Monday, September 26, 2011















































The ultimate intimate experience: Holding hands

Anyone can have meaningless sex. Guys go to prostitutes. Ladies can pick up one-night-stands in bars. And then there's rape. I rest my case. But to experience the ultimate in human intimacy and contact, you just can't beat holding hands.

According to the ancient Japanese medicinal art of Jin Shin Jyutsu, hand-holding is a healing act as well as an act of intimacy. So you get 2 for the price of 1 here.

Many studies have shown that in order for babies to thrive -- or even to survive -- they must have human contact, skin on skin. And what makes anyone think that we ever outgrow that need?

You just can't have meaningless hand-holding. You can't rape a hand.

Holding the hand of another human being will humanize them -- and will probably humanize you in the process too.

Hand-holding is the best medicine. So just do it.

Not only that but imagine if, instead of dropping bombs on Baghdad, George W. Bush had just told Saddam Hussein, "If you don't immediately give me all your oil, I'm going to threaten to HOLD YOUR HAND!" Perhaps if that had happened, we would have re-written history -- and all too many American vets would also still have their hands today.

And what if Barak Obama had simply told Muammar Gaddafi
, "Here's the deal. You give me all your oil and I promise to hold your hand twice a day for a week in return."

Let's train our Marines in various hand-holding techniques. After all, since God and Allah are two words for the same person and Christians and Muslims alike honor the non-violent teachings of Jesus, a Prince of hand-holding himself, then even the Taliban would be pleased.

And as for Congress? Hand-holding would work well here too. Instead of Congressional representatives making asses of themselves by always trying to legally steal from the public coffers rather than doing their jobs? They could all just join hands in a big circle, have a Kumbaya moment and then get back to what really matters -- serving the folks who elected them.

No wonder people always shake hands.

And as a public service to humanity, I am hereby offering to hold YOUR hand for 20 whole minutes -- for only 20 dollars. That's a magical dollar per minute. Such a deal! You've heard of the famous Hugging Saint of India, right? Now you've got the famous Hand-Holding Saint of Berkeley as well.

Just don't ask me to hold hands with a Koch brother. Yuck!

PS: Speaking of prostitutes, for many years I worked as a substitute teacher at our local juvenile hall. The boys were mostly in jail for gang-banging. The girls were mostly in there for prostitution. But on the whole, most of the inmates were bright kids -- and these were only the ones that got caught.

Imagine how much smarter the ones who got away with it must have been.

I always said that if any of these kids had been born into a middle-class family in the suburbs, they would have been competing to get into Harvard instead of competing to get into the best gangs or competing for the best pimp.

PPS: Has anyone but me started to notice that lately one of the major budget line items in America these days doesn't go toward repairing infrastructure or making improvements in our lives by pooling money so that we can get services at a group rate that we otherwise couldn't afford individually -- or even line items going toward educating our children so that future Americans won't all be dumb-asses.

One of the top budget line items these days seems to be dedicated to financing police riot squads that beat up America's protesting citizens. Democracy at work here? I think not.

Just today, for instance, there were protests at UC Berkeley over outrageous tuition hikes, protests on local public transit because transit cops keep shooting people, protests over the illegal lynching of Troy Davis, and protests on Wall Street about taxpayers getting raped by the banks. http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/allison-kilkenny/38581/more-footage-of-occupy-wall-street-troy-davis-protest

There seems to be a new trend here. On any one given day somewhere in America, people who are expressing their displeasure with corporatist rule are getting beaten down.

And the act of beating down all these disgruntled American citizens is getting freaking expensive! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-s0De7aTIc&feature=share

Wouldn't it just be cheaper to go back to being the way we were in the old days -- before banksters, corporatists and happy lobbyists began to openly run our country?

Plus just think of all the money we could save by not having to constantly pay out for riot gear and police overtime -- if all these demonstrators and police would just sit down together and start holding hands!

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*********************************************************


I recently got my Notary Public commission!

