Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas

Although I would really like to keep up with my blog during the Christmas Season, it's not going very well.  So I'd like to wish you all an Amazing Christmas and a most prosperous New Year.  I'll see you in January.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

You Too Can Relate

I was dining with my niece at Balboa Pizza Company (in Henderson, NV), and she said how so much of what we learn about relationships, is from watching our parents.  Considering that approximately 50% of marriages end in divorce, this is a scary thought.  Neither she nor I grew up in a home where there was respect, love or friendship between our parents.

She's in her twenties and trying to find her way.  I'm not, but I recall those same years trying to find mine.  I spent them jumping from one dysfunctional relationship to the next.  As I stood in front of my elders, a bleeding heart in hand, the conversation typically went like this:

"Why does this keep happening to me?"
"Don't worry, lots of fish in the see.  The right one will come along."
"How will I know?"
"You'll know."

How is this helpful?!  Why didn't anyone, in ten years, ever say:

"This keeps happening to you, because you were taught that if you don't get your way, you shout the other person down until they cave."

"This keeps happening to you because the only reason the two people who raised you stayed together, was 'for the kids.'  Love and respect for each other went out the window six months after you born."

"You will know the 'right one' when he gives as much as you do.   Not necessarily at the same time, but at the end of the year, the score should be zero to zero.  If you're the only one giving, GET OUT!"

"You'll know he's the right one when he treats you as kindly as you treat him.  If he can't, say goodbye and go live your life until a loving fella enters your world."

"If a potential partner tells you that they are no good - RUN!!!  They know themselves.  Trust them.  Do not assume that they're misunderstood.  RUN!!!! I tell you RUN!!!

As it turned out, the right one did come along disguised as my friend (add that to the list).   How did I know he was the right one?  Every time we took the next step, dating, engagement, marriage, buying a home, it felt right in the pit of my stomach.

I told my niece all of these things, as I have 294 times before.  Her eyes glaze over like they do when I tell the same story over and over again.  Really, the most important thing each of us can do?  Teach those coming up after us to relate, remembering that they hear little we say, but watch every move we make.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Galveston Gulf View Condo Available for Vacation Rental

I haven't achieved the readership, yet, that I need to get folks who'd like to advertise on my blog, so I've decided to do a bit of my own.

We have a condo in Galveston, TX that we rent out year round.  It's a two bedroom, two bath that sleeps eight.  It has a west gulf view, is located on the first floor, one king bed, one queen bed, bunk beds and a sleeper sofa.  Two TV's (One Flatscreen), DVD, full range/oven, granite counter tops, ceramic tile floor coverings throughout, washer/dryer and wireless internet.

If you'd like to know more about it, please visit:

In case that link doesn't work, please go to:

And choose to book suite #1106.

Thank you.

Who's Problem Is It?

Thanksgiving is less than a week and a half away; Christmas, just slightly over a month.  It's the time for spending oodles of time with family.  In our dreams there is a cozy fire burning, the house smells of turkey and spice and everyone is being treated with kindness and love.  The fire and the turkey, doable.  Families who do not end up in some sort of scuffle before desert, rare as the East African Bongo.

I've thought of a coping strategy to use this year, that I'd like to share.  We'll find out together how well it works.

There are members of my family that don't like my hair.  I like my hair.  So when they make an evil comment about the light socket and my finger, I'm going to say to myself, their problem not mine, and continue stuffing the turkey.

I am overweight, but have been working very hard since June and have seen some positive results.  However, barring famine, I won't be my ideal weight by Christmas.  So if when the pumpkin pie is passed and Aunt Sara says, "Oh she doesn't need any of that," to an entire room of people, I will say in my head, bully, and then take a slice of the pie.

We internalize so many mean things that are said to us, or feel like we need to defend ourselves.  "My hair is naturally curly." "I've been exercising and eating really healthy."  Or, we hone in on their faults.  "Oh, I guess it's okay that you ran over Sam's cat who didn't die, but you left the scene anyway."  This gets nowhere quickly.  The cat is no more of your business than your hair and weight are theirs'.

I never recommend internalizing feelings or not feeling your feelings.  Heart attack city.  I do recommend not taking on other folks problems or bullying even if you love them.  If they tell you that you have a character trait that you're not, greedy for example, simply write it off to being their problem.  If you've been struggling with greed, you've confided in them, and they're using it against you, bully.

Enjoy the season.  And Praise God that it only comes once a year!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Rich Habits

Rich Habits Book - Buy NowI just finished reading Rich Habits, by Thomas C. Corley CPA, CFP, M.S. Tax, published by Langdon Street Press.

The book is 89 pages of excellent advice on how to get your life organized, including examples of the changes three individuals experienced after thirty days or so of the program.  As the title implies, if you follow Mr. Corley's ten steps, monetary wealth should follow.  I can see applying these steps to any and all endeavors you're pursuing, that may or may not produce monetary wealth, but success.

Household chores will be more easily accomplished by following these steps.  They're about structure and gaining control over your life.  Self-control.  The only control we have, and if you play it right, the only one you need.

