Friday, June 26, 2009

End of an Era

Well, if you haven’t heard about the passing of Michael Jackson, I’m assuming you are pretty much brain dead….Wow, how did you all react when you heard that news? I know, we’re not talking about the death of a Kennedy or anything, but I really think that I will remember where I was when I heard the news. I was in my truck going to pick up my daughter, Kenna, when KSL radio sent a news alert to my phone saying he had been taken to the hospital and it didn’t look so good.

Now, I am not what you call a true blue, fanatic kind of Michael Jackson fan, but I did like a lot of his music and videos. When his songs come on the radio, I know the words, and most of the time, they make me want to get up and boogy. (Okay, stop laughing!! You get my point!)

There is no doubt that he was, and is, an American icon. He has made a huge impact on pop music in my life-time. His career has spanned about the length of time that I have been alive. So, I can hear a Michael Jackson song and be taken back to a time and place in my life when the song was a hit. Music is very powerful that way.
I remember when the Thriller video was made. It was like nothing I had seen before. It was so creative and fresh… set to a catchy song he had written and recorded -- it had a story behind it, a horror movie screen legend – Vincent Price -- doing a voice over, brilliant dance moves, great choreography, and wonderful special effects. I was riveted every time I saw that video. His music has always been there playing as part of the soundtrack to my life and to many people of my generation. Each decade seemed to have another song that became a hit and played over and over on the airwaves. I don’t think that anyone would argue that Jackson was a musical genius.

It is very unfortunate that he had so many problems in his life. Rather than think about all of the accusations and his legal troubles today, I have been thinking more about the man. I was thinking about when he was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey several years ago. Some of you will remember that interview. That was the first time I had seen the artist’s vulnerable side. It was clear that no matter how much fame and fortune this man had achieved, he still did not like himself. He talked about not being able to look in the mirror and how unhappy he was with his skin and the color of his skin. In the following years, we all watched as he went in for surgery after surgery to change his appearance. This man had so much going on inside of him… so much music to be let out… It is a shame that he was so uncomfortable with his face… even going so far as to hide it under a mask when he went out in public.

As I thought more about the span of his career over the past few decades and the fact that his light has now burned out, it left me feeling a little empty inside. It just felt so much like the end of an era. It made me feel old even though I know he died relatively young. The thing is that pop culture icons like Jackson become so immortalized by their music, that it is really difficult to believe he is actually gone. In a way, he never will be. There is no doubt he will live on through his music. Like other icons--such as --Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and James Dean, the images of Jackson will forever live on in American culture and around the worldpermanently. So, to the man Michael Jackson, I say, “Rest in peace.” And to the musical legend, it is clear, that his image, icon status, and music will live on forever…Like him or hate him, he is permanently sewn into the fabric of American pop culture, and that, I can respect.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

