Friday, December 29, 2006

I Blame the Media Blamers

Actually, maybe it's OK to just blame the media? Flaxey flys safely as predicted. Only 7" of snow actually fell (versus the 20+ inches predicted by the media to sell their newscasts). DIA stayed open (after they figured out they should plow the ramps).

Any Lessons Learned here? (Don't let the Guest Blogger loose while Flaxey plays in the snow.)

The Guest Blogger

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Fly on Flaxey...Fly on

Nothing excites the Denver media more than the threat of a good storm (except perhaps the illusion that the Broncos will go to the superbowl). The impending storm is being downgraded like a K-Fed CD in the bargain bin.

Fly on Flaxey, Hell is only half-full.

The Guest Blogger

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


This is What the 14th Circle of Hell Looks Like

I am now trudging, searching and digging, through site after site of weather maps, forecasts, radar, NOAA models, low pressure, high pressure and various fronts.

All in the hope that it will turn up some small nugget of information that will make a decision about my impending flight to Denver.

I am at the ready. I've researched the timetables. It still won't matter.

It doesn't look good and I have uncovered nothing except the fact that I've quite possibly made a serious vocational error. Meteorologists make a lot more money.

Nothing has changed except United already anticipates canceling flights and have extended their change waiver through the 30th. They are giving us a big giant clue right there.

If you look at the radar right now, you'd say, "Nothing is there, it's clear." I did that last week and look where I ended up; in the city of angels for Christmas by myself.

As someone wise just said:

Lessons learned are not always lessons remembered.

The Universe Has Spoken

If it was not clear before it is transparent now...

More snow is on the way to Denver

Yes, it's supposed to hit on the new day I am to fly out to try and have Christmas a week later. I don't think it will happen.

I must be in my own version of LA Story when the sentient freeway sign tells Steve Martin that the weather will change his life. Because other than that what are the chances that paralyzing snowstorms would hit in exact conjunction with both of my trips?

That is all. I am beyond any description of emotion. There just aren't enough words.

Friday, December 22, 2006

It's a War Zone!

The official word from Denver is "Forget Katrina, What about Us!?!"

For the record, I did try to prepare for the certain cancellation of my flight. I just didn't pull the plug soon enough.

The lessons we have learned; at the first sign of trouble, bolt! and never, ever, ever mock the storm!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Weather Wins

I will not likely see the inside of any airport this holiday.

The whole city is shut down.

The only upside is that I am not one of the 3,000 stranded travelers sleeping in the airport.

And even though there is nothing anyone, anywhere, can do, I am sad and frankly can't write anymore about it because it just makes me sob.

Snow is the Devil

There's Snow in the Forecast, Flaxey!

Well, it has already begun.

Usually it starts once I'm already at the airport, but not this time.
Two feet of snow has already started to ground flights and wreak havoc upon the Denver area.

Will I get home for Christmas? That remains to be seen.

The reporter in me says, "Stay tuned for updates on this story as it develops"

Friday, December 15, 2006

Coming Soon to a Record Store Near You

I know, I know, record stores barely exist anymore...

So, I finally did something I was afraid of for as many years as I've been writing songs; I performed one for a classroom full of strangers.

Now, I have been collaborating for quite sometime now and have shared these songs with those co-writers but never, ever to more than one person in this fashion. So, since I am working on this particular song so it can be demo-ed, I decided it was high time to expose it to the masses and face the potential rejection.

It was my turn to sing and I was so nervous I was shaking, which probably hasn't ever happened, even when I was a first grader competing in my first talent show.
And when I was done, the energy of the room had changed and it was all positive. They actually liked the song and I left giddy and breathing a sigh of relief that I am not a terrible songwriter at all!

And since we're talking about music, I recommend the following, until you can buy my album:

Augustana, Dashboard Confessional, India.Arie's remake of "The Heart of the Matter", The Submarines, Ray LaMontagne (especially the track "Three More Days") and The Raconteurs.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Modern Inventions Worth Noting

Ready to Serve Bacon from Oscar Meyer is the greatest thing that was ever invented by the convenience food people.
It's quick, and delicious and so fast that you can never be distracted and end up burning it.

