Saturday, August 31, 2013

Non-perishable Food List

Here's a list of non-perishable and shelf-stable foods.  They may not be the tastiest or the most healthy, but they will get you through a tough time.

List of Non-Perishable Foods
(Some of this may not be terribly appetizing but it will get you through an emergency; plan meals for 1 – 3 months, for at least three people more than are in your family, just in case you have refugees)

Keep these things on hand in bulk (maybe even in their own box/area – and rotate so everything stays fresh) – Oatmeal, instant oatmeal, crackers, dry cereal, bread sticks, pancake mix, biscuit mix, Pop-Tarts, maple syrup, honey, powdered eggs, powdered milk, drink mixes, Emergen-C drink mix, protein drink mixes, malted milk mixes, infant formula, shelf-stable boxed drinks and milk/soy/almond/rice milk, cocoa/hot chocolate, tea, coffee, instant coffee, sugar/brown sugar/sweeteners, salt & pepper, canning salt, peanut butter, Nutella, almond butters, jellies and jams in small containers, hulled sunflower seeds, nuts of all kinds, Mainstay calorie bars (buy online), Spam, tuna fish, canned chicken/beef/ham/fish, jerky, summer sausage, salami, corned beef, Velveeta, Hickory Farms shelf stable cheeses, canned vegetables and fruits (beans/tomatoes/fruit/green vegetables especially), dehydrated fruits, raisins, flour and baking essentials (baking powder, yeast and baking soda), canned meals (chili, soup, stew, Speghettios etc), salsa, sauerkraut, pickles, olives, pesto, dried tomatoes, lemon juice, instant rice, regular rice, Cream of Wheat/Rice cereals, cous cous, pasta, desserts (cookies/pie filling etc), butter, cooking oil (very important!), vinegars, olive oil, lard, Crisco, seasonings, dry herbs, bouillon cubes and powders, dry sauce mixes, instant potatoes, dry soup mixes, dried peas/beans/lentils/legumes (but they require lots of cooking and water), freeze dried meals and foods, hard candies, granola, protein bars, and don’t forget a nice hidden stash of chocolate.

Stock up on basics like potatoes, apples, breads of various sorts (sandwich breads, tortillas, bagels), fresh fruit, oranges, bananas – basically, any food that sit on your counter top or in your pantry without refrigeration

Wild foods – dandelions, chickweed, plantain (KNOW WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE, don’t guess), know where food grows in your immediate neighborhood – fruit trees, community gardens etc.

Created foods – learn the quick way to make cheese with lemon juice and milk; sauerkraut with cabbage and canning salt, how to make applesauce, how to bake bread/tortillas/flat breads from scratch

Learn to can and dehydrate and have all the tools you need, learn to make a solar oven and a solar food dehydrator (and have the supplies on hand, labeled), learn how to crock pickle.  Learn to cook on a Dakota hole and in a pit (and have what tools you need to do so); learn how to make a rocket stove with 16 bricks.  Have bread recipes and other recipes on hand.  Have books on hand to teach/remind you.

If you have no desire to learn homesteading skills, make friends with someone who does and trade goods for food if necessary.  Stock essential supplies to trade for goods – canning lids, matches, canning salt, recipes, charcoal, firewood, aluminum foil, fishing gear, ammunition, OTC meds, open pollinated seeds, antibiotic first aid cream etc.

Don’t forget vitamins and supplementations and extra pet food.  Know where grocery stores and restaurants are within walking distance.  Get either water barrels for your down spouts, or fill Aquatainers – one per person minimum (7-day minimum).  Know where the nearest water source is – and have a plan to transport water – containers, wagon, bike etc.  I would also suggest looking into storing food in 5-gallon buckets with Mylar bags and Gamma lids, and canning jars, to keep your supplies fresh and safe from bugs and vermin for long term storage. 

Having even some of these things - basic water, food and sanitation supplies - will help immensely in an emergency.  Please be prepared.  No one is going to take care of you in an emergency, except yourself.  And don't expect your prepared neighbors and friends to save your butt when you refuse to do anything to save it yourself!  They will have their own worries.  Good luck, all!



Here are some links to help you in planning:

http://www.ready.gov/
http://www.emergency.cdc.gov/
http://www.redcrossstore.org/

My favorite online store for emergency preparedness items is http://beprepared.com/#default

Systems Supplementation Emergency Preparedness

Here is the more extensive emergency preparedness lists for your consideration:

3 Month Supply List

(Water and weapons are always first priority in any emergency situation – without water you die in 3 days.  Without weapons you are defenseless and cannot keep what you have.  In an extreme situation, survival is about planning, supplies and luck/good fortune).