I love baseball! Like many boys, I was signed up for my little league team when I was seven. Ever since then, I have played either baseball or softball. Yes, when I became an old geezer, I had to change to softball. (It was getting just a little too difficult to drag that bulky oxygen tank around the diamond!) The bases in softball are closer together, so I didn’t have to run as far. The ball was bigger, so I could see it with my bad eyes. Even though playing the game has gotten a lot more difficult for me, I still love to play. I hope to be playing for a long, long time – even if I have to pull myself around the bases with a walker!
It is not only playing ball that I love. I love the whole atmosphere of a baseball game. I love to be a part of the crowd and root for the home team. I love to watch all of my surroundings at the ball park. The thing that is different about watching baseball from other sports is that there is a lot of time to observe things. I have mentioned that I really enjoy “people watching.” I like to just sit back, get comfortable, and watch people. I like to consider who they are and what they are thinking and why they behave the way they do. The baseball diamond is a great place to do this because there is so much going on – on the field and off.
Last night, I went to the Salt Lake Bee’s game, a triple AAA team. Watching the players of each team and their coaches and managers always gives me a lot to think about. Everything in baseball is done so deliberately. Everything is given so much thought – from the batting order to signs given by the base line coaches, there is always something to consider. As I watch, I enjoy watching all of the subtleties of the game.
I observed that all of the first and third base coaches NEVER stand inside the nice little white box that has been so carefully drawn for them. It is almost as if they cannot, “think outside the box” unless they are actually standing outside of this box! I noticed the umpire watching the third base coach out of the corner of his eye. It is a lot like watching your kids push a rule a little farther… then, a little farther to see how far they can break the rule without major consequences.
There are a lot of superstitions in baseball, a lot of routines that are followed by players in order to not mess up a winning streak or a no-hitter. I noticed that about half of the players on both teams will jump over the base line going to and from the dugout. Was this some kind of game like, “Don’t step on the crack, or you’ll break your mother’s back.”
These are just the kinds of things I observe and am curious about. Like, when the Bees were on the field and would throw a player out, they would do the traditional routine of throwing the ball around the horn before getting the ball back to the pitcher. Why do they usually leave the first baseman out of this? Is he too tired from catching the ball just a few seconds ago?
At professional games, players take time to throw balls to the fans in the stands. Some of the players always throw the balls and some players never do…is this a little clue into their minds and personalities as to who is more friendly and outgoing and who is more reserved or arrogant? I also have some theories about all of that scratching going on down there on the field, but that is for an entirely different kind of blog….
Then, there is the crowd that I am able to observe at the game. Baseball has fans from all different walks of life, so the crowds are usually very diverse. There is always something interesting to see in the stand if you are looking. It is an interesting study into human nature to watch the different loyalties of the fans. Some are so anxious to support the home team that it seems as if their entire life depends on the outcome based on how they are screaming and yelling and carrying on. But this love can be fickle and very conditional… they show the love until a member of their team makes an error or the other team gets a hit. Then, you would think they had their entire lives riding on the game by the way they turn on a player. And, of course, the players on the other team are just sheer evil to them. No matter how much physical ability they display, because they are on the other team, they are truly the enemy. That is one part of professional sports that is difficult… what do these fans then do when their favorite player signs a contract with the rival team?
In the crowd, there are also those who seem to come just to relax in the summer-time air. They don’t seem to have any interest in the game at all. I observed one lady reading a book and didn’t even look up when the home team hit a three-run homer after the game has been tied for seven innings. Another girl in front of me was casually watching a movie….the ballpark is a good place for movie snacks… I must admit…
And then, there are those who have one eye on the game and the rest of their attention on the person(s) they came to the game with. I can tell that lot of really great conversations and connections are being made in those stands. There is just something about the atmosphere at a ballgame. No wonder it has been dubbed, “The Great American Past Time.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Was I that bad of student

