Monday, December 31, 2012

The Eve Of A New Life For Me

Well, well, well, I've been BLESSED to make it to yet another eve of a new year.  And, you know what?  I feel 100% certain what I need to do to make 2013 the beginning of the rest of my FULFILLED life!  For starters, I have to get OUT of my apartment and INTO the world so that the entertainment movers & shakers know I exist.  Yes, I once almost landed a lucrative gig from the comfort of my bedroom home office, but that didn't pan out.  So, now, I've gotta get OUT to make something happen!!!  In all honesty, I'm back to square one.  Back to that 24-yr-old kid who had just arrived to New York City in '88 fresh off the turnip truck plane from Indiana.  I've gotta PLAN my method of attack, then attack.  Plain and simple.  I've been fighting the reality of getting a gig with a boss, but you know what?  Wondering where the next paycheck is comin' from is no walk in the park, so I've gotta get to gettin'!!!  I have already planned my 50th Birthday Dinner and made the guest list.  All that is supposed to WILL take place in my NEW home!  So, this ol' boy has LOADS of work to do between NOW and Dec. 22nd, 2013!  And you know what?  It CAN be done!  That is, as long as I PLAN MY WORK and WORK MY PLAN!!!!

Happy NEW YEAR'S EVE, world!  CAM Jr gives gratitude for STILL BEING HERE!!!!  Amen!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Simple Elegance

Master Bedroom

Master Shower

Master Bath


I was just gawking looking at photos of Will Smith's Malibu home and couldn't help wondering what it must feel like to live there.  Or in a similarly decorated abode.  I mean, man, the furnishings look sooooo comfortable!  And I'd wanna frolic in that outrageous shower every hour on the hour.  God bless him and Jada.  I mean it.  God bless 'em.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

What's Good For You...

I went to Ralphs last night in search of something to eat.  While there, I ran into my favorite employee, Jonathan!  He told me about Voskos Greek Yogurt.  An eight ounce serving has 0% milk fat, Live & Active probiotic cultures, 24g of protein, 100% all natural and free of Gluten, rBST, rBGH and GMO (whatever the heck all those acronyms are).  Sounds like a dream, right?  Well, Jonathan also told me that it tastes AWFUL!  I figured, how bad can it really be?  So, I bought five of them!  As soon as I arrived home,  I eagerly tore into one of 'em.  I doctored it up like I always do when I buy yogurt by adding nuts.  I took a quick taste, and thought, oh, my goodness, Jonathan was right!  Even with the addition of nuts, the yogurt didn't have much flavor.  So, I added cayenne pepper, olive oil and a little garlic pepper salt.  The taste still wasn't to my liking, but I ate it anyway 'cause I don't believe in wasting food and/or money!

I have three more servings of the yogurt left, because, as I type, I'm eating another serving.  This time, I omitted the olive oil and garlic pepper salt.  I just added nuts and cayenne pepper.  No, this new concoction isn't destined to win any taste tests anytime soon, but it's hella healthy.  Voskos yogurt simply confirms an age old belief:

"Just 'cause it's good FOR you DON'T mean it tastes good TO you!"  :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

I Can See It

Today is the 28th of December.  Only three more days left in this year.  I know it's been virtually the standard, 365 days as in every, other year, but it still seems like it zoomed past.  This is the time a lot of people assess their lives.  Identifying their accomplishments and/or where they fell short.  Well, I always ask myself, "Am I better off today than I was at the beginning of the year?"  And, truthfully, I physically feel good.  I mean, my health seems to be as terrific as it was at the beginning of the year.  For that, I'm truly thankful.  My finances, on the other hand...well...I think they're the same, too.  Which DOESN'T make me the happiest!  And they're the same because my professional seeds still need lots of water.  In other words:  either I move farrrrrr beyond my comfort zone, or the status quo will simply be the status quo!  There are no, two ways around that fact.  If I continue to do what I'm doing, I'll continue to get what I'm getting.  Or NOT getting!  So, 2013 is almost here.  And, for me, that means a New Year + new ACTION + newly adjusted ATTITUDE = new SUCCESSES!

So let it be written.  So let it be done!

My Own

I've got my own.  And sharing it, too!

Just Sayin'

I'm almost sure I've posted this song before, but at 2:10 AM on Friday morning, Dec. 28th, it's what I'm feeling.  At this very moment I'm freeing myself of all things that don't contribute to the betterment of this blessing I've been given called, LIFE.  MY life.  And so it goes!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Vinny! Vinny! Vinny!