Water – backpacking water filter, tabletop water filter, straw filter, water bottle filter, UV light filter, water purification tablets, bleach & droppers (and instructions on how to use it)

Security – neighborhood watch, paying attention, weapons, guns, dogs (and dog food), landscaping

Light - candles/matches/lighters, emergency candles, Catholic/Israeli votive long burning candles, fire extinguisher, flashlights/batteries/head lamps, oil lamps, solar lights, solar path lights and extra batteries, camping lanterns

Heat - warm fleece/wool/silk clothing (not cotton!), appropriate outerwear and footwear for your climate, 0 degree rated sleeping bags, hats of all sorts including sleeping hats, lap blankets, Lil' Buddy Propane heaters and fuel, wood stove and firewood (PS your fireplace will NOT keep you warm in an emergency)

Cooling – hats with brims, battery powered fans, bandanas with cooling beads, first aid supply ice packs

Food - at least a months’ supply of non-perishable food for whomever is in your household plus 3 for safety * (preferably 3 – 12 months worth), local sources of fresh food, gardens, orchards/micro-orchards

Shelter - tents/ground cloths/extra stakes, tarps, rope (what happens if your friends who planned for nothing showed up on your doorstep?  A tent could house them).

Cooking - small camp stove with extra fuel, BBQ/grill with extra charcoal, small diameter firewood, firewood and a rocket stove made of bricks, matches/lighters, wood stove and firewood

Sanitation - extra toilet paper, hand sanitizer, diaper wipes, solar camping showers, clean gallon water containers/matte black paint (to set in the sun and warm up full of water), garden watering cans, dry shampoo, hand soap, bar soap/shampoo/laundry soap/line/clothes pins, wash boards – glass is best, quality buckets (look at a livestock-feed store), extra dish soap, feminine supplies & cloth pads, at least three days worth of cloth diapers and covers if you have infants plus a separate bucket to wash them in 

Health - first aid kits, OTC medications, pain medications (Tylenol, Advil etc), extra prescription medications and glasses, bee sting kits, epi pens for allergies, asthma medications, CPR & First Aid Certification, toothbrushes and toothpaste

Entertainment – board games, card games, puzzles, books of all sorts, musical instruments, homeschooling workbooks, CD players, DVD players that plug into a vehicle battery and adapter, toys

Transportation - a bicycle in good working order/extra parts/tools, car gassed up at least half full at all times and in proper working order, a Bug Out Bag, maps, exit routes and back up plans, pet transportation cages & vaccination records

Communications - radio with extra batteries, car battery charger for cell phones, written out lists of important telephone numbers


Miscellaneous - extra diapers/formula/baby food for infants if you have one or neighbors/friends who do, Pedialyte or oral rehydration fluids, extra supplies if you have elders, extra supplies if you have special needs in your household; work gloves, basic tools (hammer/nails, screwdrivers, wrenches, utility shut off tools, copies of important documents and identification, cash on hand, memory sticks with important data and documentations, extra pet foods and medications

I will post a list of non-perishable food in a moment.

Emergency (Earthquake) Preparedness

 I have lived in earthquake country before now, in Los Angeles.  I currently live in Oregon, which is another area that has the potential to see a large quake.  My interest in earthquake preparedness (and by extension, all emergency preparedness) stems from my experiences in the Northridge Earthquake in Los Angeles in 1994.  I was a nanny at the time, and we were without power for a few days.  The experience was made more tolerable because I had camping gear in the trunk of my car - mostly because I lacked another place to store it - but having some bare essentials definitely helped. Because I had a simple camp stove, fuel and an espresso maker, I was able to make coffee for the neighborhood (albeit one cup at a time!).  It was a great learning experience.  For the past couple of weeks, I've had a few earthquake dreams that I will take as warnings.  Are you ready if a large, disruptive quake happened today?

Here's how I look at things - as systems supplementation and systems replacement.  Systems supplementation means that you are adding emergency goods to your regular systems – house, utilities, etc.  Replacement means you are relying on alternatives – like wood stoves for heat, your garden for all your food etc. The systems I’m talking about are light, heat, food, cooking, water, security, sanitation, health, cooling etc.   Most people aren't hard core survivalists who want to live off the grid, eat wild food and use composting toilets.  Some people are - and I know some of them - but I am not, and neither are most people, so that is whom my post is addressed to today.  I'm a single mom with a child with special needs and my resources are limited - so I have learned to be prepared on very little.  I'd like to share that with you.