I remember my kindergarten teacher by name. I remember my first grade teacher by name. I remember my second, third, and fourth grade teacher’s names. I had had a good experience with all of my teachers up to that point.
Then, when I entered the fifth grade, I met, what would become, my all-time favorite teacher! Her name was Mrs. Roberts and she was like a “saint” to me. She took the time to get to know me and understand me. She knew I had a difficult time sitting still. (I still can’t sit still.) She knew that I spent time daydreaming. (I still daydream.) She knew that she would have to remind me that I could not count the number of tiles on the floor or ceiling out loud and disrupt the class. She often had to remind me of the rules of the class. She had a unique way of getting her student’s attention when she needed it. She had set up her classroom so that the students were seated in a large circle. On her desk, she had a whole bunch of bean bags. If a student misbehaved, she would pick up a bean bag, take aim, and chuck it at the rule-breaker. (Yes, I know, she would have been fired in today’s world!) Her methods were effective and her students loved her and wanted to please her.
I was able to enjoy Mrs. Roberts class for the first half of the year. Then, in the middle of the school year, my step-dad was transferred to Spain for his work with the U.S. Air Force. So, our family packed our bags and moved to a strange new country. Then, I went to strange new school and was assigned to a strange new teacher… yes, she was very strange indeed!
To this day, I could not remember her name, and I certainly could not have picked her out of a lineup – not even if I was paid to do so…. Must not have “felt the love” as my kids say.
“What sparked this memory?” you may be asking. I was going through some old papers of mine that my mother had held onto for me… In those papers, there were report cards, Christmas cards, art projects from school… you know… the usual stuff a proud mom would keep on her favorite son….There I found my report cards from the 5th grade.
It was very eye-opening to see the difference in comments between my two fifth grade teachers! My favorite teacher, Mrs. Roberts, had written, “I have had the greatest pleasure to have Doug in my class. He is a smart young man and will go far in life. Good luck in all you do and remember that your teacher loves you.” As I looked down the grades I received in her class, they were all A’s and B’s, and I had “Outstanding” on everything except for “paying attention.” For someone with ADD, that was no surprise at all!
Then, I found my report card and information from the second half of my 5th grade school year. The first thing that I noticed on the cover was that by “Student’s Name” it read, “Johnston, Douglas.” I started laughing. No one calls me, “Douglas,”… no one! I think I have only been called Douglas two or three times in my life… All of those times, it was by my mom when she was VERY, VERY angry at me. And so, today I see that my least favorite teacher had that as my name a well…. Coincidence? I think not! But, I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt, thinking that she may not have known me well when I first signed up for school. Then, I opened the report card and began to read what she had written. Science = D, Spelling = C (Okay, if you read my blog often, you realize she may be right on this one!) Reading = D, English = D, Communication = D, Handwriting = D, Social Studies = D and finally Host Nation Language and Culture = B. Now, remember here, I had just moved to Spain from America. In my entire life, I have only known about 20 words in Spanish, and about fifteen of those are swear words that I picked up on the soccer field. It was amazing to me that these grades were given to me, the same student who had just been getting all A’s and B’s a few weeks earlier.
So then, I read the three comments she had written on the back of the report card to see why the grades were so low. The first comment reads, “Needs to be doing more class work on reading skills and logs. DOUGLAS can do good work but he must but forth consistent effort. Needs extra help at home with division.” The second comment, “DOUGLAS doesn’t always use his time wisely and has failed to complete many long term assignments.” Finally the third comment, “Best of luck next year. I’m sure you’ll do well IF you try harder.”
I found out at that point that her name, that I could never remember after all of these years, was “D. Sedrish,” from the signature on my report card. I am sorry that I was such a bad student, and I will take the responsibility for bad grades, but I will not take what she wrote so seriously, and here is why….
I am someone, like most people, that likes and responds well to being praised. I am someone who does his best when he is not being cut down because of his religious beliefs. I have written another blog about what happened to the only other LDS student in the class…. Not Nice!
When I moved back to Utah from Spain, I had the chance to go to my old home town for a day… Guess where I went! That’s right… straight to see Mrs. Roberts, my favorite 5th Grade Teacher! By now, I was in the 8th grade. When I walked in to her classroom, she looked straight at me and without missing a beat said, “Hi Dougie!” She knew me. She was excited to see me. How refreshing. It was so nice to visit with her. After that, I moved to Mississippi for two years. When I arrived back in my home town after those two years, my first person to visit was, you guessed it, Mrs. Roberts! I visited with her on many occasions after that. She truly was a positive influence in my life and really made a difference as my teacher.
Over those years, I visited with other teachers, but none had touched my life like Mrs. Roberts. I could always tell which teachers loved me and taught with love and a desire to make a difference. I have the report cards and notes from a lot of them, and they tell the story of which ones helped me to succeed and which ones did not.
For example, when I had a speech problem in the second grade, I had a speech teacher. I could not speak well at all. I went to speech therapy three times a week, and it was not making any difference. I did not really like the lady that was my speech therapist in the beginning. Then, she went on a leave to have a baby. While she was gone, in walked the prettiest speech therapist in the world. I was smitten! It wasn’t so much her looks as her smile and friendly demeanor. She immediately made me feel at ease and told me I had beautiful blue eyes. That little bit of praise was all it took. As one who now makes part of his living doing speaking engagements, you can see that she was successful in turning my speech problem around.
So, was it some miracle that my speech improved? And, was it just by chance that I remembered my fifth grade teacher’s name and her so well. Absolutely not!
Most people work better when they are in a positive environment and surrounded by happy people. As the evidence from my box of school memories proves, one little boy had his life changed forever by these types of individuals. Thank you Mrs. Roberts for taking the time to get to know me and understand me and thank you for loving and accepting me… just the way I was…..

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Best Present Ever

A few years ago I won some big awards for a column I wrote about my three fathers. My dad, my step dad and my Heavenly Father. I wanted to share that with you today, but I can not find it. So, I am going to tell you about my Father's Day.

When I got divorced from my first wife, we went to church all of the time, and it seemed that after the divorce the children decided that they would not go as much, or at all in some cases. I also quit going for a long time, blaming a lot of people for things they said, and things they had done, and I won't get into the feelings and the reasons right now, but someday I will share that.