Need a Notary Public? Have seal, will travel. E-mail me at jpstillwater@yahoo.com and I'll stamp your document, make it official and only charge $10. Of course if you live outside of Berkeley, I may have to charge travel expenses -- but am well worth it!

****

Want something good to read? Buy my book! "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips for Touring Today's Middle East," available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. http://www.amazon.com/Bring-Your-Own-Flak-Jacket/dp/0978615719/ref=cm_pdp_rev_itm_title_1. It's like if Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain and/or Janet Evanovich went to war.

I also wrote a book about going on Hajj (also included as a chapter in "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket," but this book is cheaper -- but it's worth buying them both!) My book on the Hajj is so outstanding that I bet even Christian fundamentalists will love it! Please buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Mecca-Hajj-Lessons-Islamic-School/dp/0978615700/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238806637&sr=1-2

****

"Imagine a world where EVERY child is wanted, nurtured, protected and loved: World peace in one generation!"
You can now buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for parents and teachers. To purchase, just click here: http://www.cafepress.com/StillTWaters

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uqSuzOjM4vU/TafAFKcYz0I/AAAAAAAAFJc/Duv2LYJyUTs/s1600/IMG_0045.JPGhttp://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dlHRO-CPqf0/Tae6tLspmQI/AAAAAAAAFI0/iUKwYDK1f3A/s1600/IMG_0041.JPG

"Life is a competition. The winners are the ones who do the most good deeds." You can also buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for those of us who are still idealists in these troubled times. To purchase, just click here: http://www.cafepress.com/StillTWaters

Thursday, September 22, 2011






















































My 9-11 detective novel: Investigating the broken chain of custody of evidence


At a recent BoucherCon (http://bouchercon2011.com) murder-mystery writers' and fans convention held in St Louis this year, I'm still getting all fired up by the "Who Dun It" question.

When we first arrived, everyone who attended was given a ton of free books -- nothing better than that. Then at one event I attended, they honored Robert Randisi, an excellent crime-novel writer who, among other things, has written 550 books. "At one point, I could finish an entire book in only three days," he told me later, "but I'm getting older now and can only manage writing a couple of books a month." The man wears out four keyboards a year, he types that fast. Genius.

Next, I went to an interview with Charmaine Harris, a gentle kindly well-mannered typical Southern lady -- who also just happens to write vampire books. She is the creator of that hot new HBO series, "True Blood". And she doesn't feel bad about killing off any of her characters either, "because it's fun to write death scenes." But sometimes she resurrects them if she likes a particular character a lot. "In vampire mysteries, you can always do that." Plus her kids now think that she's actually cool.

Then I went to a panel discussion on how to write books in the post-9-11 era. That was interesting, sure, but I think perhaps that the panelists missed one very important point.

One author stated, "I'm British. We are used to terrorism in Britain. But Americans before 9-11 lived in LaLa Land." Too true.

Another author said, "People have an arc to their lives and some of them who worked at the Twin Towers never finished that arc. And that's one way of approaching a book on this subject. But whatever you write on this subject, someone is going to misinterpret it. No matter what you write, you will be in for a kicking by someone because 9-11 is still too fresh and too new. Like Vietnam, we have to distance ourselves from the event before it can be approached through literature unemotionally."

A third panel member said, "With all the coverage it has received, there is little to add to the actual event per se -- but you can tell individual stories about people who were involved." Another author was disgusted by the rampant commercialism of the recent tenth anniversary events.

One of the authors also said that, "As writers, we have chosen to make things up in order to put life events into perspective. So isn't it our duty to write about 9-11? It is our job as writers to make sense of things that happen. And things have changed irrevocably after 9-11. It's much darker now. For instance, we all had to go through security lines at the airports in order to get here. Writing has become much darker since then."

Someone also commented that, "It is the job of a writer to take you where you cannot go in real life. The best example of this is still 'All Quiet on the Western Front'. If you can't be inside a war, this books shows you the absolute horrors of war. Your characters can bring these events to life and give your readers a better feel for what it was like on September 11, 2001."

