About Me

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My human, Mia, has been working so hard. She is so inspired by my plan. My plan is to go all over the United States meeting new and wonderful people, to share their stories, and to find the connection between all people. Mia is so wonderful, and I want to meet more wonderful humans like her.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Today in honor of Thanksgiving I will be thankful / grateful. I saw this on you tube and really liked it.  I choose not to participate in the same way, but I have been living a life of gratitude for quite sometime.

What I've seen living a life of gratitude is no matter what happens life IS and can be good.  "Bad" things do happen and "Good" always comes out.  As long as we (people & dogs) are willing to continue to support each other & be the good that there is in the world, than we ALL have something to be grateful for.

Since today is Thanksgiving I will now list what I'm thankful for:
Mia - She is the best pet ever! And without her this trip would not be possible
Mia's Parents - They raised her to be an adventurous girl
Mia's Family & Friends - With out their support & hospitality this trip would not be possible
Strangers - Their kindness helps Mia and I through some of the "bad" times and to see the "good"
Sunbeams - Their warm is unmatched. The only way to improve a sunbeam is to add Mia in for cuddling
Stuffed animals - I can rough house with them, since I play nice with Mia
Delicious food - Mia gave me ham & cheese today

I'm thankful to YOU my blog readers - It is your views and feedback that show me how wonderful people are, that people are indeed interested in things outside of themselves it is very generous of you to read my blog. 
Thank you
I encourage you to participate in living a gratitude filled life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm still here!!!

WOW! It has been a crazy and amazing month!!!  I was without internet connection for almost a solid two weeks! So I'm now behind the times.  
Mia and I have been going full force all month in NC & SC. The rest of this week I'll have internet connection and I'll space the blogs out but will get current by the end of this coming Thanksgiving weekend.  
Thank you all for your patience and support, and I appreciate the people that sent me messages checking in on me. 
It's always nice to know you're loved. :)
For those of you on Facebook friend request me there....  I've posted some pictures there already. The rest will come later this week on here and on Facebook.

Friday, November 12, 2010

11-5-10 - Clown Workshop

Taco the Grand!

While in Staunton, VA I had a wonderful opportunity to go to a free clown workshop!  The workshop only lasted for one fun filled hour!!
 Mia & I got to create clown characters. Mia chose to name her clown Sazzy & I chose Taco the Grand.
 (not very creative but it's all I could come up with... I'm open to suggestions) 

We came up with funny walks, goofy faces, and learned about different types of clowns. We were taught we could either play our clowns big and over the top or small and really controlled.  The key to being a clown is that the world is all new, everything we experience is for the first time.
It was fun taking normal items and coming up with other uses.  Like a picnic basket is now a hat, and a pinwheel is now a flower.  I sat out for most of the class, it takes way more energy to be a clown than I have.  Mia though enjoyed participating the whole time.
At the end of the class we all got our noses!

Me with Everyone from the Workshop

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

Today Mia wants to say something:

I want to thank my Grandpa's for their service with the USA Armed Forces. I know without their sacrifice Taco and I would be unable to make this trip today. I appreciate that fact, not to mention all the other freedoms we have because of them.

It is because of the many men & women that have chosen to serve over the last 250 ish years, to create a country of freedom. It has taken millions of people to create the freedom that we have today.

Thank you, each and everyone of you!

For more blogs about our armed forces or patriotism & dedicating your life to others in service 
here are some links: Gettysburg, Washington DC, Rally, Firefighters

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

October - 3 month wrap up!

WOW!! 3 months down 9 to go!
Here's the link to August's wrap up if you missed it :) LINK 
Here's the link to September's wrap up if you missed it :) LINK

I'm now 25% of the time done with the trip!!  3 months done 9 to go.
I've done 31% of the states (15 out of 48)

Commonly asked questions
What states did you do in the month of October Sleepy Hollow, NY, Gettysburgh, PA, Philadelphia, PA, NJ, NYC, Delaware, Baltimore, Maryland, WV, Natural Bridge, VA, Richmond, VA, Washington, DC

How many states are done in total? 15     Go HERE for the list.