For the last year or so, I have had a huge desire to go to church again, and it has really been hard to go by myself. So, when each of my five children asked me what I wanted for Fathers Day, I told each of them, for you to go to church with me. Some laughed, some said maybe and some said no way.

Last night, my eighteen year old daughter Chelsea asked if I was going to church today. I told her I was, and she said she would go with me. I must have had a very strange look on my face. She told me that if I wanted that for Father's Day, then that is what I would get.

I KNOW that it is hard for Chelsea to go to church. She is my child that has tatoos, a nose ring, and an eyebrow ring, and I know she knew that people would be looking at her differently than people look at people that don't stand out.

We got there, and sat down, and we had a good time. The primary sang "We're so glad when daddy comes home" and she mouthed the words to me and kissed me on the cheek when it said they do so in the song.

Her cell phone was going off, luckily she had it on vibrate only and she was texting to her friends that she was in church. Most didn't believe her. After Sacrament Meeting, all of the dads were given Sweet Rolls. I gave mine to my daughter. That was the least I could do for someone that did something that was so hard for her to do.

I told her that she will be a Relief Society President someday and she will use her tattoos as lessons of when she was young. She told me that someday I would have hair... Hmmm.

And she and my nine year old made me breakfast today too.

I am a very happy Father this Fathers Day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I have been gone for a little while because I have not had an internet connection. I am back now, and I also see I have 11 followers. All of them are women. That must mean all of my male friends are too good to read my ramblings.

Tomorrow is Father's Day and I will blog about Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Book Reviews

I am going to start reviewing some books on this blog. If you have a book you want me to review, just email me at

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Drive with Chlesea

Today I drove with my 18 year old daughter Chelsea to Heber City, Utah to fix my wife's car. My wife was in Heber City to cheer on her best friends daughters at the Utah High School Rodeo finals.

So, as we were heading up there, Chels found my cd's and I knew we were in for a treat. We started with Journey, followed by Colin Ray, followed by Kelly Clarkson, and then Wicked. She loves Journey, I then MADE her listen to the Colin Ray song, What if Jesus Came Back Like That, and then we listened to Kelly Clarkson and then the cd of Wicked.

Chelsea is a singer. She has sang her whole life and I love it. She has been in musicals, plays, concert choirs and is on a cd for a musical I co-wrote. Since she has threatened me if I tell everyone what song and cd it is on, I will not.

She sang loud and beautiful. I listened and smiled. That is how we operate. Me and Chels.

She tells me something and I smile, and sometimes the things she tells me I just shake my head. She is so much like me it is scary.

I hate it that she has tatoos, and she hates it that I have a big belly. I hate that she hasn't finished hair school, and she hates it that I keep bugging her about it. I don't like her piercings, and she doesn't like that I am grumpy some times. But life goes on. We all pick our battles. I have people that say, "My child will never have a tatoo, or my child will never have an earring in their nose or eyebrow". I used to say that same thing. I know that my daughter is a good person.

We are the same, and yet we are so different. But we understand each other. People tease us because we get along so well together. I love that girl! And she loves me. It makes the world go around!

Oh, and she is happy, and very positive. So, I guess I have done something right!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Followers of my blog

I now have seven followers of my blog. Some I have known for a long time, and others I have known only for a short time. This post is here to thank you for following my ramblings.

If you don't follow my blog and you would be interested in doing so, please do! Thanks

Mr Positive

Some of my friends gave me the name Mr. Positive. Not because I am always positive, but because I try to be so. I swear more than I should, just drive with me and you will hear it. I really try to find positive in people.

Right now I am going through a very tough part of my life, but I have to keep positive. It is hard. At times I cry, at times I am depressed, but I keep getting up each day and telling myself that today is going to be a good day.

So, it is 12:30 at night and I am going to go to bed. But you can bet on it, that when I get up, I am going to look for positive things to fill my day.

One step at a time. One breath at a time. Keep striving to fix the bad and make it good.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ground Zero, Freedom Tower?

I really wanted to go see Ground Zero when I went to New York and I got the opportunity. They are now building buildings but it will take many more years before they are completed. It is now projected to be completed in the fall of 2013. Every tour guide we talked to complained about the fighting going on about how much it is going to cost, the time it is taking and how everything keeps getting changed, including in late March the name of the main building.