Another comment: "Detective novels are written at street level -- which is why detective novels don't work for big-themed events."

And, "The real book waiting to be written is about how we now live in a world where there is always a war -- where for young Americans, being a soldier is now a common career choice. And returning soldiers are now becoming a new under-class, violent, perhaps with drug problems. You could also write about what happens when the vets come back home."

These are all good observations. But no one on the panel nailed it regarding what could possibly be the greatest detective story of all, the ultimate Who-Dun-It -- who was really responsible for 9-11. For all too many thoughtful American citizens, this question has never been answered satisfactorily. So I started outlining my own detective novel on this subject.

"Jane Stillwater, hard-boiled NY private detective, was hired by a mysterious stranger to investigate what actually occurred on 9/11/01. Stillwater was dubious abut this assignment but started rounding up the usual suspects -- the Saudis, Osama bin Laden, the CIA, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush.

"Stillwater, just another street-level down-on-her-luck gumshoe, had grudging taken on this difficult task for several reasons -- her love of justice, her love of country, being patriotic as hell, and her burning desire to finally discover once and for all what actually had happened at the Twin Towers that day -- but, most importantly, her rent was due and this huge new retainer would keep her landlord from throwing her out in the street.

"The first thing Stillwater did was check out the chain of custody of evidence: What kind of evidence was involved here and who had been in charge of it. 'Time to start doing some legwork,' she sighed, starting with obvious -- the New York Stock Exchange. Who had bought up all those put-options on United and American stocks right before 9-11? The banks? Weapons dealers? Oil companies? The Saudis? The Cheney-Rumsfeld-Papa-Bush rat pack? Who had motive, means and opportunity? Dead end trail there. The chain of custody of evidence had been broken.

"Stillwater would have just loved to have grilled Osama bin Laden about 9-11, but the chain of custody trail was broken there too. Now the only ones who can give OBL the third-degree are some fishes.

"Next Stillwater went out to the landfill at Fresh Kills to see if she could find any evidence from the WTC building material itself. Clearly the chain of custody had been highly contaminated here. Burial in a landfill will do that. Plus how can one maintain a chain of custody of evidence after it has been hauled around Staten Island in a dump truck?

"'What about all those airplane black boxes?' Stillwater next asked herself. Maybe she could get her hands on a Black Box? But apparently American citizens' right to know stops somewhere far short of the chain of custody of evidence here. And, frustrated, Stillwater couldn't get a hold of any videotapes of a plane hitting the Pentagon either.

"But what about that L.A. Times report that Mohammed Ata and others had been training at U.S. military installations? That Saudis were flown out of the country after the attacks? Or the bizarrely-coincidental NORAD training exercises staged the very same day? Who even HAS the chain of custody there? And, since the chain has obviously been broken many times, then who broke it?

"Next, Stillwater tried to put a tail on Dick Cheney -- but that trial led nowhere. That trail was as covered up as a Yeti in a snowstorm. That trail was cold. And unbeknownst to Congress, Cheney had already put a shadow government in place just hours after the attacks. How could Stillwater possibly shadow a government that was already a shadow itself?

"Next Stillwater tried to check out the air traffic controller interviews right after the attacks. Broken chain of custody of evidence there too. They'd disappeared without a trace."

So. How is my new 9-11 crime novel going to end? Can't tell you that! Because if I did, I would be instantly labeled a conspiracy theory nutcase instead of the next Dashiell Hammett. Or else I would have to be killed. So you're just gonna have to wait until after my new book comes out (if I can ever find a publisher, that is.)

No wonder nobody ever writes murder-mystery novels about 9-11!

PS: The next exciting and wonderful BoucherCon http://bouchercon2012.com/ convention is going to be held in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2012. See you there! And maybe we'll be able to see Cleveland's congressional representative Dennis Kucinich there too. He'd fit right in at BoucherCon -- because Rep. Kucinich is absolutely the best crime detective in the U.S. House of Representatives today -- or ever! http://kucinich.us/index.php.