I bristle at the thought of any kind of structure, so if you're reading this and saying to yourself, "dream on," I understand.  However, I have noticed that folks who have goals for each and every day of their lives, are getting much more accomplished that I am.

So, if you're looking to change your life, you might want to give the principals in the book thirty days, as he suggest.  Good luck and may these tools help you find your path to success, whatever that looks like for you.  Go to

Monday, October 28, 2013

Stay Out Of The Whale's Belly

For Bible Study today, I read the book of Jonah.  To get into a dialogue of how a human survived in the belly of a whale for three days misses the point of this book, so I’ll skip that dissertation and head directly into the it’s applicability, as I see it.

Each of us have a God given purpose.  He asks us to complete huge, tiny and medium  tasks each day that serve to accomplish His purpose for us.  His voice is not audible, but is heard in our heart, or that little voice that lives inside us (mine is located above my bellybutton).  He always starts by asking us kindly.  We have been given freedom of choice, therefore the option of yes or no is up to us.  If we keep saying no, inevitably we end up in a whales stomach, on our knees, praying desperately for God to help us.  When He feels we’re ready, he allows the whale to vomit our flesh upon the beach.

Our current journey is not over yet, because we’re covered in smelly, gooey vomit and still have not reached the goal.  Out we go to fulfill His request, then we take a shower and slowly we’re back to our wonderful have all the answers selves.  The humility we acquired from the three days inside the whale is soon forgotten, and we’re self-sufficient, omniscient beings in no time; until we find ourselves blistering in the middle of the desert.  Again, doing it our way and trying to hide from our God.  Do we ever learn?

Within the last two decades, God has asked me to finish one novel, two stage plays and a teleplay.  This blog is His idea, and I’m supposed to be posting two a week.  Every single time I come remotely close to success, I allow fear to take the place where trust should be and run the other way.  The embarrassment of, “How’s that novel coming?” from people I told five years ago that I was almost finished, is my current Jonah moment.  I see “fraud,” in their eyes as I answer, “coming along.”  However, in God’s Unending Mercy, He’s giving me yet another chance, (I think this is 1,284) but I have to admit, I’m feeling a bit gooey and stinky.

Would you be so kind as to join me in praying that two years from now you are rushing to the bookstore to pick up my novel, or attending the opening night of my play?  May my name be in lights, instead of on the front page of the paper, “Jenny Albert, gone to sea again.”

Monday, September 30, 2013

I'll Call You Back

What I'm about to say is indicative to a specific situation in my life, as most "Op-Ed" pieces are.  However, we are all tied together by being a part of the human condition, so I have to believe that this problem belongs to more than me.

When a friend or loved one says, "I'll call you back," I believe that they'll call me back.  Now, everyone gets busy, and an occasional, "I blew it" is acceptable.  These words are written to the folks who have a chronic problem.  A habit, a vice, whatever.  I would like to tell you that it would be better for you to say the following instead:

  1.   I'm not interest in what's going on in your life.
  2.   You don't matter enough to me to share my life with you.
  3.   You are insignificant to me.
  4.   You are not worth the investment of my time.   

Oh that's not nice.  Those words will hurt somebody.  So unkind.  And talk about politically incorrect.

You're saying all of those things anyway by not keeping your word.  Oh, add that you can't keep your word.  It's impossible to build a relationship on deception.  Telling the truth would be so much kinder.  The Truth sets us all free.

One more thing.  If you're the victim of a chronic liar, harsh, but the truth, don't spend one second of your time or energy wondering why they treat you like this.  The problem is theirs.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Always The Best In The Worst

It was the best of times it was the worst of times, Charles Dickens wrote in 1859.  These prophetic words apply to each year since his original penning.  One might even say that they apply to each week or even day since he sat down with his inkwell.  The picture he painted with his prose depicts that everything has opportunity cost and always will.  

The world economy nose dived beginning with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, September 2008. Some “in the know” Politicians (that may be an oxymoron) and business people have said that if the American people knew how close we came to a full blown Depression, we wouldn’t be able to sleep at night, even now. However, depending on which business news analysts’ are reporting their current research findings, we are finally moving out of the worst historical Recession since the Depression.  Except we’re not because unemployment is still too high and those who do have jobs are terrified that they’re going to loose them.  

Citibank is laying off over 700 folks here in Las Vegas.  Wells Fargo just had a layoff of over 2,000, although not all in Las Vegas.  The Stock Market, although volatile, is up this year.  Many citizens of this country have a better looking retirement portfolio.  This is a good thing but with unemployment is somewhere between ten and fifteen percent, (in real terms) and worry of impending unemployment, folks are not out spending.  

They’re saving more money in a traditional savings account (about 10% more) and splurging less; instead of expensive meals and fancy vacations, a $10 bottle of wine (there are some very good varietals at this price) and a pasta dinner, with the advantage of enjoying family and friends, at home is in order.  Families are staying home, renting movies, playing games, getting to know each other.  Finally people matter again and stuff is very uncool.      