The tallest building that is going to be built has been called Freedom Tower since 2003, and in last March, it was decided it will be called One World Trade Center. The Mayor of NYC, Michael Bloomberg said not so fast. He likes the Freedom Tower name and said it may be up to the residents to vote on the name. He also has said that 3 BILLION dollars of public money has and will be put into the former Ground Zero sight. The tower, whatever it will be called will stand 1776 feet in the air. The significance of that is that it represents 1776, the year of the Decoration of Independence. It is stated to be 102 stories tall.

Scared so bad in New York, I almost puked!

So, there was this taxi ride form the airport that about made me mess my pants. The guy was a driver that had to be somewhere soon, and nothing was going to stop him.

Wait, that is not the almost puked story. The almost puked story happened when I was on the top of The Rock. Rockefeller Center. I think it was 90 floors or so. I can't remember for sure, but what I can tell you is that I was near the top of Empire State Building and I was fine. I have rode the rides on top of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas and I was fine, but I got very sick on top of The Rock.

I think I got sick because I was standing behind glass, and I know that glass was very thick, but I also know that glass breaks. As you can see in the photo is that the glass has small gaps in it that people put their cameras through to get better photos. Once I saw my son jump into a very think glass table when he was young and shatter it and that kept coming to my mind. He was fine.

So I sat on some chairs and waited for my wife to tell me it was time to go. And it was a long time.

In fact I have been bungee jumping and it did not scare me as bad as that.

So, yes I am a whimp.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

God Bless You and the Blessing Box

New York was fun, and from previous posts you can see that. But two things that happened to me will stick in my mind for a long time.

First, we were on a boat cruise around the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The host was good, and told a lot of history and told some good jokes. The tour lasted about and hour, and when the boat was heading back to the dock, he told us that if we liked his as a guide, that he would be holding a Blessing Box as we got off of the boat. Then he told us if we did not give a tip, that me may still be blessed. I looked at my wife, she looked at me and we just giggled. I have had some high pressure people want money from me before but this one took the cake. And I left a five dollar bill for him, because I know I need all of the blessings I can get.

And the God Bless you moment came after we had dinner at Olive Garden at Times Square. Outside our dinner table was an amazing sight. As I at my dinner I was not very hungry and had a lot of food left over. I didn't want to waste it and our hotel didn't have a fridge. So I had them box the food and hoped that I could find a homeless person to give it to. It only took two blocks and I saw a homeless man going through a garbage. I walked up to him, held out the bag and told him that if he wanted some dinner he could have it. He took it, gave me a toothless smile and Said, God Bless You. I looked at him and told him the same thing.

As I was walking back to the hotel I was smiling, knowing that for a few minutes I made someone very happy. Isn't that what life is about. The little things that make people happy.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Broadway shows!

I saw some Broadway shows while in New York. And I will tell you about them below.

9 to 5 the musical. 9 to 5 is headlined by the great actress Allison Janney. I loved Allison on t.v. and as the mom in Juno. I LOVED her acting in this musical, but not her singing. The other stars in the show were Megan Hilty and Stephanie J. Block and they can sing and act very well. I really liked the entire show, and it was very close to the mega hit movie with the same name, but it is very PG-13. I would not take my teen to this show. That is sad, because if they changed two or three scenes only slightly, it would be a great family view.

Mama Mia. First let me say I never saw the movie. I know I may be about the only person left in America, or the world that hasn't seen it. The musical was very, very good.
Brandi Burkhardt led the musical playing Sophie and has a very special voice. But who really sold the show for me was
Gina Ferrall as Rosie. A great voice, a great actress and if I went back to New York I would find where she is acting and go see her.
Once again, there are some scenes that I would not take a teen to, very PG-13 and other than that, they had the audiance really into this show.

Chicago Chicago was good for me, great for others. I only watched half of the movie, and although I loved the actresses and actors in the broadway show, including great dancing, I don't like the story. The singing was great, the acting great. So if you like the story of Chicago, you will love this musical.

Next To Normal I really wanted to see this musical, and everyone that saw it said it is the best musical on Broadway right now, but it was sold out when we were there. Someday!