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*********************************************************


I just got my Notary Public commission!

Need a Notary Public? Have seal, will travel. E-mail me at jpstillwater@yahoo.com and I'll stamp your document, make it official and only charge $10. Of course if you live outside of Berkeley, I may have to charge travel expenses -- but am well worth it!

****

Want something good to read? Buy my book! "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips for Touring Today's Middle East," available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. http://www.amazon.com/Bring-Your-Own-Flak-Jacket/dp/0978615719/ref=cm_pdp_rev_itm_title_1. It's like if Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain and/or Janet Evanovich went to war.

I also wrote a book about going on Hajj (also included as a chapter in "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket," but this book is cheaper -- but it's worth buying them both!) My book on the Hajj is so outstanding that I bet even Christian fundamentalists will love it! Please buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Mecca-Hajj-Lessons-Islamic-School/dp/0978615700/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238806637&sr=1-2

****

"Imagine a world where EVERY child is wanted, nurtured, protected and loved: World peace in one generation!"
You can now buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for parents and teachers. To purchase, just click here: http://www.cafepress.com/StillTWaters

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uqSuzOjM4vU/TafAFKcYz0I/AAAAAAAAFJc/Duv2LYJyUTs/s1600/IMG_0045.JPGhttp://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dlHRO-CPqf0/Tae6tLspmQI/AAAAAAAAFI0/iUKwYDK1f3A/s1600/IMG_0041.JPG

"Life is a competition. The winners are the ones who do the most good deeds." You can also buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for those of us who are still idealists in these troubled times. To purchase, just click here: http://www.cafepress.com/StillTWaters

Tuesday, September 20, 2011






















































Libya & NATO: The biggest murder mystery of all


Here I am, off in St. Louis, Missouri, attending the 41st annual BoucherCon convention http://bouchercon2011.com/, a hugely entertaining and highly informative gathering of over 1,800 murder-mystery writers and their fans. It's pretty much crime-novel heaven here. I bet you would love it.

The first thing I did after arriving in St Louis was to take the MetroLink in from the airport and chase chickens around my friend Patrick's back yard. Then I went off to attend a BoucherCon panel discussion on why murder mysteries are important.

"Crime novels give us the freedom to explore characters' deepest dimensions," stated one author -- was it Colin Cotterill, Sara Paretsky, Laurie R. King, Joseph Finder, Ridley Pearson, Robert Crais, Val McDermid, Charlaine Harris or Kelli Stanley? I forget. "They also give us a chance to express values, uncover the truth about past occurrences and to pursue social justice. Mystery stories are the voices of social justice today." Hey, that's deep.

Then another author stated that, "Writing about killing off bad guys or getting revenge on them is cheaper than therapy...." And probably better than Prozac.

So after listening to all these authors go on and on about how wonderful their craft was, I decided to try my hand at writing a murder mystery myself. Here it is:

"As winter approached, all of Europe lay under a chilling black haze of economic free-fall. Greece was hovering close to the nightmarish throes of bankruptcy. Britons were rioting like soccer fans because they were upset by all the Victoria's Secret ads they had watched on TV without having the money to buy enough push-up bras to keep themselves from sagging (economically speaking).
And jobs in America were disappearing like popcorn at a B-movie." So far, so good.

And now that I've luridly described the crime scene, all I have to do now is track down the bad guys who are causing all this misery and then put them in check. Means, motive and opportunity, right?

However, at this point my exciting new crime novel begins to go off the track and wanders into a tangled web of smoke screens thrown off by the bad guys -- who are now committing another horrendous crime somewhere else in order
to distract attention from their original crimes. Aha. The plot thickens.

"Before brave Inspector Stillwater can finish solving the crimes in Europe and America, the bad guys have gone off and bombed Libya!"