Start by taking inventory of what you already have - do you have flashlights, extra batteries, pet food, basic camping gear?  Do you have a basic car kit - jumper cables, coolant/antifreeze/oil, blankets, non-perishable snacks?  If so, then move on from there.



Here's my suggestion for a Bare Minimum supply list.  Adjust it to fit your own needs.  Remember, you could be entirely on your own for days or even weeks. (If you really want to freak yourself out and look at the worst case scenario, read up on the Carrington Event of 1859 and wonder what would happen today -  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859; a good book on this would be "One Second After" by William Forschten and Newt Gingrich - think the .gov doesn't know this is a potentiality?  It does.).  So, CYA folks, you are on your own.

Bare Minimum Emergency Supplies – everyone should have AT LEAST this stored somewhere safe and protected.

Flashlight with extra batteries (one per person), small battery camping lanterns with extra batteries, appropriate clothing for the season, 1 month of non-perishable foods minimum, matches and lighters, camp stove and fuel, pet food, hand sanitizer, weapons/friends/neighbors/family, water containers – 3 gallons per person, a quality bucket, plain no scent added bleach and a dropper, knowledge of nearest water source and plans to get there and transport water safely, OTC and prescription medications, basic first aid supplies, laundry soap/line/clothes pins, radio with extra batteries.  

Basically, the idea is that you should be able to take care of yourself for a couple of weeks without emergency services, or be in a position to allow those less fortunate (or less planful or aware) than you to have access to the first influx of assistance after a disaster.  Build your safety net.  It had never crossed my mind that I could be in a disaster zone, but it turned out to be less of a disaster because we were somewhat prepared – we had a full pantry, water, my camping gear and lived in a good neighborhood that pulled together to make sure everyone was okay.



I will also post a much more detailed list, but please try to acquire at least those basic supplies outlined above, especially if you live on the West Coast – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oregon etc – anywhere on the Pacific Rim where earthquakes are common.  And if you are reading this from outside the USA, especially if you are from Japan, then you KNOW how important some general preparedness can be.  Please take steps today to put up some basic goods. 

Thank you and good luck!


Friday, August 30, 2013

First harvest


My interests are not ONLY in Star Trek.  :) 

I am also aspiring to be an urban homesteader and I love emergency preparedness.  I will be doing a blog post on emergency preparedness - probably for tomorrow or Sunday - because I have had yet another dream of earthquakes (this makes four in about four weeks).  




But for now, here's pictures of the first fall - late summer harvests!  Our apartment complex has little mini gardens in front of each apartment and most of them are planted.  I'm growing two types of tomatoes, pickling/lemon/slicing cukes in front of one neighbor's apartment.  I also have containers in the parking lot and an 8x8 in the back next to the creek.  I harvested garlic and shallots, and get chard and blackberries daily.  The potatoes are doing well.  The potato onions are eight feet tall and I don't know quite how to harvest them, as the greenery has become entangled in mesh fencing to keep out the raccoons and nutria.  I'll figure it out.  I love fall.  I cannot wait for apples - cider, apple sauce, pie filling.  Here's some pix of the harvest and stuff I've canned. 

tomatoes, lemon cuke and garlic!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The MBTI from an INFJ

Good morning!

I remain fascinated with the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator as a way of better understanding both myself and others.   You can find all sorts of less clinical but mostly accurate tests online.  Go find some, take several, and see what happens.  

I frequently refer to myself as an INFJ - that is: Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging.  I gain energy by being alone (introvert), gather information on the world through intuition (vs the senses), feel my way through life rather than thinking through it, and prefer things settled and decided vs open-ended and variable (judging vs perceiving).  Only 1% of people are INFJ's, so many times, I feel misunderstood and alone.  But that's OK with me...I am used to it.  My best friends joke that occasionally they will learn something entirely new about me, when they've known me for 20 or 30 years.  I am consumed with the feeling that I must make a difference in the world and make it a better place.  

How about you?  Who are you?

 http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/  Check out the official website here. 




Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sir Patrick Stewart, Gentleman

Sir Patrick Stewart.  My, that name sounds pretentious.  Luckily, the man behind the name is not.  When I first started watching Star Trek: The Next Generation on television (back when I watched TV), I was smitten with this British gent.  Who wasn’t?  What do you call someone who loves everything associated with England?  An Anglophile?  Well, I probably qualified.  I grew up watching the original series Star Trek, but I liked the second one just as well as a teen and young adult. 

