August 2007

A Different World

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Last week, I had Jury Duty. I managed to avoid it all week, and by Thursday night, I was feeling pretty confident that I'd escaped it...until I learned I had to go in Friday morning. And I got put on a trial.

I don't know anyone else my age who's served as a juror on as many trials as I have. I make it sound like I've served on hundreds of trials, but I've only served on two. But all the other people I know who have been put on TWO trials? They aren't under thirty years of age.

In the trial I served on two years ago, we found the defendant "not guilty," and I left deeply moved and confident about our justice system. The defendant and his family had met some of the jurors outside the courtroom after the verdict, his mother thanking us with tears in her eyes, the defendant hugging us. It was a system I was proud to be a part of.

In this most recent trial, the defendant had been an inmate at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, and was being charged with manufacture and possession of a shank. The crime had occurred seven years prior to the trial, which meant the defendant had been in jail at least that long. Part of the evidence presented had much to do with life in the prison system. Pictures were shown of the cell the defendant inhabited at the time of the crime, showing a room with a total of 27 bunks on three walls of the cell. In the center of the room, a couple of tables with stools (not chairs) attached. A shower, and a toilet with no lid. "Clothing exchanges," in which inmates get to change into freshly laundered clothing, sometimes take place in the middle of the night (3:15am, for example). They're allowed an 8x10 canister for their personal belongings, but must be careful not to keep an excess of anything, or it will be confiscated. They're allowed pencils, but not pens. If a pencil needs to be sharpened, an inmate must ask the guard to do it, for pencil sharpeners are not allowed in the cell. If they're lucky, they have a bunk to sleep in, but due to overcrowding, it's not uncommon for prisoners to sleep on the floor.

After the verdict, I met my best friend, her children (my godchildren), and my dad for lunch. Driving to work that afternoon, as I let everything sink in, I realized that this time around, I was feeling much different than my first experience as a juror. In this case, there were no winners. While I have no doubt that we came to the just conclusion, I felt sad for this man who found himself in such an environment that getting himself involved in activities that would eventually lead to a jail sentence seemed to be the only way for him. My heart ached for this man, so clearly troubled, and without family, no friends, no support system of any kind during this trial. Even out of prison, this man clearly lives in a completely different world than I do.

So what I'm going to remember from this experience is a new appreciation for the environment that I grew up in and the opportunities I've been given. And each meal that I get to share with my wonderful family is going to taste a little sweeter from now on.

Donny Does The House of Blues!

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I was 13 years old when my mother took a Tiger Beat Magazine from my hands and said, “Oh, Cindy, look at this cute boy.” At the time, I was going through my brief David Cassidy crush phase via the Partridge Family. Those of you in your 20’s and 30’s may find what I’m talking about totally foreign, or you’ll be like some friends I’ve known younger than myself, who have started a whole new trend in retro music and television fandom.

I don’t know if my mother’s apocalypse was just that, or if it was a genetic mother/daughter telepathic thought transference. Perhaps, I was just blind to the fact that Donny Osmond was indeed, very cute. She handed the magazine back and I took a good long look, and that was that. From then on, I was a loyal lover of Donny Osmond. It happened quickly and the rest is history. Unbeknownst to me at that time, my mother was trying to keep me in that fantasy place as long as she could, delay puberty and my discovery of the boys around me. Revenge on your parents is sweet. Little did she know what she was in for the next 7 years. I thought, ate, and slept Donny Osmond. I was the most loyal Donny fan ever. My father almost left home.

Next month, I turn 50, just a few months younger than my teenage crush himself, who is now a Grandfather. Yes, Donny Osmond is a Grandfather, but a "Sexy Grandpa" as his fans refer to him. So, when my friends heard that Donny was going to do a concert at the House of Blues Anaheim, my phone rang and everyone had the same thought – time to take a walk down memory lane.

As I look around me, things seem to be coming full circle. I wouldn’t trade my past memories for the world, and I’m glad I grew up in the 70’s, now that I see life in the year 2007. Seeing Donny use an iPod hooked to the monitors purporting his old songs made me step back and realize where technology has gone since those bygone days. Music has definitely remained in my life through the years though my tastes have changed some along the way.