Vinny Minton

Vinny Minton working

When I recorded my first, voice-over gig for pay, the young man who worked as my engineer told me about a supremely talented videographer he wanted me to contact.  A young cat named, VINNY MINTON.  He is a former, professional skater.  The engineer figured since Vinny is so in demand for his wedding videography skills, he might need a voice-over artist some day!  Since then, I've become Facebook friends with Vinny and I have to admit, his work is RIDICULOUSLY INCREDIBLE!!!  What amazes me almost as much as his videography skills is the fact that, more oftentimes than not, he films his subjects while rolling around on his inline skates!  Simply PHENOMENAL!!!

Vinny can shoot anything, but his IMPERIAL VIDEO PRODUCTIONS has made quite a name for itself in the Bay area for shooting, modern, wedding videos.  Honestly, the man's skills astound me beyond description.  It boggles my mind that he can shoot a fun, wedding video and edit it the SAME day!  What!!!!!  The young dude is 18 yrs younger than I am and damn near a foot shorter, but because of his talent and work ethic, I sure do look up to him!!!!!

Take a look at one of his most recent, outrageously creative, wedding, music videos:

MARY + VU // SAME DAY EDIT // MUSIC VIDEO from Imperial Productions on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Reason For The Season

Well, well, well, we have finally arrived at Christmas Day.  And boy, oh boy, do I have verrrrrrrrry fond memories of awakening with immeasurable anticipation to my gifts/toys waiting under the tree!!!  Ahhh, The Montgomerys might not have had much money back then, but I never knew it on Christmas Day.  My mother must've maxed out her credit cards to buy those gifts.  But do you think my siblings and I cared?  Heck no!  We just wanted our Barbies and Big Jim and Big Josh and Big Jake and Tonka trucks and Slinkies, etc.

This morning, I remained in bed until noon or so; just using my smartphone to post onto Facebook and respond to e-mails.  Gotta love smartphones.  Since I don't have children I've never really re-lived that rabid excitement about Christmas morning.  They've just been low key affairs for me.  But you know what?  I kinda miss that anticipation.  I miss it on Christmas and in my everyday life.  Just seems to me that life must be soooo much more fulfilling when you're excited about what the day holds.  2013 I'm reclaiming that excitement, dang it!  I'm 49 yrs old.  Not sure if I have another 49 on the other side, so I think the time for living with rabid excitement is N-O-W!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to one and all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry, Merry Christmas Eve

Just one day before Christmas!  Oh, how I remember how long this day was when I was a kid.  I mean, it seemed like there just had to be 124 hrs to this day back then.  I recall my two younger siblings and I repeatedly calling a number that told us the time.  The recorded voice would say, "It is now 12:34 AM."  We'd wait for what seemed like an eternity before we'd call back.  And when we did, that same, recorded voice would say, "It is now 12:36 AM!"  What the #$%!  Well, decades have passed since then and I no longer possess the same eager anticipation for Christmas day.  But, I must admit that revisiting those memories sure makes me feel good.  It's amazing how quickly that time in my life went.  How quickly THIS time in my life is going, too.  Live, love and laugh!  That's what I fully intend to do.  Today.  Tomorrow.  And forever.  And ever.  Amen.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Meaning Of Christmas

Today I accompanied a group of terrific people to the home of a family in Watts who wrote a letter to a church, asking for help with Christmas gifts for their six children.  Well, someone told me about this endeavor and I agreed to buy items for the oldest kid, who is 13 yrs old.  The kid's family truly seemed deeply appreciative of our efforts.  There were so many gifts that some had to be stacked on their living room furniture, 'cause there was absolutely no room available under the tree.  I hope & pray the children enjoy everything they were given.  I know they're too young to realize that giving is what Christmas is about.  At this age, they just want to receive!  I get that.  Hopefully their parents will remind them in years to come how important it is to give.  As far as I'm concerned, I feel better giving gifts than receiving them.  Yes, I enjoy receiving them, but I feel much, much better about giving them!  God bless that family.  And God bless us for trying to make their Christmas joyous!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I'm Still Here

Forty-nine years ago today I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana to a light-skinned, freckle-faced woman named, Juanita, and a strapping, dark-skinned man named, Charles.  Today, both of those beloved people are somewhere in Heaven; hopefully looking down and wishing me a blessed birthday.