When I first moved to Los Angeles and was working as a nanny, I remember watching the show with the boys I was caring for.  My few hours of television watching in the late evening were my only hours “off” work.  My days were long, and I worked six days a week, usually from 7am until 8 or 9pm.  But, the boys would cry on the floor outside my shut and locked bedroom door, so I usually let them in and we sat on my bed and watched TNG together even though it was my down time.  Oh, well.  Now that I was in Los Angeles, I was sad that TNG had completed filming.  However, my boss whom I nannied for knew of my love of all things Trek, so after the Northridge Earthquake when they moved to Florida, he helped get me a job at Paramount Pictures, where TNG had been shot.  From there, I ended up working on two seasons of DS9, and got a crack at the studio portion of the TNG movie First Contact from the Voyager 1st AD, Jerry Fleck, who liked my work ethic and hustle while I was working on DS9.  I was thrilled when Jerry told me I’d gotten the job.  How strange it was, to be working on a show I’d admired previously only on the television screen!

My first day of work as a Production Assistant on Star Trek: First Contact could have been my last.  One of my job responsibilities was to get the cast breakfast.  For some reason most of the cast had early call times (when actors have to show up on set) and Mr. Stewart had a later call.  I had handled breakfast just fine for all the other cast and people that I was responsible for, but I forgot all about Mr. Stewart.  I saw him walk into the sound stage and notice other actors eating.  With a sinking heart, I sucked it up and walked over to him.  Introducing myself, I said, “Hello Mr. Stewart, I’m your new Set Production Assistant Kerry and I forgot your breakfast order.  May I please get you something?” I was so afraid he was going to get angry and demand my resignation.  Instead, he smiled and said, “Don’t worry, I know where the Craft Service table is.  I’ll get a croissant and a coffee, and we’ll try it again tomorrow.  Shall we?”  YES.  I could have kissed his feet.  And so, my first day was NOT my last after all.  Thank goodness, and him!

That pretty much sums up the character of Sir Patrick Stewart.  Sure, everyone has bad days.  However, I honestly never saw him have one while on First Contact – or maybe how he handles a bad day is preferable to the ways some other actors have them!  I truly believe that the content of someone’s character is tested by how they treat those who have nothing to offer them. 
Since then, I have kept track of him and his doings out in the world.  With appreciation,I see him becoming an advocate for victims of domestic violence.  Apparently, his own family of origin experienced domestic violence, his mother being the prime victim of his father, a veteran suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.   

This is yet another example of why I am delighted to be able to put together a blog like this showcasing interesting things that actors on Star Trek are doing in their own lives.   I am happy to be able to advertise this aspect of him.  He is a wonderful human being, I am lucky to have gotten to work with him. 

For more information on domestic violence prevention, visit http://www.thehotline.org/.  Please take some time to find out what resources are available in your own area.  Do what you can to support these services or make use of them.  If Patrick Stewart can take a stand against this, so can you and I. 

If you need any inspiration, please watch this video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX8h4V4Ny9o


Thank you, Sir Patrick.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Chris Pine, Captain Perfect Hair

First, happy birthday to Chris Pine, today turning 33!



That line from Scotty in STID just cracks me up every time I hear it, so I could not help but use it.  In a way, it is a useful metaphor for today’s post.  Believe it or not, Chris Pine is one of the reasons I am doing this blog.  It annoys me tremendously when Trek actors are relegated to the status of “eye candy”… it is one reason I am writing this blog.  Most Trek actors are very intelligent and passionate about many relevant topics.  Nearly all of the websites that follow Chris just suck mud, and even the one website with any content (which has an excellent photo gallery) has a tiny little tab for quotes (1).  I became intrigued with the new Captain Kirk after watching delightful interviews posted on YouTube promoting STID.  While I did not sit down and transcribe any of those interviews, I did google magazine interviews online to get quotes from Chris to use here this morning.  Many are quite thoughtful; I had a difficult time deciding which quotes to use.  There are plenty of beautiful men out there in Hollywood, but I also like brains - and men who actually use them as something other than a place holder to keep their ears apart. 

Here are some quotes: 

 “’Staying positive lies at the root of everything from basic survival to supreme achievement.’  Pine says that the skill of staying grounded comes from finding the perspective in any situation. “My mum gave me this book by Viktor Frankl: Man’s Search For Meaning,” he says. “Here’s a guy who’s in a concentration camp. Whatever they had him eat, he forced himself to recreate another meal: instead of porridge and dirty water, it’s champagne and steak. That’s clearly an extreme example. But the point is that sometimes the only thing you have control over is perspective. ” (2)

He reads Viktor Frankl voluntarily.  I. Am. Speechless.  Here.  (Okay, not really).  It’s true, though – how you choose to define events in your life can guide you in how to respond to them.  As the parent of a child with special needs and many challenges, I certainly understand that.  Your words become your reality.  What you tell yourself, matters. 