What's been your favorite (in Oct)?  Gettysburg, PA was deeply moving, Richmond with Freakshow Deluxe was a Blast, Washington DC made me proud to be an American; with The Rally for Sanity, and seeing Tony take care of nature, I also enjoyed NYC where I met Jarrod. Extra fun right around Halloween with the  High Heel Race in DC.

We also received our first donations through the website! If you wish to donate follow the link here:  DONATE

Trivia I learned about myself this month: This was a month of self discovery. I learned I don't do this trip alone. I was reminded of this by Jarrod,  We're all connected, and because of this the blog is taking a slightly different direction, I learned about the respect of Homelessness.   

What's been the hardest or least favorite this month? Wow this is a hard one this month! I've had a ton of fun! Natural Bridge was great but I happened to go when a lot of the things were already closed for the season.  Also we had our first (and hopefully only) Crime.

What's next? More of Va, NC, SC, GA

If you have any other questions or want more in depth answers please feel free to ask :)

This next month I'm continuing to practice the skills of staying in the present moment, and connecting with people as I meet them.  I'm also practicing being inspired by the small things, the everyday & common things of life. 

I am adding to my practice: Exercise, creating deeper connection with my family, acceptance of all people.
Will you practice with me?

First (and hopefully only) Crime

We had our first crime .  On November 2nd Mia was carrying stuff to the car so we could leave DC when she found my window broken.  Someone or something broke the front passenger window, the window I sit looking out.                                                                     
          A kind person let Mia use their phone to call the police. When the police woman arrived she took the report for Mia, and said it was probably a random accident since nothing was stolen. After Mia was finished with the officer she called the repair people and set an appointment for the next day.                                                                                                  Mia checked again to make sure nothing was missing, nothing was.  Mia knew nothing of value could have been stolen because she removes everything at night when we leave the car. So had something been stolen it would have been clothes, pillows, some bedding, and my new Tiki head. So nothing that would destroy our lives or trip.  

 This lovely man arrived to fix our window. I was surprised at how easy it was & how much glass one broken window could produce!  Mia & I had a great visit while he replaced the window.  While talking I realized two things: 1 is crime can happen anywhere, it doesn't make DC more or less dangerous than anywhere else. 2 it is my choice to live scared, I can choose to be scared by my window being broken to think about the danger I  may have been in, or I can choose to put it in the perspective that Mia has. 
Mia said she's been alive almost 4 decades and this is the first broken window she's seen in her family, so it's not common. 

It's all part of the adventure! 
And we've gotten to experience something we've never experienced before!
Now we've experienced crime... so no need for any more :)

Thank you Prince of Petworth!

Thank you to Prince of Petworth for having be one of your "animal afternoon fix" pictures yesterday!

I appreciate you thinking I'm cute enough to be shared with all the local DC pets you post.

To my readers, Please comment on the Prince of Petworth page thanking them for their support.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Rally for Sanity - Jon Stewart's speech - Patrotism

Mia went to the Rally to Restore Sanity, sponsored by Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart". I didn't understand why they were doing the rally so I stayed home, plus it seemed safer for a 3 lb chi-wow-wow at home curled up on the couch. 

Mia, and the friends we're staying with, took off about 10 am for the rally that was supposed to be from noon till 3pm.  So I was surprised to see all of them return at approximately 1:30. They turned on the TV to watch the rest of the rally. Mia said they were at about 5th street (very close really) but they couldn't see or hear anything, and thought it best to come home and see it on TV. She said Comedy Central had expected about 50,000 people but instead about 300,00 showed up!!  (Jon  Stewart may want to think about a bigger market than Comedy Central)

So the rally was fun to watch, Steven Colbert & Jon Stewart were funny at times & just plain goofy at others.  There were so many musical guests and famous people, I was impressed by that. 

Mia however was impressed by Jon Stewart's closing words (posted below).

Here's Mia's take on the speech:

I was moved by what Jon Stewart said at the end of the rally.  He starts of just saying what he intended for the rally to be.  It was a rally to say yes these times are difficult and scary, but that our time is only a hard time, not the end of times. 
That we over emphasize EVERYTHING.  If everything is amplified, we hear nothing & the important stuff is missed.
We need to remember our lives are reflected in our communities around us, not in the news or TV.  We have to remember they are amplifying and magnifying everything.  If we take their truth as our own, the world is a dismal place.  This is not the place I live in.
At the end of the speech Jon thanks everyone for coming out that their being present restores his faith and sanity in the American Public. 