I was skeptical at first, I admit, and it may not be as economical, but if you are always burning bacon like I am, this is the best solution.

I would also like to note the Swiffer family of products for dusting and mopping. These items have been around for a few years now but how brilliant is it that you don't have to get out a bucket and a mop anymore to create a clean floor?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Thoughts Now Cost a Dollar-Fifty

I have let too many things slide by. I was jolted into this realization when an old friend called me out of the blue yesterday.

It's amazing how we let our relationships just fade because we are unwilling to sacrifice.

That's all this is anyway, this life, it's relationships.
Talking about them, living them, trying to have them, maintaining them, longing for them.
As individuals we cannot survive or be happy without them. This is what really matters. Yet, we are narcissists and cannot see beyond our own desires, our own fears.
We are locked inside ourselves and are constantly screaming to get out.

We want someone to know us in a way that we can no longer hide and still we are afraid of judgment, failure, unreciprocated feelings, reciprocated feelings and commitment (and I'm sure a whole laundry list of others).

But it's so much better to love others with reckless abandon. There is no consequence in that. What causes pain and suffering, which is always optional by the way, is the limitations we put on ourselves and our interactions with others, also known as relationships. These are the cages we stay locked in that are of our own making.

I know that I no longer want to ignore those ships I'm already sailing on because it keeps me locked in that cage, climbing the walls. It costs me nothing to truly care deeply about others. Rather, it's money in the bank.

Nature does not give to those who will not spend.
You only get to keep what you give away.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Gobble, Gobble

I will not be traveling this year for the day of the turkey. It is the first time in my life that I will be on my own and not with family. A fish out of water, if you will.

It was just not possible this year, sadly, airfares being what they were, even in August. In a way I am relieved that I won't have to go through the madness at any airports, but my feelings of melancholy and aloneness are only reinforced. Which I have been feeling a lot of lately anyway.

There have been too many hours at work, not enough sleep, not enough of anything, except stress and sadness.

All I can say is that it's time to dust off the "Manual of Change" once again.
That is, once I get some rest.

At any rate, I say Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Flaxey Takes the Train

I took the train to Chinatown with members of my Urban Family on Saturday.
I know, the train in LOS ANGELES??? Yes, indeed. It was fun and Union Station is so architecturally romantic and makes me long for simple days of wearing traveling clothes, a hat and gloves and hearing the "All Aboard!"

As I stood holding on to the rail, a man boarded and sat next to my friends. He had either a harelip or was in a knife fight and basically looked the hunch back from the Disney movie. As one often does you don't make eye contact and if you accidentally do, you smile politely and then look away. This occurred and that was that.

He listened to the four of us talk and joke and was amused by our stories as well. And as this was occurring, I watched him and thought to myself, how very sad this man probably is. I observed his clothes and the plastic bag he was carrying, his coat and his hair. I thought about his life, getting on this train because he has to get to work downtown somewhere, probably to clean up after others; that this is the only kind of job he can get because of his appearance and education. His economic situation will never change for these same reasons. He wasn't wearing a wedding ring, and if he was married he probably couldn't afford one anyway.
I don't think that man on the train ever had someone to love him. You could just see it on his face.

All of this made me sad for him. I thought how hard everyone struggles for every little thing they have. How all anyone really wants is to love and be loved. Which is really simple but so difficult to experience.

It made me grateful right then and there, that I, not only had three people there on that train who loved me, but so many others too and that I love deeply in return.

Doses of perspective always come along when you need them most, don't they?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Big Hat, No Cattle

When I learned this phrase and its meaning, I was enthralled. I knew it applied somehow and that it had brilliance in its many, many meanings. So, I saved it and tonight it struck me.

It is also known as 'all talk and no action'. But I like the cowpoke imagery better. It's more romantic and seems to imply a slightly more innocent and comedic tone.

I know these people. I am often times frustrated by them. Sometimes they make me cry. Truly, as in tears rolling down the face.