“I believe in luck and fate and I believe in karma, that the energy you put out in the world comes back to meet you. So if you have positive good energy, hopefully good things will come to you from the universe...I definitely have a spiritual outlook. I don't usually read self-help books, but I read a great book by a guy called Wayne Dyer, "The Power of Intention", which I loved. I am not a religious guy, I am probably agnostic but I thought what this writer had to say was really powerful. The more you are positive and say I want to have a good life, the more you build that reality for yourself; by creating the life that you want. It is not always the case that things will fall into your lap or that life will be great, but it is all about perspective and having a positive outlook. If something goes wrong, you say, 'That happened for a reason, what can I learn from that and how can I grow?” (3)  



"I'm more cerebral than I want to be," he says. "Sometimes I think I need to get crazy. Go to Vegas. Do some drugs. Get some hookers. Gamble it all away. And it never happens. I usually just end up at home on my couch—reading." (4)

 “Life flies by and it’s easy to get lost in the blur,” he says, echoing Ferris Bueller and tossing his smoothie cup, with a perfect bank shot, into the recycling bin. “In adolescence, it’s ‘How do I fit in?’  In your 20s, ‘What do you want to do?’  Your 30s ‘Is this what I’m meant to do?’ I think the trick is living the questions.  Not worrying so much about what’s ahead but rather sitting in the gray area: being okay with where you are.  If you can find the parity between ‘Where am I going?’ and ‘What’s my purpose?’ you’ve got two pretty solid pillars for your coffee table.” (5)
As an unapologetic Captain Kirk fan (yes, both of them), I look forward to seeing what Chris does with one of my favorite characters, but perhaps most especially what else he does beyond Trek (I can’t wait for Jack Ryan).  Maybe there’s hope that this guy, on a trajectory towards A-list status (and who will be there once Jack Ryan comes out this winter) might escape “the false dignities and conceits imposed by success” (6).  Let us hope so.  With that, I am off to ponder my own search for meaning.



References:
  1. www.chris-pine.org
  2. http://www.menshealth.co.uk/living/men/interview-chris-pine
  3. http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news/18435/Chris-Pine-Talks-Lindsay-Lohan-Movies-and-Luck
  4. http://www.details.com/celebrities-entertainment/cover-stars/201011/star-trek-unstoppable-actor-chris-pine#ixzz2bQhB3TDp
  5. Men’s Health Magazine, June 2013 (by David Hochman)
  6. Quote from The Catastrophe of Success  by Tennessee Williams – original published in the New York Times, 11/30/49.  For an interesting blog post on it, read further here http://truegoodbeautiful.com/uncategorized/the-catastrophe-of-success-by-tennessee-williams/.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Geek Credentials


A friend asked me which Star Trek actors and/or characters I would consider myself to be a fan of.  It’s really awkward to say that you are a fan of someone when you have met them and worked with them, but not impossible, and I certainly haven’t met all of them yet!  Characters are fair game.  I’d rather keep the focus on the actors rather than characters, but here it is for the record:

I am
An enthusiastic Captain Kirk fan 
(yes, both Shatner and Pine)
A Nimoy and Zach fan
Dax rocks my world – Best.  Alien.  EVER.  And Terry who is Real
You can call me a Peggster any day
Nana, Armin, Rene, Max and Andy – creative geniuses and good people
Sir Patrick
Mischievous Jonathan who laughs
Brent, he of the silver-dollar sized pancakes with syrup on the side
Captain Kate
Robbie with a noble heart
Scott who had preemies and kind words
Sid, a true gentleman
And that ivory angel with a shotgun called … Enterprise

If I did not mention an actor or a character, I probably like them anyway.  However, a few have made me understand why fairy tale parents leave their children in Dark Forests.


And you?

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Secret to a Happy Life

I have decided that the secret to a happy life is learning and living what your own definition of “enough” is.

Enough money to meet basic needs
Enough shelter to give you privacy
Enough love to give life meaning
Enough prosperity to buy you time
Enough intellectual stimulation to keep you from stagnating
Enough success to give you satisfaction
Enough heartache to keep you humble
Enough failure to make you hungry
Enough joy to make you thankful
Enough true friends to keep you on track
Enough trials to force you to grow deep
Enough health to allow you accomplishments
Enough solitude to retreat to
Enough togetherness to connect
Enough family to give you roots
Enough laughter to lighten the load
Enough passion to set your heart on fire
Enough understanding to determine reality
Enough compassion to realize we are all connected
Enough time to do what you were meant to do
Enough wisdom to use the time we are given well

If you look closely at this list, few of these things involve money.  Money only buys material goods, and we are so much more than material beings – we are emotional, social and spiritual beings, also.  Money – of which I have very little, and so I know what I’m talking about here – buys some good things – shelter, food, health care, utilities etc.  However, it does not buy anything that can feed the soul.  Money is a tool to be used.  Use it well.

