My name’s blurry face and I care what you think….

Yeah so it’s a weird line from a song, but it fits this story. 

Yesterday, the rain was supposed to stop in the 1 o’clock hour. I checked before I went to work. So it was going to be wet when I went in, but be dry by lunch. I didn’t even bring my umbrella in from the car. 

Lunch was great. Mom brought me baked potatoes from home with garlic bread and I got a tea from Coffee Bean and we sat outside. It was a lovely day. When it started to sprinkle we didn’t worry because we were under an umbrella. The clouds turned black and lightning and thunder started, but this was Las Vegas. So no worries. Just a great show. There were kids in the park taking prom pictures across the street from where we sat. They giggled and took refuge under the pagoda. 

It was time to go back from lunch, so mom and I headed back to the store. Suddenly the rain really started coming down. It was bad, but not too bad. But then suddenly it was and we were running. And there was nowhere left to take refuge- we just had to run. And then it took on true storm status and came at us sideways in sheets. The store seemed impossibly far away, but we finally got there and I wrenched open the door and we ran inside. 

And the whole place stopped and turned and stared. 

It was like walking into a hostile saloon.

We were soaked and dripping all over the floor and people just stared. I was over that real quick and brought my mom to the back where the paper towels were so we could attempt repairs. But once I really saw the damage I realized that was impossible. I was soaked through, only having worn light protection. My hair was wet as if I had showered. I’ve never been that wet and not been in a pool. I got a new dry shirt to wear over my other wet clothes, but had to fend for myself otherwise. I tried to wipe the raccoon eyes away, but there was not much I could do. My pants were soaked. My socks and shoes were soaked. My hair was still dripping. My bra was soggy. 

I was cold and miserable, but I carried on. I mean, it was funny. Sort of.

Mom got to go home and dry off but I still had half a shift. I heard lots of “I wouldn’t have stayed” from my co-workers, but I felt I had to. 

But it sure would have been nice to hear from any manager a ‘thank you’ for staying. Not one of them said anything. I suppose I shouldn’t expect any human response from them. That makes me sad. 

So I had an adventure and it wasn’t all bad and was kinda funny.

But I was happy today was sunny and I limited my adventure to coffee instead of tea. 

**POSTSCRIPT** I talked to one of the managers and plan on talking to the others that were there. The one I talked to was very sorry the opportunity was missed- so all good. One more manager that meant to say but forgot! My faith is renewed. 😀



I used to talk too much when I was little. Got in trouble for it all the time. Teachers had to practically bribe me to be quiet.  Isn’t it funny how it all changes? In college, teachers have to pull … Continue reading

Some Foul Play

You know, you probably aren’t supposed to learn things from a film starring Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn, Burgess Meredith, Billy Barty and Dudley Moore.

But I grew up on a little movie called ‘Foul Play’ that we watched constantly when I was a fairly small child, and thereafter as well. Yes, I was too young for some of it at the time, but those bits honestly went straight over my head and never caused me to grow up too fast or anything silly like that. 

The following is a list of a few things that did stay with me, however, as I am reminded while I watch on this New Year’s Day -almost 40 years after it was made. 

1. The Mikado is very short for an Opera, and has a rather memorable beginning.

2. The basic swear words will take you everywhere you need to go linguistically. “Shit” and “Goddammit” cover most things, while in a really bad jam, all you need is, “Far Out”.

3. Bridesmaid dresses should be great for weddings, a night out on the town, and kidnapping scenarios where running is involved.

4. Snakes should never smoke cigarettes, but are occasionally allowed cookies.

5. Dirty Scrabble is a damn sight harder than it looks. Far Out.

6. Good cops only live on houseboats. 

7. Leaving up old flying scenery is helpful for keeping dead bodies off the stage during a performance.

8. Never take a first date to a retrospective film and expect him to buy the popcorn.

9. Beware of the dwarf. Especially if he’s selling fancy bibles.

10. Always take chances again.

11. Never leave home without your umbrella. 


An Open Letter to a-ha: An Impassioned Plea

To Paul (Pål), Magne, and Morten,

I’m an American and have been an a-ha fan, to put it mildly, for the whole thirty years now. I am not alone. I am positive there are many, many Americans with stories just like mine. We were teased in high school for being loyal fans to a band, that as far as they were concerned, wasn’t putting out any music and just had that one song. Jealousies from people around us that couldn’t understand why we spent so much time at the magazine rack pouring through for any blip of what was going on in the world of a-ha. We sifted through the ALL the bins in record stores hoping for specialties or missed items. The hours spent in front of MTV waiting for any new release or any interview and frantically taping them on our brand new VCR machines. We stuck Norwegian word stickers on objects around the house (much to the disdain of our parents) so that we could be just that little bit closer. Making scrapbooks out of our discovered treasures of anything we could find on any of you. Pouring over those scrapbooks for any new information or just for the joy of knowing something about the best musicians we had ever heard. Some of us even wished to be popular musicians just for the chance to meet you all. Or all the years wishing we lived somewhere where you never went away.

We followed into the new era of CDs and bought them even though we already had the records, cassette tapes, singles, Maxi-singles, and special editions. We didn’t mind. We were honored to help sales in any way we could. Pictures and framed posters adorned our walls when everyone else was putting up those New Wave prints. We went to the opening day of ‘The Living Daylights’, not only to hear the new song, but also to see a-ha in print on the big screen. We were, and are, so very proud!