I have to agree with Jon. I was pleasantly surprised that with so many people at the mall it was peaceful & fun. That the people present were there for hope & unity.  I saw very few political signs, and none were pushing a specific campaign. Most signs were fun but still had a message. Besides being crammed in like sardines the people were patient and waited calmly for the crowd to move. 
There were the few jerks it's to be expected, but it wasn't the norm & even they knew not to cause a scene, it's not what we were there for.

What I'd like to say is: 
We may have restored your hope & sanity on that day, 
but it was you that restored mine with your speech & gathering the people you gathered!


Jon Stewart's Speech
“I can’t control what people think this was.  I can only tell you my intentions. This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith or people of activism or to look down our noses at the heartland or passionate argument or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear.  They are and we do.  But we live now in hard times, not end times.  And we can have animus and not be enemies. 
But unfortunately one of our main tools in delineating the two broke.  The country’s 24 hour political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator did not cause our problems but its existence makes solving them that much harder.  The press can hold its magnifying up to our problems bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous flaming ant epidemic. 
If we amplify everything we hear nothing.  There are terrorists and racists and Stalinists and theocrats but those are titles that must be earned.  You must have the resume.  Not being able to distinguish between real racists and Tea Partiers or real bigots and Juan Williams and Rick Sanchez is an insult, not only to those people but to the racists themselves who have put in the exhausting effort it takes to hate--just as the inability to distinguish terrorists from Muslims makes us less safe not more.  The press is our immune system.  If we overreact to everything we actually get sicker--and perhaps eczema. 
And yet, with that being said, I feel good—strangely, calmly good.  Because the image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false.  It is us through a fun house mirror, and not the good kind that makes you look slim in the waist and maybe taller, but the kind where you have a giant forehead and an ass shaped like a month old pumpkin and one eyeball.
So, why would we work together?  Why would you reach across the aisle to a pumpkin assed forehead eyeball monster?  If the picture of us were true, of course, our inability to solve problems would actually be quite sane and reasonable.  Why would you work with Marxists actively subverting our Constitution or racists and homophobes who see no one’s humanity but their own?  We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is—on the brink of catastrophe—torn by polarizing hate and how it’s a shame that we can’t work together to get things done, but the truth is we do.  We work together to get things done every damn day!
Look on the screen. This is where we are. This is who we are.  (points to the Jumbotron screen which show traffic merging into a tunnel).  These cars—that’s a schoolteacher who probably thinks his taxes are too high.  He’s going to work.  There’s another car-a woman with two small kids who can’t really think about anything else right now.  There’s another car, swinging, I don’t even know if you can see it—the lady’s in the NRA and she loves Oprah.  There’s another car—an investment banker, gay, also likes Oprah.  Another car’s a Latino carpenter.  Another car a fundamentalist vacuum salesman.  Atheist obstetrician.  Mormon Jay-Z fan.  But this is us.  Every one of the cars that you see is filled with individuals of strong belief and principles they hold dear—often principles and beliefs in direct opposition to their fellow travelers. 
And yet these millions of cars must somehow find a way to squeeze one by one into a mile long 30 foot wide tunnel carved underneath a mighty river.  Carved, by the way, by people who I’m sure had their differences.  And they do it.  Concession by conscession.  You go.  Then I’ll go.  You go. Then I’ll go.  You go then I’ll go. Oh my God, is that an NRA sticker on your car?  Is that an Obama sticker on your car? Well, that’s okay—you go and then I’ll go.
And sure, at some point there will be a selfish jerk who zips up the shoulder and cuts in at the last minute, but that individual is rare and he is scorned and not hired as an analyst. 
Because we know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light we have to work together. And the truth is, there will always be darkness.  And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey.  But we do it anyway, together.
If you want to know why I’m here and want I want from you, I can only assure you this: you have already given it to me.  Your presence was what I wanted. 
Sanity will always be and has always been in the eye of the beholder.  To see you here today and the kind of people that you are has restored mine.  Thank you."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Love of Animals - Responsible Citizens