"Enough".  What does that mean to you?  Too little and we suffer from the lack.  Too much and we rot from excess. Find your own definition of “enough”, and focus on what matters more, in all the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. The only things we take with us when we die are those things that cannot be bought for any price. Love and connections between people are the only things that matter.  Spend the days of your life wisely.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What would you like to see here?

Today I am playing on the internet doing research for blog posts.  I am actually having a very interesting morning looking into Star Trek characters and archetypes.  I think you'll see a series of posts soon on the topic!

What do you want to see here?  There have been nearly 500 page views since Monday, and I know they haven't all been me :)  Please, speak up!  




I just liked this picture (which is awesome in and of itself).  On tumblr someone added the quote, which makes it even more fabulous!  Enjoy!

Nimoy Prime




I have walked alone seeking answers
I have lived alone chasing dreams
I have tried to prove my worth to worthless judges
I have cried my pain in 
silent screams
I have been sometimes served a touch of kindness
I have wandered in golden fields of Grace
I have been released by honest laughter
I have touched the Western Wall of the Holy place.
I have soared alone above 
the cloud heads
I have walked the deep dark tunnels of earth
I have dines with mystics and with prophets
I have heard the pain of woman giving birth
I have been sought after as a teacher
I have been refused the laurel wreath
I have heard the thunder blast of sunrise
I have watched the final touch of death
I have played the rules set by the master
Though often I didn't understand the game
I have worn more masks than I can remember
I have been a face without a name
And when like you I ask the final question
Who on earth am I supposed to be
I always 
come full circle to the answer, me, only me...always me.
                                                                       - Leonard Nimoy

While doing research on Mr. Nimoy I came across this poem, and I just liked it.  It shows a side of this wonderful man that many people miss in the overwhelming shadow of the Spock persona that follows Mr. Nimoy everywhere.  Luckily for us all, there is much  more to this incredibly talented person than just his portrayal of one character.
Actor, director, poet, singer, songwriter and photographer.  Humanitarian.  Mentor.  That gorgeous and distinctive voice.  He keeps saying that he’s retiring, but doesn’t seem capable of staying away from cameos, interviews, voice overs, and narrations etc – thank goodness!  Don’t neglect to follow him on Twitter!
A favorite quote: “The miracle is this: the more we share the more we have.”  Isn’t that the truth?  One of the basic tenets of Trek is that we are better together than we are alone.  Works just as well in real life.  No one can do it alone.  We are hardwired for connection.
Thank you for all that you have done, and all that you are.  We have all been enriched by your presence here in this lifetime.  What an excellent thing to be able to say, we should all be so lucky to have people say that about each of us!  Prosperity and long life have already been yours – may happiness and joy follow you all the days of your life.
[KV note: it proved impossible to find some core source references and dates for Mr. Nimoy’s quotes.  They have been quoted and re-quoted for decades.]

Some Nimoy links for your edification:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPkByAkAdZs  Leonard Nimoy vs Zachary Quinto for Audi.  Best.  Advertisement.  Ever!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

We Don't Meet People By Accident


We do not meet people by accident.  

Rules of Conduct

Rules of conduct:

Basic rule - be kind.  Treat each other as if you were in the same room together talking face to face and actually liked each other. I want to build people up, not tear them down, and expect you all to do the same, at least while you’re here hanging out with me. Please send me a message if there is something you’d like to see here, like a really cool interview or quote, or if you have an idea for a post.  As they say, with great power comes great responsibility – so use the opportunity here wisely – I hope I will do the same.  You can feel free to call me on it if I don’t.  We are here to have fun!

I cannot guarantee that everything here will be rated G or PG or even PG-13.  I admit that I like to cuss.  It comes from working in Hollywood dropping “F-bombs” all day long for a decade - mea culpa.  I will try to keep it relatively clean, but hey, some days just suck. 


There are comments I will delete - I will not tolerate gay-bashing or homophobic comments.  Please do not post paparazzi pictures – they are invasive assholes and get paid to harass people that you and I like. I also don’t want speculation on the relationships of these actors.  I’m not big on ‘shipping or gossip and actors are real people who get hurt by stuff like that.  No racist or bigoted speech will be allowed, no sexual explicit material, no threats, no harassment or personal privacy violations.  Play nice or leave.
  