These are the ones that we hang on to and hope will change and give us what we want, but never do. They know the right words to say that make us believe they have the cattle; that their intentions are sound and true. With these words we are lured into trusting them and even count on them to produce those cattle when we show up on auction day at the county fair.

We believe them when they say we can lean on them in times of trouble.
We believe them when they say that they will show up on time.
We believe them when they say they care.
We believe them when they offer to help lift the heavy bales and clean up the barn.

Except when we've borrowed the F150 to get to the fairgrounds and then plodded through the dirt we find that the cattle are nowhere to be found and all that is left is the stench of manure wafting through the air.

I think they are afraid. Afterall, cattle can be scary.
It's a big responsibility to raise a herd and then be able to show them at fair.
An imperfect cow will cost you the blue ribbon.

But that's just it, nothing is perfect, nothing.
And frankly, every cow deserves a fighting chance.

What we're talking about is the integrity of words into action. It's so simple and can be so frightening. There is risk involved when we stop just talking about doing something and instead actually do it.

It's scary to tell someone that you love them. You risk rejection.
It's scary to quit your job and follow a dream. You risk a livelihood.
It's scary to allow others to help you out. It's scary to be the one to help.
Both require commitment. Sometimes physical, sometimes emotional, sometimes both.

But we have to shut up and stop spewing niceties and lies at people.
Stop saying you're fine when you're not. Stop spinning the truth because it makes a better story. Stop telling someone that you'll do something you'll never do. Stop going through the motions.

Take the big hat off of your head, and then even though it might take all night, head out to pasture and round up those cattle and bring 'em down to the 4-H building.

The rest of us are waiting with peach pie and cotton candy.

You don't want to miss that do you?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Enough is Enough

I wish it were still raining here but instead the sun has decided to reappear.
This does not match my mood. If rainy were an emotion that's what I would be.

Luckily, I'm not burning any food this time but my mind is heavy with 'things' and I did cut myself while washing knives. I think they call it the precipice of change.

I'm not against change per se but I am not a fan of the effort it requires. I'm already tired and I want to retreat. What is it with this time of year? I feel alone and melancholy.

I think that's all I have to say.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

You Can Make It If You Try

You can't be beaten at anything,
until you quit in your own mind.
There is no failure except in your not trying.
There is no defeat except from within.

You have no really insurmountable barrier except
your own inherent weakness of purpose.
The odds are with you if you keep on trying.

Consider yourself on a very long journey.
Sustain your personal vision of success until you achieve it.
In the end, you can only fail if you don't try.

Winning isn't everything, but wanting to is.
Success is a road that's paved with perseverance.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Perspective Bites Like a Rabid Monkey

This time a year ago I was sitting in a hospital waiting for news about the outcome of my Dad's emergency surgery. Today I sit at my desk eating tacos, thinking about that week. I find myself asking what has changed since then. Am I where I thought I would be? Am I who I thought I would be?

What's interesting about those questions is that we often ask them but we always know what the answer is. "No, of course not."

I used to hang on to things so tightly; outcomes, emotions, teddy bears, but I've loosened my grip on those things more and more since then. Save the bear, that is. How can you let go of a bear named Howard? You can't, but I digress.

There are few universal truths and most of the time we ignore them. More than anything I think that "life (the universe, god, et al) brings you exactly what you need" is one of the most absolute.

Which can be a hard pill to swallow at times when it seems painful. But rest assured it is better to embrace and live than hide from it.

That's exactly what my Dad did. He didn't give in to the pain or give himself over to emotional misery, even when he wanted to. A lesson he had taught me all my life but it was never more clear until then.

That week I finally understood, loosened my grip on things that don't matter and that's what has changed me. That's how I am different. That's how I am who I am today, not attached to the outcome, not crying as much, eating tacos at my desk, thankful that it is a year later and he is still here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Flaxey and the Fly Boy

I love flying in airplanes. I really do. I like airports and baggage claim. Ground transportation and that swift train with the voice of Reynelda Muse telling me I've reached Concourse A at DIA.
I love telling my traveling tales too. And guess what? I flew recently and here I am with another story for you.