Honestly, when I say my new age out loud, I can't believe I'm talking about me.  Not lil' skinny, bookworm, Beany, who was called "sissy" so much by neighborhood & school kids (and sometimes my own siblings) that I almost thought it was my other nickname.  No, that kid couldn't possibly be a stairstep away from fifty.  Humph!  But he is.  But I am.

In these forty-nine years I have repeatedly put myself in harm's way.  I have too often used my tongue to make others feel less than because I wanted them to feel like I felt.  I have said one thing and done another.  I have said one thing and done nothing.  Yes, I have loved and been loved in return.  And I have loved and not been loved in return.  I have won.  I have lost.  And sometimes I have done both and not recognized either.

Looking back over my life, I fully accept responsibility for all I've become.  And all that I haven't.  I acknowledge that I've allowed fear to stop me dead in my tracks on more occasions than I care to remember.  That tricky, four-letter word has single-handedly kept me catering when I should be writing and hosting and acting and loving and living my highest life.  No more.  No more living less than the man I was born to be.  No more.  No more allowing fear to be anything more to me than a word.  It CANNOT continue to be a LIFE SENTENCE.  So, right here and right now, I declare a moratorium on PROCRASTINATION, HUMILIATION, ISOLATION and DEPRIVATION.  'Cause I've been depriving myself of the professional fulfillment my talents can provide.  And depriving the world of my creativity.  No more.

I am forty-nine years old today.  And although my life isn't what I thought it'd be at this point; nor what I know it can be; I STILL believe I can turn things around.  I STILL believe that it isn't too late to be who I could/should be.  And I STILL believe all these things because I AM STILL HERE.  And it's BY THE GRACE OF GOD!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

By The Numbers

Today I received the lab results for my cholesterol reading.  And I am THRILLED to say that everything looked pretty dang good!!!  Hurrah!!!  I'm taking 80 mg of Lipitor per day and also an 81 mg aspirin to keep my blood thin.  No, I don't want to take the Lipitor, but thanks to heredity, I have to!  Or, at least, every doctor I've ever had seems to think so!

My total, cholesterol number is 186!  Yippee!  The last time I was tested, it was 225!  My LDL is 118.  My HDL is 62.  Triglycerides are 30.  Heck, there are sooo many numbers on the lab results that they make me dizzy!  Who knew we were all walking & talking numbers?  As long as my numbers look good, I'm happy.  In this big, bad world, I know possessing money means more to a lot of people than possessing great health, but I'm not among THOSE numbers!  I want to be healthy.  And I want to remain healthy until the day I close my eyes for good!  So, if that means I can't have money AND great health, I'll happily take the great health and make do!

Thank you, Saban Free Clinic, for being soooo dang good to me.  And for being soooo dang good to soooo many others!!!  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Operation Santa

When I lived on the east coast, my dear friend, Madeline, introduced me to a volunteer service called, Letters To Santa.  The premise of the organization is that Children send letters to Santa that wound up at NYC's main, post office.  Folks like Madeline and me would then go there to sift through the letters until we found one by a kid whose wish we wanted to fulfill.  The last kid I gifted was a Hispanic youngster who lived in Queens.  All he asked for was a Superman sheet.  Since he only asked for one thing, I made sure to get him plenty more.  I like when the children are modest with their requests.  I saw some letters in which the "kid" asked for a television and a VCR.  I bypassed those letters and focused only on my Superman kid.  I was working at MACY*S at the time, so I went hog wild.  I bought a Superman bedding set.  I bought an electronic car or truck.  And I bought other items, too, but I can't recall what.  Anyway, fast-forward to today and I did something similar this weekend.  However, I didn't get the needy kid's name from a letter to Santa.  I received it from a close acquaintance who works with an organization that grants Christmas wishes to under-served children.

The kid I'm blessing is 13 years old, and, from the sizes of his clothing requests, must be a pretty, big dude.  His waistline is 36"-"38".  Since I wasn't given a pant length size, I said, to heck with the clothing and only concentrated on his school supplies and art supplies.  By the time I walked out of Walmart, I had a three-ring, notebook binder, three hundred sheets of paper, pencils, pens, highlighters, a sketching kit and a journal book.  I then hustled over to Big Lots and bought him six, horror movies.  Hey, he requested them.  He also wanted music cds, but this ol' dude's wallet, said, "Um, maybe not."  I hope he enjoys what he got, though.  I wish I could see his face when he opens the bag!  Let the record state, I may not have much, but when I get, I sure love to GIVE!!!!!