If you are a ST actor and want to submit something, please do so.  However, if you are a hoaxer and pulling my leg, I will expose you and make sure your name is mud, or at least, Mudd.  When you post, keep in mind that you never know who might be reading your comments – it could even be your mother.  If I think of other things to add here, I’ll do so and let you know.  This is a work-in-progress and things may and probably will change as I learn more about blogging.  Thank you for being here.  Have fun and enjoy!  

Goals of My Blog

Why I write (aka my goals for this blog):

·         ~ Showcase interesting articles, interviews and other media about actors associated with all the various Star Trek’s.  I want to provide a place online where content trumps a pretty cover picture.  Basically, I got tired of going to fan sites and wading through the drool of fanboys and fangirls.  I have met and worked with many of the Star Trek actors and know many of them are MUCH MORE than pretty faces.  So, this is for them and the people who appreciate that.

·         ~ Give interested people a place to read and discuss profound topics not generally found elsewhere online that are important to them and to the actors of Trek

·         ~ Enact my role as a catalyst to provide meaning to people’s lives and provide role models and guides for the journey that we are all on together.

·         ~ To wax eloquent on some of my personal eclectic interests and give voice to my desire to make a difference in the world.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Through the Looking Glass With Nana Visitor

By the time you’ll read this, I will have finished writing my 17th post… I’m writing them in advance so I always have something for you, in case I ever get the dreaded “writer’s block”.  I almost had it on this post.  I say “almost” because I sat and stared at the page for an hour before writing anything.  It was not from a lack of words, but an excess.  There are so many things I could say about Nana, since she is the Trek actress I have known the longest – it’s really strange to think that I have known her for nearly twenty years.  Indeed, she is the reason I worked on Star Trek at all. 



The beginning seems like an appropriate place to start.  While attending college and working as a Preschool Director, I went to my first convention where Nana (the guest star) mentioned that she was looking for a nanny for her son, Buster…. so, on a whim, I sent her my resume.  To my surprise, she called me a few weeks later and we did several telephone interviews.  Then I went down to L.A. for a face-to-face interview.  I did  not really realize, then, how unusual that was.  I do now.  It was one of the first events of synchronicity in my life but not the last!

I met Nana and her (then) husband Nick at Paramount Pictures for an interview – with Nana in full make up and wardrobe as “The Intendant” from the alternate universe.  Talk about intimidating!  They ended up hiring someone else, but within a couple months I was in Los Angeles working as a nanny for a producer of ABC family movies anyway.  When the Northridge earthquake struck the next year, my producer and his family moved to Florida and he got me a job at Paramount.  Synchronicity again - those offices were next door to the DS9 office in the Cooper Building.


I had stayed in distant contact with Nana, and I let her know that I was now working on the lot.  When that show was cancelled, I interviewed for a Production Assistant position on DS9.  Apparently, the producers were leery of hiring me because during the year I’d been living in Los Angeles (lonely out of my mind), I had joined both Nana and Sid’s fan clubs in order to meet people.  It almost cost me the job, but apparently Nana and Sid both vouched for me.  So, I owe Nana thanks for one of the best jobs I have ever had, and certainly one of the projects I am most proud of.  I greatly valued the opportunity to work on a show that stood for diversity, acceptance and that had such a positive vision of the future. 


(Alexander Siddig  aka Sid, Buster and Nana pregnant with Django)

 I agree with this quote from her:  “I have deep feelings about “Star Trek”. I feel that it`s able to present archetypes that are important story telling tools. And we need story telling.”

There are so many stories I could share.  Babysitting her boys and being scared of her stalkers?  Trying to figure out how to command her guard dogs… in German?  One evening while shooting late on the lot, however, stands out - I asked Nana to teach me to dance the Tango.  She is a phenomenal dancer - as the daughter of a choreographer and a ballet instructor and the niece of Cyd Charisse, she should be!  I, however, have two left feet, and after an hour or so of swishing up and down the hallway in her trailer stomping on her toes, we gave it up as hopeless.  It was a terrible dance lesson, but one of many good memories. 

If you want to see Nana dance these days, check out this video: 


She used to have a cooking blog with her sister, Zan, but I think she’s given it up.  It’s too bad, she had some amazing recipes!  

These are lighthearted videos, and they made me laugh, watching her play and goof off.  I have not seen Nana in ten years now, since my son was born and I left Los Angeles, but I will still count her a friend.  Thanks for the great PA job, thanks for guiding me through the looking glass to play in the Trek universe, and for all the memories, Nana!  You are one of my heroes. 