Hey you guys, no! I'm supposed to be bringing you to justice here, not letting you run hog-wild off in the Sahara, becoming serial killers yet again and cold-bloodily slaying even more people and even more seriously ruining the economies of Europe and America!

The cost of even a few of those deadly NATO bombing raids on Tripoli alone could have put Greece back on its feet for a year or employed every jobless guy in Florida and Ohio between Christmas and the 2012 election.

"Now D.I. Jane is really up against it. Now she has to find and apprehend these bad guys for committing even more heinous crimes. Will just a single street-level detective be able to stand between the Free World and crime sprees on an unimaginable scale?" And will I also be able to find a mainstream publisher for my book? More than likely not -- even though there's definitely a lot of mystery and murder in my story. And definitely a lot of bad guys.

But this book probably wouldn't sell very well anyway. Why? Because what self-respecting murder-mystery fan would ever believe for an instant that so many Europeans and Americans would be so stupid as to be so complicit in all these crimes -- turning a blind eye while these truly evil bad guys get away with the Crime of the Century.

What decent crime-fiction fan in their right mind would ever believe a plot that allows evil bad guys to steal hundreds and hundreds of billions of tax dollars and then waste them on murdering complete strangers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Libya -- while our own economies are being murdered back home?
That just wouldn't make sense.

*********************************************************
*********************************************************


I just got my Notary Public commission!

Need a Notary Public? Have seal, will travel. E-mail me at jpstillwater@yahoo.com and I'll stamp your document, make it official and only charge $10. Of course if you live outside of Berkeley, I may have to charge travel expenses -- but am well worth it!

****

Want something good to read? Buy my book! "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips for Touring Today's Middle East," available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. http://www.amazon.com/Bring-Your-Own-Flak-Jacket/dp/0978615719/ref=cm_pdp_rev_itm_title_1. It's like if Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain and/or Janet Evanovich went to war.

I also wrote a book about going on Hajj (also included as a chapter in "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket," but this book is cheaper -- but it's worth buying them both!) My book on the Hajj is so outstanding that I bet even Christian fundamentalists will love it! Please buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Mecca-Hajj-Lessons-Islamic-School/dp/0978615700/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238806637&sr=1-2

****

"Imagine a world where EVERY child is wanted, nurtured, protected and loved: World peace in one generation!"
You can now buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for parents and teachers. To purchase, just click here: http://www.cafepress.com/StillTWaters

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uqSuzOjM4vU/TafAFKcYz0I/AAAAAAAAFJc/Duv2LYJyUTs/s1600/IMG_0045.JPGhttp://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dlHRO-CPqf0/Tae6tLspmQI/AAAAAAAAFI0/iUKwYDK1f3A/s1600/IMG_0041.JPG

"Life is a competition. The winners are the ones who do the most good deeds." You can also buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for those of us who are still idealists in these troubled times. To purchase, just click here: http://www.cafepress.com/StillTWaters

Saturday, September 17, 2011























































Afghanistan: A war fought with flesh and bone

Stop it! Just stop it! Haven't we seen enough raw meat and sinew and bones sticking out of raw human flesh in Afghanistan yet? Apparently not.

The war in Afghanistan is not being fought with IEDs, Stinger missiles, helicopters, M-16s, F-16s, AK-47s or even drones. The war in Afghanistan is being fought with twisted ligaments, broken cartilage, seeping bone marrow, bloody intestines and bits and pieces of human eyeballs and brains -- hamburger meat that used to be Taliban, school girls and American GIs.

How long will this madness go on? Until all of Afghanistan looks like the meat counter at Safeway?

Americans and Taliban alike, have you no shame?

I am currently in St. Louis, Missouri, to attend BoucherCon, a murder-mystery convention being held at the Grand Renaissance Hotel. At least in crime novels we only read about blood and guts. We don't go out and spew them all over the landscape like all the American and Afghan Hannibal Lector wannabees in the Middle East are now doing on a daily basis.