We were walking along the FDR memorial in DC when we saw a squirrel  jumping around in the grass. We stopped to see why or what it was doing, since this isn't a normal activity for a squirrel. We saw the poor thing had it's head stuck in a small box of some sort. 
One of the guys with Mia & I, Tony, went over  to help the poor little guy.  Even though it was an animal in distress and needed help you never know how an animal will react once you release it. So Tony tried holding the box down with his foot to let the squirrel back out on its own. But that didn't work.
So Tony had to muster the courage to lean down and grab the box with his hand to pull it off for the squirrel. As I said before you never know what an animal will do once it's released from danger. Luckily the squirrel ran backwards and went straight up a tree. 
We of course always hear about disposing of our trash properly and not littering. We also hear about how we need to cut loops & plastics apart so animals won't suffocate on them. I wonder how many of us do that, really. I know Mia is sometimes lazy about cutting stuff up.                                                                                                                          I know I'd never seen an actual animal suffering because of the trash we leave behind. It was very sad to see, that squirrel hurting itself because of human's waste. Mia keeps me safe, but not all animals have a human to watch over them.

I also found it ironic as I thought about the world's trash being to an overwhelming amount that I noticed it was an "Atkins Diet Shake" box that the poor squirrel had been stuck in. 

I wonder if these multiple symptoms are from potentially only one problem. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

High Heel Race - Expansion of ideas

Maria singing "Fare well, Goodnight...."

On the Tuesday before Halloween there is a fun tradition on 17th Street NW in DC.  Men adorn High Heel Shoes and run approximatively 5 blocks. 

The race itself lasts only about 6 minutes, but the 3 hours before the race is where all the fun takes place. The runners don't just wear high heels some dress up. There is popular characters (Snookie, the Disney Princesses) while others reflect current events (the miners, elections) and sometimes they were just for fun (The Facts of Life cast, Lady Gaga). With all this adornment participants walk up and down the race route & through the surrounding areas. They mix with the crowds, pose for pictures, or perform as their characters. 

I never heard a number of how many runners there were, I'd guess less than 100 runners. The newspaper estimated 20,000 people were there to watch the race.

I love the concept of this race, to just have some fun, to be silly as adults.  It was fun to watch and to be apart of the atmosphere. 

Some of the runners were there also representing charities, and passing out pamphlets.  I thought it would be a great way to expand this fun event, to run for charities.  Passing out information is a wonderful thing, I wanted to donate to one of the causes but there was no way to donate right then. 

Later during the race I thought if I lived local I'd have friends and family sponsor me, or a group of friends, to run for a charity. I thought that would be a fun way to expand this great event!

Washington DC at Halloween is a place of ease and fun!  Thank you for this great time DC. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Washington, DC

I've spent the past two weeks here in Washington, DC.
Mia has been here twice before, but since this was my first time to come and see all the sites.
Mia went with me so I could pose for pictures.

I got to see TONS of things.  This city has more to offer than ANYONE could ever see!

I got to go to 5 of the national museums including the Art, American history, Natural history.
I saw all the monuments right around the mall. I made a trip out to the African American Civil War Monument and Arlington Cemetery too.

I was here for the Rally to Restore Sanity, the High Heel Race on 17th St, Halloween, Election Day, and our first crime!

Over the next few days you will see the blogs about some of those places or events. 

I was moved while being here in DC. 

 I feel honored by the men and women that have sacrificed themselves either in war, or even by dedicating their lives through politics, science, or in historical preservation. 

DC is a special and unusual place. It isn't in any of the 48 states, it doesn't have any voting representation in the Congress. The city wasn't built for people to really live in, but the people here have made it warm and welcoming. The sweet little neighborhoods filled with personality. Everywhere you go, you'll round a corner and there is another great neighborhood filled with restaurants, small shops, everywhere you can find anything you might need.

Thank you Washington DC for the great time!  
I look forward to posting the blogs about  DC in the next coming days.

Thank you Prince of Petsworth for your attention!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

10-17-10 - Freak Show Deluxe Richmond, VA

I had a wonderful opportunity while I was in Richmond, VA to go to King's Dominion and see Freak Show Deluxe (FSD) perform.