I hadn’t seen Donny Osmond perform in many years. How long, I can’t recall, but I had heard things here and there about the family, and have kept an open ear when possible. So, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect because of all the years in between. I went in with an open mind anticipating nostalgia and a good time, and to simply watch “Donny Do The House of Blues"! Surprisingly, I got more than I’d bargained for, because it went far beyond my expectations.

Donny Osmond, HOB Anaheim, August 2007
All photos taken by Karla Richardson

Donny Osmond opened his show with a song entitled, “Will It Go Round In Circles” made famous circa 1970’s by Billy Preston, and he continued on from there. He has been performing live for 45 years. Have any of us done anything for 45 years continuously? That’s a pretty amazing time frame. He has also just finished his 55th album, an even more astounding accomplishment.


Yes, I enjoyed this show much more than anticipated, remembering back to those sweet and innocent years, just like the song, and yes, Donny did sing “Sweet and Innocent”, even if he is pushing 50 (he said it, I'm just repeating it). It simply made my heart and soul happy, and that’s the only way I can describe it. I looked around and saw happy faces having a good time interacting with the performer, and for a time they could forget their adult troubles. People sang along, gave pictures to him onstage for autographs; someone even gave him a Pokey horse (Gumby and Pokey), and then a Baby Donny Doll to sign. One lady gave him her child to carry onstage while he sang - all done in good spirit from the good guy that Donny Osmond was and continues to be. God Bless the good guys of the world, and I truly mean that.

Song requests were honored and the applause just kept coming for such hits as Hold Her Tight (a song by the Osmond Brothers); Breeze on By; Soldier of Love (Donny's comback hit); A medley of original hits, such as, Puppy Love, Go Away Little Girl, The Twelfth of Never; and songs from his new 70’s Love Songs album, including “I Can See Clearly Now”, and the Reverend Al Green’s “I’m So In Love With You”. A highlight of the show was seeing Donny take out the original saxophone he played at age 7. He played a sax solo during “Any Dream Will Do” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat, a play he performed in on Broadway and many other venues across the country.


Donny Osmond has provem that he can reinvent the wheel, stand the test of time just like fine wine! After all… 50 is the new 30, folks, get used to it!

Don't miss the 12th Annual Original Lobster Festival coming soon to Redondo Beach!

Don't miss entertainment all weekend long including James Intveld 9:00 pm. to close on September 21st, preceeded by Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys 7:00 - 9:00 pm.

Insane in the Brain. Surfing glacier waves.

Long Live The King of Rock -n- Roll!

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30 years ago today, the music world lost the one and only Elvis Presley. To this day he is remembered by fans across the world. Here is a YouTube video with footage dating back to the day Elvis died.

Captain Underwear in My Wallet

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This is a video produced by my friend Richard. He needs lots of exposure, no pun intended.

Skateboarding Bulldog Phenomenon!

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I've seen Tyson the Skateboarding Bulldog on TV, YouTube and other places, but there's something about this amazing species of dog that loves the skateboarding experience. Recently, there's been a multitude of videos popping up showing other bulldogs who are also taking up the hobby as well. It can't help but put a smile on your face!

Press One For English!

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LIfe in America is changing ever rapidly. I now have to ask to be transferred to an agent in the U.S. when calling my mortgage company, or else I end up speaking to someone in India. This song from YouTube was sent me and I suppose it just states it all in a song!


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This weekend the Costa Mesa Fairgrounds will be overrun with jewelry makers and shoppers. I have been waiting since March for this event. Don't miss it, the Gem Faire has something for everyone!

Costa Mesa, CA
Orange County Fairgrounds/Building 10
88 Fair Dr.
August 10, 11, 12
Classes & demonstrations
Wire-wrapping by Carolyn Eddy
Bead classes by Donna Palmer

Photo by Cindylu

For details & class schedules, please see Workshops.

A Good Talkin'-To

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Ya gotta admit...There's something a little Loretta Lynn-ish about the way Faith Hill handled this situation when an overzealous fan touched Tim McGraw inappropriately....