Avenue Q First, let me say that we saw the outside of the building when we walked by it, since it was right next to our hotel everyday. On the last night before we came home, we went to it. On the outside of the building it shows smiling actors with hand puppets, like on Seseme Street.
Ok, so I should have read up on it before I went. ALERT. If you don't have an adult sence of humor, DON'T SEE THIS. If you can handle adult humor, where they make fun of just about every living thing. YOU WILL LOVE THIS SHOW. So, did I like it, NO! I LOVED IT. Will most of my friends love it, about half would, and about half of them would be offended. It has won two Tony Awards, and let me tell you that the lead actress is amazing. A very stron supporting cast also.

Well that is the rundown. I would love to hear from you guys about these musicals. There are so many that we wanted to go see that we couldn't. Shrek The Musical has rave reviews also.

The Naked Cowboy

My day job, well my night job too is a public relations person. And when I found out last month that I was going to Book Expo America in New York, one of the things I wanted to see was The Naked Cowboy.

The is a marketing guru, and he makes a ton of money branding himself. You can see him on t.v., I saw him on Christina's Court, on billboards, etc. He has a comic book, ceramics, protein drinks, and he can even perform marriages. So, on the last day I was in New York guess who I ran into at Times Square. Yes, The Naked Cowboy.

I first posted this on my Face Book page and started getting a lot of feedback from it.

Below is a link to a story about him. Just a warning that it is PG13, but it is an amazing story and how he branded himself. We can all learn from him.

And if you are confused, I am the one on the right!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Book Expo America (BEA) a low point!

I put on Facebook a few minutes ago that BEA was a low point of my trip to New York. I wanted to post this tomorrow because I wanted to talk about it in detail, but I will post a shorter version now and after the questions come in I will do a follow up.

Last May I went to my first BEA in Los Angelas. Being my first time I really didn't know what to expect. I knew there would be a lot of authors there and a lot of book companies pushing their new titles. It was overwhelming how many books were given away last year. I talked with some that were there last year and again this year, and that was the biggest complaint. The book compaines were not giving out many books. That is fine, with me, because I didn't want to have to ship home a lot of books. I sent home $57 worth and filled another suitcase. Ok, I brought home maybe 40 books. I know that I could have brought home a couple of hundred but I don't read a lot of what was being given away. Last year I could have easily brought home 800.

I know that the economy is not in the best shape right now. I know that a few of the big publishers didn't even show up, and I know that a lot of the big named authors didn't come this year. Yes, there were a few big names, and that was great, but it was a lot less than last year.

Next, last year, I met with maybe 20 agents. And I could have met with more. This year, I talked with one for about 15 seconds. Did I just not see them. I thought maybe I was blind this year. So I asked others that were there, and they all argreed that they were missing. One of the people I asked said he saw zero, and another said he saw two.

Editors. Last year I talked with maybe ten editors. This year, didn't find any. I started scratching my head. Was I at the same show.

Last year, I think I saw three rows of very small publishers, this year, maybe a half of one. And they were scattered.

Ok, so last year, I spent a day and a half at the show and didn't see the whole show. This year after the first day on the top floor I was done. I didn't know that until I showed up the second day to see all of the bottom floor and found out that is was the childrens section. Yes, there was the autorgraph booths down there and I talked with some great people, but after being there for two hours on the second day, I decided that I had to go upstairs and start over.

Did I see great authors, yes. Did I bring home great books, most likely. Will I go next year, I have asked myself that a lot in the last couple of days. A maybe will be all I can say for now.

Did I meet some great people, yes. And did I see some great Public Relations gimmicks, yes. I will post some photos and stories about these soon.

And a highlight, I saw James Dashner. Wait, I always see him. No, he was a great signer and had a lot of fans there. He was signing so fast that the photo is blurry! Shadow Mountain had a great setup with their authors.

If you went, tell me what you think. If you didn't ask any questions. I will answer them.

Been in New York

I have been in New York last week, and did not have an internet connection at my hotel. WHAT. Every hotel these days has internet. So on the third day, I called to the lobby and asked how much the internet was. They told me $11.95 a day. I gave in and ordered it. And I tried to get on, and it wouldn't let me on. So I called back down 25 floors and was transferred three times. When I talked to the third person, he told me that the internet was down. I asked for how long, and he just sat there saying nothing. So I asked again. Then he said, You are in New York, it may be a few days, weeks, or months. I thanked him and hung up. Then i got out my Iphone and used it.

So I am back. Instead of making one huge post of my trip I will give you a lot of little ones. That way you can read only the ones you are interested in.