How can anybody claim to be human beings -- let alone patriotic or religious human beings -- with their hands elbow-deep in the body parts of babies?

Speaking of which, on the plane to St. Louis I sat next to a sleeping baby. "That baby sure is good," I commented to his grandmother.

"Oh that's because he travels on airplanes a lot. He's been across country from San Diego to Washington DC and back at least 15 times." Really? A one-year-old jet setter? So, me being me, I just had to ask why.

"Because his daddy was in the military and got injured in Afghanistan. He's now in Walter Reed Hospital." I hope that he wasn't injured too badly? "He has lost three out of four of his limbs."

*********************************************************
*********************************************************


I just got my Notary Public commission!

Need a Notary Public? Have seal, will travel. E-mail me at jpstillwater@yahoo.com and I'll stamp your document, make it official and only charge $10. Of course if you live outside of Berkeley, I may have to charge travel expenses -- but am well worth it!

****

Want something good to read? Buy my book! "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips for Touring Today's Middle East," available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. http://www.amazon.com/Bring-Your-Own-Flak-Jacket/dp/0978615719/ref=cm_pdp_rev_itm_title_1. It's like if Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain and/or Janet Evanovich went to war.

I also wrote a book about going on Hajj (also included as a chapter in "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket," but this book is cheaper -- but it's worth buying them both!) My book on the Hajj is so outstanding that I bet even Christian fundamentalists will love it! Please buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Mecca-Hajj-Lessons-Islamic-School/dp/0978615700/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238806637&sr=1-2

****

"Imagine a world where EVERY child is wanted, nurtured, protected and loved: World peace in one generation!"
You can now buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for parents and teachers. To purchase, just click here: http://www.cafepress.com/StillTWaters

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uqSuzOjM4vU/TafAFKcYz0I/AAAAAAAAFJc/Duv2LYJyUTs/s1600/IMG_0045.JPGhttp://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dlHRO-CPqf0/Tae6tLspmQI/AAAAAAAAFI0/iUKwYDK1f3A/s1600/IMG_0041.JPG

"Life is a competition. The winners are the ones who do the most good deeds." You can also buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for those of us who are still idealists in these troubled times. To purchase, just click here: http://www.cafepress.com/StillTWaters

Sunday, September 11, 2011



































































Jane Fonda on aging: "We're now living 40 years longer"


Recently Jane Fonda gave a talk here in Berkeley, touting her new book about aging gracefully -- and she pointed out to us that suddenly Americans are now living longer than ever before and that our bodies are now being asked to function 30 or 40 years longer than they had been originally designed to do.

This situation reminds me of what has happened to many 1953 Chevrolets down in Cuba -- forced to perform 40 years longer than Detroit had intended. However, Cuban cars have now buckled down to the job nicely. But the Cuban cars are only able to do this because they are well taken care of.

Are Americans also taking good care of their bodies? Hardly. A lot of American bodies have been subjected to all kinds of lack of exercise and junk food and will be lucky to keep on running even for 40 or 50 years at all. However, if you keep your body properly tuned up, according to Fonda, old age can be the best time of all. Now that's good to know.

Remember about 15 years ago when no one knew hardly anything about menopause? And then, because so many Baby Boomer women were about to go through it, we suddenly all wanted to know what to expect. And then suddenly menopause came out of the closet, Gail Sheehy wrote a book about it and then we all knew what was what.

Well, now Jane Fonda is exploring the uncharted country of Old Age for us too.

"As I got older," said Fonda, "I asked myself, 'Why isn't anybody talking about it?' So, since I love to do research, I began to research old age. I am currently experiencing old age -- but it doesn't define me. I knew that this research was important because there's currently no road map, no new way to look at old age. But, while it can be hard if you have infirmities, Alzheimers or are poor, many of us can take incredible advantage of this new length of time we now have."

As so many of us are living longer than most people have ever lived before, Fonda has written a book called "Prime Time," that promises to supply us with a handy and practical guide for navigating this whole new territory. Good for her.

