "The Lord of the Rings" by shooting the second and third films back-to-back this summer.

When director Peter Jackson made his three "Lord of the Rings" films simultaneously 10 years ago, it was a novel idea that reduced costs because actors, sets, costumes, locations and other items only had to be assembled and paid for once.

Similarly, by shooting the next two "Twilight" movies together, Summit kept the cost of the third film, "Eclipse," due out June 30, around $60 million, one source said.

"What I like is they didn't have a long window (between films), they went in to make a franchise, they didn't go in to see if they had a franchise," said Warren Zide, producer on the "American Pie" and "Final Destination" movies.

Friday, November 13, 2009

"Charlie's Angels" Prepping To Fly Again on TV

According to Variety, ABC is "thisclose" to green-lighting a pilot for a contemporary take on TV's classic "Charlie's Angels" - which in itself was a take on "The Mod Squad" and "The Rookies" - only this time with three hot babes. And of course, "Angels" delivered Farrah Fawcett (along with Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith) to our doorstep.

Apparently, Josh Friedman, who recently adapted the "Terminator" franchise for his Fox series "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," has been hired to write and exec produce the new "Angels."

Also onboard are original "Charlie's producer Leonard Goldberg, who ignited the show with Aaron Spelling in 1976, as well as Drew Barrymore, who starred in and produced the 2000 film edition and its sequel 2003. Sony Pictures TV is the studio.

As Variety continues to reveal, Hollywood insiders said that ABC Entertainment Group topper Steve McPherson is especially fond of this new "Angels" concept.

However, as Variety also points out, the networks have found it a frequent challenge to reboot iconic franchises — and several recent attempts, such as "Knight Rider," "Melrose Place" and "The Bionic Woman" have failed to excite anyone, audiences and critics alike.

But ABC, in particular, seems pretty confident lately about classic re-dos, mainly because of the success of the new "V" show - which debuted to high ratings (if failing a little bit with its second episode).

Meanwhile, too, Sony is also busy adapting another 1970s Spelling (and Goldberg-produced) property, "Fantasy Island" — but as a reality show, along with Mark Burnett. (But No American network is attached yet.)

Spelling had attempted a revival in 1988, with something called called "Angels 88" for Fox. That series never sailed, but it ultimately led to Spelling's deal to produce the original "Beverly Hills 90210" (now also enjoying a revival, via the CW) - which itself, according to Spelling, was inspired by ABC's ground-breaking drama, "Life Goes On" (which see "Life" Story - The Book of "Life Goes On": TV's First and Best Family Show of Challenge by Herbie J Pilato).

The franchise then lay flat until 2000, when the McG-helmed "Charlie's Angels" feature, starring Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz, was a box office smash. The first film then gave birth to a second edition, "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle." And a third was planned - but no dice.

The 2000 "Angels" motion picture also led to an earlier attempt at a TV series revival, in 2004. That edition was penned for ABC (again, through Sony) by a pre-"Lost" Carlton Cuse and John Wirth and given a script-plus-penalty order but ultimately didn't see the light of day.

This time around, an "Angels" pilot is expected to be given the go-ahead. Friedman, Goldberg and Barrymore will exec produce with Nancy Juvonen.

Friedman's other credits include co-writing the features "War of the Worlds" and "The Black Dahlia."

Beyond "Angels" and "Fantasy Island," Goldberg was an exec producer on "Starsky and Hutch," "Hart to Hart" and "Family."

It is believed that the new "Charlie's Angels" TV series will geared toward a new generation while remaining loyal to the original series.

I'm remaining positive and hope that will be end up being a true statement.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Herbie J Thinks...

Herbie J thinks...

...therefore he is.

...in no uncertain terms.

...thinks in no rinky-dink terms.

...you can't have one without the other.

...thinks tanks should be no more.

...thinks he can, thinks he can, thinks he can.

...thinks you're right.

...thinks you're alright.

...thinks the world of you.

...thinks he's got it, by George.

...thinks you're an angel.

...thinks everything's gonna be okay.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Herbie J Pilato Recaps Facebook Status For The Day

* Herbie J Pilato suggests you move your patio from the back to the front of your house and turn it into a porch.

* Herbie J Pilato grew up in a beautiful family whose home was always open to neighbors, friends and extended family. This Thanksgiving, and every Thanksgiving and every day, feed somebody.

* Herbie J Pilato suggests you pay your bills and live within your means.