It's a rather uneventful tale this time. I didn't yell at anyone and there were no altercations with the TSA. I'll also save you my pontificating on the absurdity of being able to put scissors in your carry-on luggage but not a tube of lip gloss that has already been used. I don't want Homeland Security to come after me.

The trip to my home state was pleasant enough once onboard. I can't really complain too much about the flight delay as it's bound to happen when you wait for planes from Las Vegas. But the other main reason I won't harp on this detail is because once all those Vegas passengers de-planed in Sin City the amount of people continuing on to Denver was minimal and I was able to lay down and go to sleep for the two hour flight. This is unprecedented in today's flying climate.
Usually every seat is taken and flying the cattle call airline is an unpleasant chore. But not this time! This could have occurred on the return flight as well had I had the good sense to move to the back of the plane instead of stay at the front.

This boring blog entry is nearly done, friends. I leave you with the following thoughts...

"You cannot see anything that you do not first contemplate as a reality."

-- Ramtha

"Belief has the word ‘lie’ in it... and that pretty much sums up what the world
has us believing about ourselves."

-- Doug Firebaugh

"We are what we believe we are."

-- Benjamin N. Cardozo

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Why I Love John Mayer

1. His first record was Debbie Gibson's Out of the Blue

2. His music rocks

3. He used to tape the radio , as I used to do all the time as a teenager

Why are there only three reasons? You only need three reasons to love someone.

Please people I beg of you, love him too.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Paddle On

We're all in the same boat. We just have different paddles, and perhaps we find ourselves on different rivers. We all live in human bodies. These are the vehicles in which we move through our world. We are all made of flesh, blood, and bone, with brains, hearts, and lungs to power us. Our paddles-the tools we use to move through the world-vary, as do the bodies of water-the environments-in which we find ourselves.

Some of us use our high IQs to get where we want to go. Some of use our smiles; others use kindness, a gift with language, or athletic ability. Some of these qualities we were born with and others are skills we have learned. Considering this metaphor in light of your own life can be very enlightening. What tools are you using to get from point A to point B in your life? Chances are you and the people you know have used many different tools in various combinations throughout your lives to get where you needed to go. Just as with oars or paddles, a balanced approach is best. If you rely too much on one thing, like beauty, to open doors, you fail to be well-rounded and you may eventually lose your equilibrium. And if you lose that one quality, you have no paddle at all. This is inspiration to develop multiple tools to navigate your world.

Some of us may be moving along paths that are like rushing rivers; others may be on a large, still lake. We have all felt, at one time or another, tossed about on a stormy ocean. Through all this, we are never really alone, even though it might seem that way. There is inspiration all around us in the form of other people making their way through the world, in the very same boat. Remember to look around you for role models, companionship, and encouragement.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I've Lost Interest

For those of you waiting, maybe even holding your breath, for the continuation of the Yosemite adventure. You'll have to keep holding it. It's not coming. It's not even in draft.

Granted there are several more days of exciting tales and encounters with blundering idiots, especially the fools on the Ranger walk at the Sequioa grove, but it's going to take some coffee gift cards and maybe a balloon with a smiley face or a rainbow on it to help me finish retyping the handwritten version.

For now you'll have to enjoy the above pithiness (pithy has to be my all time favorite word, well other than penchant and sentient) and keep the home fires burning for yourselves.


Monday, July 10, 2006

"The Mountains Are Calling and I Must Go"

Citygirl and Mower recently went to Yosemite National Park to make their way to the top of a large slab of granite. Here's what happened.