Worst times will be ever present but the good news is that so will best times.  There will always be the greedy and there will always be the generous.  Here’s to always being able to find the best in the worst.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Every Generation Has Their Own Groove On

I write young adult fiction, and through research of something completely unrelated, I discovered the Millennial Generation.  (Okay so I was asking my nephew questions about friendships between guys and girls today, and he told me about this.)  Like most generations, who these young people are, born roughly between 1980 and 2000, grew organically out of their life experiences.  Most of them heartbreaking and tragic.

Their parent’s spent 90% of their time at work to give them, well, everything.  Then our economy exploded at the end of 2008.  Parents were immediately fired and employers gave themselves four million dollar bonuses.  The Millennial child was told, if not immediately, then eventually, your life is now going to change now; drastically.  

“I’ve just lost my job, your college savings and my retirement,” parent said.  “I’d mortgage my house for you college expenses, however, all the equity I’ve built over the last ten or so years is gone.”
“What did you do wrong?” Child asks.
“Why did this happen then?”

Somewhere during that conversation these children decided that’s not going to happen to them.  They will not stay in a job that don’t like.  Their friends are more important than anything.  They keep in touch with their parents on pretty much a daily basis which is easy because their bedroom is located in their parents home, even after they’ve graduated college.  

Oh yes and their parents are helicopters/overprotective.  The reason for this is 9/11, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold and Seung-Hui Cho.  Mom and Dad became more protective of them.   They became more aware of the fragility of life.  The fact that friends brothers and sisters came home in a box from The Iraq War, adds to their vulnerability.

All of this makes the idea of 8 to 5, in a job they hate out of the question.  They see no point in living life without passion and love.  

I’m interested to see what their family habits will be as far as finding a spouse and having children of their own.  I wonder if it will be more of a community effort with technology to assist them.  They may not be the richest generation.  I hope from the bottom of my heart that they are the happiest.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Boz Scaggs New "Album" MEMPHIS

Scaggs sang the first lyric from his original song, Gone Baby Gone and my heart sang back, "Hello old friend."  I still heard Lido Shuffle, but in a more grown-up voice.  In a few words, he took me back to high school, yet left me in front of the bathroom mirror, making mascara application a more enjoyable experience.

I can think of twelve people who will disagree with me before I finish this sentence, but since it is my blog, I'm going to say it.  The best decade for music began in the late 60's and carried over through the 70's.  Yes, musically I mostly live in 1979 and prior.  Whenever a new album comes out from one my long ago treasured artists, I'm hopeful that in their lyrics I will find the days of the local records stores.  However, comeback artists often no longer have "it."  I will never write a critical review because even bad art is difficult to make, and someone liked it because it was produced and made available in the open market. Be that as it may, when I do like the new songs from a jewel from my past, I must share.

Mr. Scaggs, (just like Dr. John - see previous post) still has the "it" and like the wine he sells, his voice has grown smoother with time.

The album is a mix of remakes and two new songs.  All however have his signature voice stamped upon them.  The remake of Corrina, Corrina is one of my favorites.  Willy DeVille's Mixed up, Shook Up Girl, is a blend of Reggae, Blues and Soul the way only Scaggs can do.

Learn more about this and other albums, and check on his tour schedule at
And just for fun, you can go to his Official Fan club site at

Monday, June 10, 2013

How to Paint a Room

It's been much to long since I've written, and as any card carrying sloth can tell you, I have a million excuses.  Some really good ones too.  But, an excuse is just that regardless of how well honed.

My muse shook me today, and while I was sorting through a basket, notes I'd written a while back on painting, I did find.

Many of us sloths (I'm told it's not really about being lazy it's about being terrified) start a project expecting to be complete by the end of the day.  We get up early, have an energizing breakfast and get to work.  I was no different with painting and was wrong, wrong, wrong.  My mistakes are fodder for a short story, but I can condense the "take away" into four, somewhat brief, instructions.

1) Buy painter's tape (I prefer the green Frog Tape,, plastic to cover the floor, good rollers and brushes (Purdy,,  are my favorite.  Make sure to check the nap before you purchase any rollers.  The wrong nap will cause you more work.  Also, this website has some excellent video tips), caulking (you can also buy a caulking tool but I think using your index finger works the best).  If your budget allows, you can purchase some smaller art brushes for both hard to get to spaces and to gently cover your mistakes.  Also buy a few disposable paint trays.  They're inexpensive and well worth it.

2)  Go home and do all the "prep" work (WARNING, this takes longer than the actual painting).  Clean your walls which can consist of getting out the broom and "sweep" them the same way you would your kitchen walls. Cover your baseboards as evenly as possible to prevent paint spills.  Also tape along the line where the ceiling meets the wall, along the ceiling side.  These borders will keep paint off, but still be careful not to put too thick a coat around the areas as it will seep through.  Cover your floor with plastic, taping about every two feet or so to keep your floor cover from slipping.

3) Paint.  Be prepared to paint an entire wall before you decide that you hate the color.  Paint chips give an idea of what the color will be.  It's not gospel.

4)  Caulk.  The last step is to caulk the baseboards and around your windows.  It's good preventive maintenance and it gives all your hard work a finished look.

As motivation, please keep in mind that you'll have an amazing sense of accomplish when your friends come over and say, "Really, you did this?"