It became harder and harder to follow what was going on as you disappeared from American screens, but we held on, and were rewarded with hearing ‘Dark is the Night for All’ on the radio. Ah, what a joy that was. I’ll never forget it.

And then came this mysterious internet. My first search was a-ha as I’m sure was the case with the rest of the American fans. We found you! Others were keeping the vigil alive! What a thrill that was! Finally updates after so many years of silence! Hard to find the words to describe how wondrous that felt to be reunited in a sense. Needless to say, we never let go.

And then the magical day came when you came back to the U.S. in 2005 and expected little response and were yet overwhelmed by us all clamoring for tickets to the small space Paul thought would be perfect. Those of us that had not been fortunate enough to see you in 1986 FINALLY got our chance. And we weren’t let down. You were just as wonderful, and funny, and talented as we always knew you were. It was almost a sense of justification. And it was beautiful.

We got to start all over again, just on a new medium with the internet. We got to follow all of your side projects and support those as well. We made dolls when Mags asked, and excitedly spoke with Lauren on MySpace. You were closer than ever. We bought new albums as they came out again, and jumped forgot when they played ‘I Wish I Cared’ at the end of a ‘Smallville’ episode and they actually advertised the album at the end of the show!

By this time, many had been, and still were, flying to other countries to see you, as before the New York show, we never expected you back. And in New York, Mags promised you would be back, and you honored that promise in 2010 with the Farewell Tour. Some of us flew all over the states again, but some of us just picked one city. I got to meet more fans as I had in 2005, and what kind people! Just giving and helpful and truly generous of spirit. That says a lot about the three of you that these are the kinds of fans you are bringing together. It’s such a lovely community of people. We have kept in touch on Facebook and have shared our thoughts, our goings on, our artwork and even our tattoos!

And then the incredible happened! A new album and a new tour! and we ate up the album as we had all the others and awaited the happy announcement of North America dates for the tour. But just recently, the last days were announced for the ‘Cast In Steel’ tour, and no North American dates are included. I thought I must have missed something and checked the website again. But no, there were no dates for us. It broke my heart as I’m sure it did others. We want the chance to say goodbye. To hear the new songs live. To finally get a signature and a chance to thank you in person for making a part of our lives so very special. To let you know what you mean to us. To hear our favorites one last time.

So I am here to plead with you on behalf of the group of American people that have never lost faith and have poured out so much love- please, please come back to the United States. Please do us this one last favor- this one last honor. We want the chance to share with you.

Most Sincerely and with only Love and Admiration in my Heart,

Tara Speck

Las Vegas, NV


(Incidentally one of the Entertainment Capitals of the World, and one you have not visited as a group….)


From 1988-89


It’s just weeks now until the new season of Doctor Who starts, so they’re playing the adverts for it.

I’m not looking forward to it. I hate this new Doctor and all the crappy storylines he’s brought with him. 

He’s no fun to watch. He’s just grumpy all the time and even Clara turned into a character I no longer respected. All that lying. And Missy? Are you kidding me? You really thought that would fly? People sat in a room and patted themselves on the back over all this crap? Blech.

They’ve taken the heart out of the show along with the humour. And even the Doctor’s fierceness is gone because he’s just a cantankerous old ass. 

I want my Timey Wimey. I want a northern accent wrapped in a leather jacket. I want 3D glasses and a long coat. I even want a ridiculous bow tie. Where’s the sense of wonder and excitement? The laughter and the making up as we go along? The fierce protection for what is right? Because this Doctor has none of that. 

Bring back the sense of fun.

At this point I’m hoping for a speedy regeneration and the writers to pull their heads out of their asses. 

Too bad we can’t go back in time and fix it.


I can look away when they want me to feed starving children in another country. I want the government to take responsibility for the starving children in this country. If we could do that, then we could donate elsewhere with a clear conscience. 

But I cannot stop helping animals. Yes, my house is full. But there are so many that need help, and so few willing to take steps to save them. 

I believe animals have souls as much as we do. They can feel and are just as individual as all of us. They have been treated as nothing more than meat for far too long. I’m ashamed I ever ate them, for I could never have killed them myself. But maybe that’s part of why I’m so dedicated now to saving them. 

I rescued an old dog from the brink of death once only to have that dog kill my bird. I have a dog now that is determined that I don’t get to keep my carpet. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns. It’s cleaning up an awful lot of potty in the house while they learn the rules the previous owner neglected to enforce. 

But the work and struggle aren’t the important part. My house is full of love. That is important. These animals give love constantly with no guarantee that they will get anything in return. They just give. And there is so much joy. Everyday I wake up surrounded by love with a pack of animals all trying to love on me at once. There’s nothing else like it.

Consider a rescue. Or two. Donate if you can. Volunteer at a local shelter or wildlife sanctuary. It’s so rewarding for you as well as those you help. A definite win-win situation. 

We’ve always been accused as anthropomorphising animals- giving them the human characteristics we wish them to have, but don’t actually possess. I argue that that is wrong. They do have feelings and emotions and moods. Pretending continually that they don’t, is a convenient way to justify how we treat them. We have to reevaluate our treatment- our disdain- of animals. They are a gift to us. Not to be used as test subjects or abused. We should be in a partnership with them. If we could all work together, the possibilities would be limitless.