They are a touring company that specializes in Side Show Performances. Ranging from burlesque dancers, circus acrobats & aerialist, to fire dancers, bed of nail laying, knife throwers & sword swallower.

At King's Dominion I saw a cast of four that included Miss Malice Aforethought, Amy Amnesia, Will Draven, and Kory Cutlip.

At the very beginning of the show they announce to not try any of these things at home and they also say everything you see is real, they are not magicians, "magic takes talent".  

I saw them perform two different sets while I was there. During which I saw fire dancing, flame throwing, bed of nails, blockhead (which is hammering a nail in your head), walking up a ladder of swords, cutting an apple in your own mouth (blindfolded  & with a chainsaw) and that's just a sampling of what they offer! 

Many of their acts make people very uncomfortable. 

Standing in the audience is fun because you get to hear the other people cope with how disturbed they are made by the "stunts".  You hear people say "Oh, that's not real" then followed by an explanation like dull swords, fake nails, stunt cement blocks brought in from Hollywood.

After watching both sets, each lasting 30 minutes, I saw a wide variety of skills & feats of daring courage.  I know I couldn't whip a bullwhip at a target and hit anything but myself!  I know I'd never have the courage to put my own hand in a fox trap let alone my tongue in a mouse trap!  And I won't even go into the jumping on broken glass, or cutting an apple with a chainsaw that is my own teeth while I'm blindfolded!

At the end of each show Amy Amnesia invites the audience to keep the show going by coming up to the front the stage & use a staple gun to tip the performers. As an audience member you "get to" staple a bill to the performers body!

I got a rare opportunity to hang out with this small selection of the FSD Family backstage. I got to ask all kinds of questions and really see them as real people, not just the side show freaks they present on stage. 

To give you some background on FSD, the company started in 2001 and is owned and run by a gentleman who calls himself, Reverand Tommy Gunn. Now on first thought you might think what kinda of Freak Wrangler is he? Pulling together people that are willing to hurt themselves for the entertainment of the audience. The truth is though Tommy Gunn has a Mater's Degree in Theater and Communications, he is a father of two, and a very nice guy. Of course though one could argue "Yeah, but he only runs this company. What about the people you saw laying on the bed of nails?"

Backstage at King's Dominion with FSD, 
was educational to say the least.

The night I was backstage Will Draven had received about $100 in tips (being stapled to his body).  So my first sight was of him pulling industrial staples from his torso, arms, and chest, 100 of them! I didn't need to ask him if that hurt: I could see droplets of blood, and the grimace on his face. 

Kory Cutlip was cleaning up the stage & getting it set for the next performance.  I asked him about how he cuts the apple blindfolded with a chainsaw especially with the apple in his mouth! He said he feels for the core and once he's hit that, he has to be done or his face is next.

Amy Amensia is so fun to watch, she is the "ring master" of these performances & she does keep the audience moving along with the show. She dances with fire at one point in the performance. On this evening it was her favorite part, since it's only 40 degrees out it warms her up. I ask her about her jumping on broken glass, I can't believe it doesn't hurt.  She corrects me, it does hurt and even more so when the glass is cold like to night, but she doesn't get cut and that's what the audience sees.

Malice is by far the one I think is crazy! Tonight I've watched her snap a mouse trap on her tongue, a fox trap on her hand, walk up a ladder of swords, swallow a 3 foot balloon, break a cement block on Kory's crotch, cut an apple in two on the back of Kory's neck with a sword, eat fire, flame throw, and light her arm on fire! Backstage she's with  her kids & talking about taking them for a ride on the ferris wheel.

What I learned from each of them is: YES IT HURTS! They were each trained on what they do & practice makes perfect.

After this two month stint of traveling for Halloween they will each return to their regularly scheduled lives. In fact you might be surprised to learn what FREAKS may live amongst YOU!

Malice is a mother of two, and going to college for her business degree. Even while on the road she's attending classes online & parenting via phone as she can.
Amy has a Bachelors in Theater from NYU, is married, and is a CPR instructor.
Draven is a struggling actor, an aspiring magician, is married, and works as a character at Universal in CA.
Kory is a construction worker, a newlywed, and has his own band.