Day One
Arrived in Yosemite Valley and checked into Curry Village
Ate pizza at very crowded pizza patio
drank beers too
troubles sleeping in tent cabins
dreams about bears

Day Two
Saw Black Bear at 5AM in Curry Camp - strolling past our cabin
attempted to get wilderness permit - denied
ate breakfast after searching unsuccessfully for forgotten items (citygirl's contact lens case)
Hiked to Mirror Lake (5 miles) Mower almost feels the sting of the western rattlesnake when he steps in the wrong direction
swam in Curry pool - fought off annoying children
showered in evil showers
ate picnic dinner
took naps

Day Three
Attempted wilderness permit again - success!
Went to watercolor art class - endured long diatribe on the color wheel and the 'values' depicted in a black and white photocopy - bailed on art class
went to Ansel Adams gallery, bought souveniers
Bear Walk with Ranger Shelton Johnson

shopped for remaining items for big hike
carbo-loaded at Yosemite Lodge food court - pasta dinners all around!
Back to Curry to load those packs!

Day Four
Wildreness Permit in hand, depart for John Muir Trail to Half Dome at 5AM
Hike our asses off - reach Little Yosemite Valley at 10AM
Set up camp - pitch tent, stow items in bear locker
Leave for the Dome at 11ish - only 4 more miles to go!
Reach the base of the steep shoulder at 130ish
Help unprepared dehydrated Houston boy scouts down the steep granite switchbacks of doom, but do not summit
Return to camp - cook dinner (in a bag), filter water from the Merced River for the return trip
Retire to tent with celebratory marshmallows, chocolate and sake in a flask!
Sleep and hope the resident bear doesn't come to sniff our feet and lick our faces!

To Be Continued

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Post Bump - Blog Anniversary Redux

I'm bumping this post because, well, I can. And I like it and I think it's pithy. Oh, and the sheep are cute.

I can't sleep. That's why I'm posting. I also have nothing to say. Which will either make this really funny as I ramble on with random thoughts or really dull as I ramble on with random thoughts.

This blog will see its one year anniversary at the end of this month and I'd like to thank or rather blame the guest blogger, whose identity I'll protect (after all what kind of spy would I be?) , for fueling the pressure to post insightful and pithy musings as often as possible.

How did it all start? In a Red Robin over a bad meal. I encourage a re-read of the first entry. You'll laugh and laugh because it's true.

I think the greatest accomplishment of the instigator of the blogging madness, is that the bloggers have multiplied henceforth. Sphere of influence my friends.

It's now one hour later; I have now tired of this and will attempt, futilely I'm sure, to seek restful slumber.
So, until next the archives. (I enjoy the stories about air travel the best)


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Flaxey's Flag Day

It's here! June 14th. The BEST holiday of all time, well except for Cow Appreciation day. So, it's the 2nd best holiday of all time.

Wave it loud and wave it proud people, today is Flag Day.

I know everyone says Christmas or Halloween but really Flag Day is better. You know it is. Who cares if you're patriotic or not? You don't have to send cards or get gifts and there aren't large department store displays urging you to depart with your disposable income. So, embrace it. Live it. Love it.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Tales From the Trail or Toxin Man and Fuchsia Lips

I'm hiking like a fiend in preparation for a big hike later this summer. There are a lot of cool trails in the LA area and you'd never even know it. Check out for hikes near you.
Here is a brief log of sites and sounds from my time on the trail.

Hike #1: Lizards. Lots of little harmless lizards.

Hike #2:
Man on Bike stops to point out that I am in need of sunscreen because my arms are red. No dude, it's called circulation. Maybe your heart isn't working but mine is. Jeez!

Snake. Rattlesnake. Coiled - strike position snake.

Need I say more?

Hike #3: Snake. Garden Variety but quite large. Slithering away.

Hike #4:
Polite 'Hello' with woman sporting fuchsia lipstick. I guess it's one way to make sure they find you if you get lost.

Bunnies. Multitudes of rabbits.
One lizard. No snakes.

Second polite hello with man who doesn't like the overcast cool weather. I disagree. He rambles on to say that one must sweat as it releases toxins. I acknowledge this ridiculous notion true or not and he continues to pontificate the release of toxins through sweat but I can no longer hear him as I have bounded on up the trail. Maybe he should bust a move on the trail and he'd be sweating because I am.

The bunny sightings continue.

Fuchsia Lips has not made it up the mountain and I meet her again on the way down. Poor Fuchsia lips.