"But it is easier to be old and have money than it is to be old and be poor," Fonda added. Hear that, all you greedy smirking hand-wringing corporatist bastards? Hands off our Social Security or we'll all chase you down the street with our walkers and canes!

Don't mess with us old guys.

PS: At the beginning of her talk, Fonda's opening question to the audience was, "Who remembers Blue Fairyland?" I do! "When Tom Hayden and I lived here in Berkeley," she continued, "we were part of the Blue Fairyland pre-school cooperative. In fact, there are ten pages of notes in my FBI file just about Blue Fairyland alone."

My friend Suzie Lydon used to send her daughter to Blue Fairyland back when her husband was the drummer for Janis Joplin and we all hung out with the Floating Lotus Magic Opera on Woolsey Street. Good times.

Fonda also talked about how QVC, the shopping channel, had recently cancelled her show due to bomb threats that they had received. At first she had been crushed but then the cancellation brought out the fight in her. Fonda also talked about her past experiences in Hollywood, her upcoming movie spoken in French, and her current and past work on behalf of Vietnam veterans. Plus she still does a lot of mountain-climbing and also has a boyfriend. Plus, with the help of exercise and Botox, she really looked good.

Wow. I hope that I will be able to grow old that gracefully -- except, of course, for the exercise and Botox part. I like the natural look better -- and much prefer lying in bed reading murder mysteries over spending hours on a Stairmaster -- because apparently my right ankle and knees didn't read Fonda's book in time and thus couldn't realize that they were spozed to last 40 more years.


PPS: After the Berkeley hippie/music/art scene started to fall apart at the end of the 1970s, Suzie Lydon became a heroin addict and wrote an outstanding and inspirational book on the subject, entitled "Take the Long Way Home" http://www.nytimes.com/1993/10/24/books/why-do-i-feel-so-ashamed.html. I recommend it highly for those who want to know more about what motivates heroin addicts and how to understand their crazy drive to rock bottom.

As Suzie told me later at a Labor Day picnic in Tilden Park back in 2003, "I am probably the only full-on, down-and-dirty heroin addict I know of who has actually lived to tell the tale and also has the literary training and skill to write about what that particular hell was actually like."


*********************************************************
*********************************************************


I just got my Notary Public commission!

Need a Notary Public? Have seal, will travel. E-mail me at jpstillwater@yahoo.com and I'll stamp your document, make it official and only charge $10. Of course if you live outside of Berkeley, I may have to charge travel expenses -- but am well worth it!

****

Want something good to read? Buy my book! "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips for Touring Today's Middle East," available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. http://www.amazon.com/Bring-Your-Own-Flak-Jacket/dp/0978615719/ref=cm_pdp_rev_itm_title_1. It's like if Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain and/or Janet Evanovich went to war.

I also wrote a book about going on Hajj (also included as a chapter in "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket," but this book is cheaper -- but it's worth buying them both!) My book on the Hajj is so outstanding that I bet even Christian fundamentalists will love it! Please buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Mecca-Hajj-Lessons-Islamic-School/dp/0978615700/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238806637&sr=1-2

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"Imagine a world where EVERY child is wanted, nurtured, protected and loved: World peace in one generation!"
You can now buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for parents and teachers. To purchase, just click here: http://www.cafepress.com/StillTWaters

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uqSuzOjM4vU/TafAFKcYz0I/AAAAAAAAFJc/Duv2LYJyUTs/s1600/IMG_0045.JPGhttp://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dlHRO-CPqf0/Tae6tLspmQI/AAAAAAAAFI0/iUKwYDK1f3A/s1600/IMG_0041.JPG

"Life is a competition. The winners are the ones who do the most good deeds." You can also buy T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, truckers' caps, baby gear and/or teddy bears with this logo printed on them. They make great gifts, especially for those of us who are still idealists in these troubled times. To purchase, just click here: http://www.cafepress.com/StillTWaters