Oh, in NYC, the kids are soooo dang smart, they actually go directly TO Santa with their lists!!!!!!  God bless their sweet, lil' souls!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

What About The Children?

Today marks yet another horrific, mass killing in this country.  Earlier this morning, in Newtown, CT, a lone gunman walked into an elementary school with two, loaded firearms.  Before his lifeless body is removed from the building, 26 or so other lives will have been taken, too.  We will probably never truly know why he did what he did.  But I have to wonder, what could be so wrong in a 20-yr-old's mind that he feels no other recourse than murder and mayhem?  My heart goes out to all the families directly affected by this travesty.  And to all people all over the world who aren't.  Why are people hurting so deeply in a country that has everything people need to live fulfilling lives?  Why?  We must look out for the children so that they can grow up feeling powerful in their own skin.  'Cause I'm gettin' a sneaking suspicion that they feel lost because they don't believe they can stand on their own.  We adults are responsible for that.  And we have to do something about it.  This country's future prosperity and well-being depends on it.

Read about the tragedy HERE.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What's On My Mind

INDIANAPOLIS, IN isn't where I wanna live, so, I live in LOS ANGELES, CA.  However, the people I love immeasurably don't live in Los Angeles.  They live in Indianapolis.  So, at this very moment...

'Cause when I think of home...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Just Sayin'

Living here in southern California I don't have to contend with snow.  And that's a great thing in my book.  However, I do like looking at snow-covered mountains and prairies and farms and trees and lawns.  I just don't want to see it on the streets or on sidewalks.  Okay, I don't wanna SHOVEL it from streets and sidewalks!  That's what I really meant!  But lookin' at it during this time of the year, in particular, sure is nice.  

Meant To Be

For the past several months I've been meaning to call my oldest sister, Cheryl, to shoot the breeze.  I talk to my other three sisters and brother far more frequently, so I figured, let me call, Cheryl.  Well, I never got around to it.  Luckily for me today, though, she called ME!  When I saw her name on my cell phone's Caller I.D., I picked it up and greeted her with a, "Well, well, well!"  I have to admit, our conversation was terrific.  It was great hearing about her life.  She and I have a lot in common.  Mainly:  we don't have much money!  :) :) :)  However, we both are cognizant of one thing we DO have:  the love of FAMILY!  Amen.

Cheryl and I discussed her recent car accident.  She works two jobs and fell asleep at the wheel on her drive  home from the second job.  She wound up running into a semi-truck.  Thankfully she wasn't injured.  Just shaken up.  Her car was totaled, though.  Oops, I mean, her daughter's car!  That made the situation worse for her; having to tell her daughter she had wrecked her car.  All's well that ends well, 'cause the car has been replaced.  And, more importantly, Cheryl is just fine!

I sure do wish my big sister the best life has to offer because she's an incredibly kind human being.  In hindsight, I'm sure she wishes some of her past decisions were different than they were.  But, heck, she still has breath, so changing past mistakes/decisions into something positive is STILL possible!  She's a winner in my book.  Period!!!!!

Make A Wish

The nation is abuzz because of today's date!  So, at 12:12 PM, I'm gonna make a wish for myself (which, incidentally, is also for the benefit of others).  It is my goal to step out of this apartment and be instrumental in making at least one person smile.  I have the power to do that, you know.  Heck, we all do!

Happy 12/12/12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

So Let It Be Written

Last night I attended One Church International's H2:2 Writer's Workshop.  The workshop gets its name from the bible's Habakkuk 2:2.  Paraphrased, it says, "Write down the revelation and make it plain..."  And writing down MY revelation was precisely what I did.  My short film script, Silver Lining, was performed in a staged reading.  The church selected the two actors.  I was thrilled to be there just to hear the actors breathe life into my words.  There are two actors I had in mind the whole time I was writing, but I thought they couldn't be there since they aren't members of the church.  I was wrong.  Earlier today I sent an e-mail and the script to one of those actors I had in mind.  I plan to hear him and the other actor I had in mind read it aloud for me, too.