If you have any good stories of any of the actors I showcase, please share them!  J

Monday, August 19, 2013

Gene Roddenberry's birthday!

I had no idea that today is Gene Roddenberry's birthday.  Thank you to Eric Stillwell for posting this on Facebook!  The hair on my arms is standing on end, and I actually feel rather lightheaded at the moment.  I hope you like the site, Mr. Roddenberry.  Thank you for Star Trek!


It Gets Better: Zachary Quinto

It Gets Better: Zachary Quinto



Deciding what to do for my very first blog post was not all that difficult. 

In May, I went to see the new movie Star Trek Into Darkness, and became nostalgic for my own years working on Star Trek.  First, I found Lindsay Robinson who has the website www.startrekmagic.com while searching for a mailing address for Zachary Quinto, the new guy playing Spock. Lindsay also happens to be an admin over at ZQ’s Facebook forum website, so I spent my horribly boring summer playing online over there.  In addition, I did a set of three interviews for her site, and in them I mention wanting to make a difference and not knowing how.  Second, I read a great book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, which really hit me in the gut with its message to live authentically and take action to make connections.  Third, I read a book by the psychic Sylvia Browne where she says each person has a Primary Life Theme when we incarnate.  What jumped out at me was the Life Theme of “Catalyst” – to quote, “They are society’s “spurs” who are here to inspire, mobilize, and make things happen.  They’re the first in a group to say, “Let’s stop talking about it and just do it,” and they especially excel under stress.  Their biggest hurdle is trying to feel at peace without a project to take on and accomplish.” (1)  Besides being my son’s mother and advocate, I have been looking for a way to make a difference for a long time on a larger scale. 

The convergence of these three things took place within a two week period at the beginning of August 2013.  The synchronicity could not be denied – this was beyond coincidence.  I have wanted to blog for a while now, but I needed a reason.  I did not know much about Zachary Quinto prior to this summer, and while reading some of the interviews he’s done and stuff he’s said since STID, I was impressed as hell, to say the least.  Then it occurred to me that a LOT of the Star Trek actors are deep and thoughtful people (I have met and worked with three different ST casts – DS9, TNG and Voyager), and it seems silly to share pretty pictures online without examining the other side of the coin – the human being beneath the pretty picture.  I thought it would be nice to share some of the profound things these people have said and done as human beings, not as their Star Trek characters.  The idea crashed over me like a wave.  This blog was born. 

Now, why is Zachary Quinto the guinea pig for my first post?  He is a talented actor and producer, an interesting human being and is incredibly eloquent, but he is only one of many in the Star Trek universe.  I chose him first mostly because of this quote and his ability to walk the talk: “I believe in the power of intention to change the landscape of our society – and it is my intention to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action.”(2).  Who speaks like this anymore?  It’s beautiful.  As I also have that goal, to live an authentic life of service, it jumped out at me immediately.  And another quote:  “I think all of us in this industry can encourage dialog and discourse about socially and politically relevant topics,” Quinto says, “It is incumbent upon us to do it to a certain extent.”(3)  Point taken and challenge accepted!

I admire his bravery in coming out as gay as an up-and-coming actor/ producer in Hollywood.  That alone is laudable, but he is also doing what he can to save the lives of young queer people.  How much more noteworthy is that?  It beats simply acting in a television show or movie any day.  As a pansexual person myself, I am thankful for people in the public eye who take a stand for what’s right and good and true.  Therefore, my first post includes his video for the website “It Gets Better”, at http://www.itgetsbetter.org .   In addition, he supports “The Trevor Project”, a national organization which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention to LGBTQ youth, at http://www.thetrevorproject.org/ .

Transcript of his “It Gets Better” Video: “I’m Zachary Quinto and I want to add to the chorus of voices rising up against the kind of hatred and ridicule that led to the senseless and heartbreaking suicides of Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Billy Lucas, Tyler Clemente and Raymond Chase in just the past few months in this country. And those are only the names that we’ve come to know. There are countless other teens and young adults who are struggling to find a sense of identity and belonging in a chaotic and often unforgiving world.

And to you, I say it gets better. There is help to be found. There are places to turn. There are people who will listen at Trevorproject.org, 1-866-4U-Trevor, is a place to start. Start there -- start anywhere -- but start by believing that life is worth living, and you will find your way. And I am proud to be a voice that stands to remind you of that, any time you ever come close to forgetting it.”

Bravo, Zach, bravo!  I give you a standing ovation.  Thank you for making a difference.

(1)        Page 230, Life on the Other Side by Sylvia Browne.