* Herbie J Pilato once swept floors and cleaned the meatroom for Topps Supermarkets. And he was the best floor sweeper and meatroom cleaner in the county. So be great where you are so you can be even greater where you want to be.

* Herbie J Pilato believes that charity begins at home...tax free, wtihout there being anything in it for you.

* Herbie J Pilato believes that raising kind, loving children (biologically or through adoption) who grow to become positive contributing members of society does more for the Universe and the development of your soul (and theirs) then if you were to give away one million dollars a day.

* Herbie J Pilato suggests you not become "caught up" with the "properity preachers" who tell you God wants you to be rich. God doesn't give a flying fig about your bank account. All God cares about is how much you Love - and what you DO with your bank account. So be generous, mindful and loving-kind...without glorifying yourself or letting anyone know about it.

* Herbie J Pilato says "go for it!" Go make your money, build your dream house, sell that script, sing that song, win that case or big game and ask out your secret crush. But just remember to shine your Light all along the beautiful way.

* Herbie J Pilato suggests you find your "true love," but not to be distracted with false romantic notions that keep you from your "purest" love.

* Herbie J Pilato believes the Universe is not only waiting for you to do what you came here to do - but the Universe is DEPENDING on you to do it. Please stick to the plan and follow through.

* Herbie J Pilato is telling you straight-up: No one thing is the answer. It's all PART of the answer.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

How To Feel Like A Dog And Make It Work For You

A dog knows when you have positive or negative intentions and/or emotions, not only by the fluctuating "high-happy" or "low-sad" pitched inflections of your vocal chords (high-happy, sounding something like: "Com'ere, baby...! Come on...come on! There ya' go!) - but also in the "sense" that he or she receives, instinctively.

Humans, meanwhile, may also act on those same instincts or intuition. If something doesn't "feel" right about a person or a situation, that's our dog or "spider" senses tingling. And we should adhere to them.

If we ourselves are dispersing not-so-positive "vibrations," then we better get to the bottom of our ill manner, delete it from your "system," and go on our merry way.

Essentially, everyone loves the carefree spirit. And it's not always easy to retain such a happy spirit in these challenging times. But one thing is for sure:

Retaining a carefree spirit has the power to transform each of us into "Magnets of Light."

I know...sounds melodramatic. But here's the deal:

Our individual potential "Magnet of Light" personas or "Carefree Spirits," may be reflected and/or increased by one very simple phrase and response to life's general issues:

"It's okay. It's alright. No problem."

When we employ such a phrase (or at least the carefree temperament that such a phrase implies) in response to the general challenges of life (i.e. stuck in traffic, not always getting your way, etc.), things tend to work out pretty well (one way or the other).

Can't really explain how it works; just know that it does.

Either way, couldn't hurt to try it, right?

'Course not.

Because either way, "It's okay. It's alright. No problem."

"Journey's" Journey

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuBMKzxAs1c

Friday, November 06, 2009

Giving Time

I believe that the most you can give someone is your time.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

"Happy Birthday to St. Frances of Turri"

My Mom would have turned 88 today, had she not passed into spirit on May 5th, 2008. Every good thing that I am, think, say and/or do, is because of the great Light and Love that God granted me through both my Mom and my Dad (St. Pompeii).

I refer to my Mom here as "St. Frances of Turri," because first of all "St. Frances" is how she she referred to herself in her later years. And not her maiden name, "Turri," is also the name of a small village in Italy...which I'm thinking her Dad was from.

Meanwhile, my father's original name was "Pompeii," also named after a city. And that's why I now refer to him as "St. Pompeii."

Either way, when I speak of one - I find it difficult not to speak of the other...as they were (and remain) such an integral part of my life and upbringing.

In any case, I celebrated their lives when they were on Earth, and I celebrate their spiritual lives in Heaven. And I know that they are helping me in ways in which they were unable to do so forever.

So I bless them forever by being the best person I can be...by waking up everyday and making every attempt to do good...to "be" good...in honor of them...and the legacy of Love that God left me THROUGH them.

Because "Honor Thy Mother and Father" means just that...to honor the life that God gave me by way of my beautiful parents....to live my life to its fullest potential...employing loving-kindness each step of the way.

-------------------------------------------------
For more about my parents, please see link below.

http://herbiejpilato.blogspot.com/2008/05/nothingbut-everything-tribute-to-my-mom.html