Well, three other writers were in attendance and their pieces were also performed.  An "industry" guest was there to critique our work.  Interestingly enough, when I saw who the guest was, I recognized her immediately, but she couldn't quite place who I was until I told her.  Turns out she goes to The Saban Free Clinic like I do and we're both on its advisory committee together.  She was very pleasant and incredibly frank about how she has gotten her scripts produced.  In regard to her criticism of our work, well, I don't suspect she was as brutally honest with us as she could have been.  So, I'll just say that I'll take what she said to me about my work and...well...and nothing.  She said she liked it, so I'm taking her at her word!  If she said she hated it, I'd take her at her word AND try to push off her a moving train!  Haaa!  (just joking...sorta).  :)  I'll have to submit some more work to the workshop before too long, 'cause now I've been bitten by the writing bug again and want to produce more, more, more!  

Friday, December 7, 2012

Justin' Sayin'...

The next time I hear someone complain about having to be a passenger on the BUS, I'm gonna tell him to COUNT HIS BLESSINGS; 'cause he COULD be a passenger in ANOTHER vehicle!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Makeup Maestro...Goodbye.

Ross Burton

A day or two ago I heard about the death of a guy who used to work at MACY*S in NYC while I did back in the '90s.  He worked on the first floor, selling cosmetics.  For some strange reason, we didn't seem to hit it off at first.  I mean, I always got the sense there was some underlying tension.  Whenever I was with a friend of his and he walked up, he'd only address our mutual friend.  Oh well, that was then.  We wound up being very friendly with each other as time progressed.  He went on to accomplish great things in the cosmetic industry.  Even becoming Oprah's makeup artist and travelling the world with her.  Now, he's gone.  Is it wrong of me to wonder what caused his death?  It appears the Women's Wear Daily website has an article, explaining it, but I'd have to pay to subscribe to their online publication to read it.  And I'm not doing that, so I think this is God's way of telling me it doesn't matter the cause of his death.  What matters is what he did while he was alive.  And, according to numerous comments about him on various blogs, it appears he positively affected many lives.  God bless you, Ross.  And all those you loved.  And all those who loved you!

A Woman's World

She's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.  Sixty-six years old and STILL kickin' a$$ and takin' names!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Tell the truth!!!!!!

The Denim Checklist

Lloyd Boston

While looking up the Twitter page of recently deceased, makeup artist, Ross Burton, I also took a peek at Lloyd Boston's page.  That man is truly a guy who makes things happen for himself.  Anyway, he mentioned in one of his tweets that he would be appearing on a nationally televised program, moderating a men's fashion show.  Okay, he said a "sexy" fashion show.  Well, I found the show.  And, as always...he was terrific!  And so were the models!  Haaa!

"Ain't A Ceiling"

Jill Scott is so incredibly talented to me.  Her poetry becomes her songs.  And both are POWERFUL!  God bless her.  

Jill Scott Ain't A Ceiling (Full Version) by Abstractionz

...As A Bug's Ear

I don't know whose child she is, but what I know for sure is that she's ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, INCREDIBLY CUTE as all get out!!!!!!!  Period!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bang The Drum Slowly

Today was another stellar day at my volunteer gig with the elderly.  And it was stellar because Wahlbangers Drum Circle stopped by!  I'm tellin' you, the folks who run that organization are simply sensational!  Whenever they come to see the elderly residents, I have a blast!!!  Heck, I come up with some of the funkiest beats known to man!  Haaaa!

One of my favorite, Alzheimer's residents was visited today by her brother and his son.  I had never met either.  Anyway, it was somewhat sad to hear that neither had seen her since August 2011 and had no idea how her condition had deteriorated.  She is truly only a shell now.  She doesn't really speak.  And she's sitting in a wheelchair.  I had never seen her in a wheelchair until today.  It always saddens me when a resident's health deteriorates.  I accept that it's the circle of life, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.  God bless all the elderly here and everywhere.  I enjoy working with them significantly more than I enjoy working with children; so, there!

A New Day. A New Life.

If God and His Universe grant me another day, my journey toward living my best life begins.  If one man can change his life through focused action, so can two.  And three.  And four.  And I!!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Home, Sweet Home Part II

Living here in southern California can be realllly hard on a guy who loves variety, 'cause, when it comes to houses, I sure "fall in love" with sooooo many of 'em!  Yep, the pics above are of my latest obsession!!!!!  Why the homeowners have this beauty up for sale I have no idea.  But dang, I sure wish I had the moolah to buy it!!!!!