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Are you watching "Scientology: The Aftermath" on A&E?

If not, you should be. It's an amazing in-depth look at psychology and how brilliant people can be taken down by social pressure and perhaps, sociopaths. What I've loved about this show, compared to Anderson Cooper's look into Scientology or HBO's "Going Clear" is that it puts all the puzzle pieces together. If you've read any of the books by former scientologists, they all have their own perspective, their own damage. STA, puts the puzzle pieces together and completes the view of a destructive lifestyle, that is difficult to escape.

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Now, they have many people together who have experienced (allegedly) being beat-up by David Miscavige, forced abortions, being kept against their will and forced separation from family members. Hearing the stories individually is hard enough, but seeing them tacked on one after one, and hearing the real emotion and pain in the victim's voices, it's clear that Scientology changed after David Miscavige took over. Not that it wasn't always a cult -- but it seemed they wanted to change the world for the better, so I can understand people's motives for getting sucked into it. They were good people. Now, it sounds more like a David Koresh horror story.

One of the things I find most interesting is how the church deals with criticism is the personal attacks. That is Narcissism 101 right there. Never deal in facts. Redirect. Attack the accuser. Make someone defend themselves and avoid the argument.

The creepiest thing is how they hire people and private investigators to go after former members, to spy on them and follow them. How is that legal? This week the guy following Leah Remini and Mike Rinder said he was from "TMZ" -- without a camera. And when they looked up the license plate, it was indeed registered to a private investigator. Seriously, when I left my church, no one even called me. I mean, that's pathetic too, but still much healthier and less psychologically-damaging.

It doesn't surprise me that the church of Scientology is so anti-psychology and medical intervention. That gives their members access to assistance. I suppose they can't have that.

While watching, one of my young relatives over Christmas came into the room. Referring to Miscavige: "How is that little guy so powerful? Why do people listen to him? He's like Plankton on 'Spongebob.'" Perfectly said. Out of the mouth of babes.



George Michael -- Too Sensitive for the World...

I always felt a kinship with George Michael. From living a lie (the sexy, hearthrob "Faith" tour vs. the reality of being gay) to coming out with his truth that it was tough for him in the spotlight, only to have Frank Sinatra pen an open letter basically saying, "Suck it up, Buttercup. Fame is better than no one caring." Which may be true, but it doesn't make George Michael's truth at the time any less relevant. We can't help how we feel. He was overwhelmed. Yeah, it's hard to hear successful people whine, but I've never known a really wealthy, successful person that didn't have genuine problems -- that I would not want to have. Frank Sinatra was talented, but let's be honest, about as sensitive as a crocodile.

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We're too harsh on others in my opinion. Being a successful musician has to be the worst because you have to be sensitive enough to create, but hard enough to take the constant pressure. Not everyone is up to it. Look at Andrew Ridgely. When "Wham!" broke up, he went on his merry way. He married a gal from Bananarama and became a surfing entrepreneur. I don't think George had that ability. He was too much about the music and the writing. He needed it and it certainly didn't help that he was drop-dead gorgeous. It's got to be hard to get older in front of the public. No one can be in their 20's and hot forever. Despite what Real Housewives try to prove. Ultimately, our skin tells the truth. Hopefully, the wisdom we've gained balances that out.


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I saw that Faith! tour back in the '80's and he was amazing. Age didn't change that. I wish he could have been more comfortable in his own skin. This morning Sirius was playing a George Michael retrospective, and I was a fan from the time I got my extended single "Young Guns" that a friend brought me back from England. I'm embarrassed to admit it, because I hide it on my playlist, but I LOVE "I Want You Sex." My favorite of his though, was "Father Figure" or "Freedom." What about you? Did you have a favorite?

I'm tired of the world's creatives meeting untimely ends. How come we can't lose some of these ISIS members instead? If you can't listen to this song and get happier, there is something really wrong with you. This is happiness in song people!





#HGTV Dream Home 2017

http://www.hgtv.com/design/hgtv-dream-home/2017/front-yard-pictures-from-hgtv-dream-home-2017-pictures

Every year, HGTV runs a contest where they giveaway a dream home. This year, I have to say, it's as close to a dream home for me as I can imagine. It's on St. Simon's Island in Georgia -- I always was meant to be a Southern belle. The landscape is gorgeous and I love that it's a ranch house. I find them easiest to live in and they're so much better than the McMansion to me.

Don't you think this landscape would breed creativity?


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While I'm not big on green or subway tiles (why do you want your kitchen looking like a public restroom?) I do think this kitchen is darling.


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The house itself isn't exactly my taste, but I'd love to retire on St. Simon's Island, and I'd have the rest of my days to redecorate. Take note, HGTV. Actually, can next year's house be in Waco and designed by Chip and Joanna.


More Proof that the 80's are here to rescue us: Hero Richard Marx

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4052470/The-moment-pop-icon-Richard-Marx-helped-subdue-deranged-passenger-flight-South-Korea.html

Richard Marx, 80's icon, helped take down an unruly passenger on an airplane. I'm telling you, what is up with people losing it on planes? People are already on edge, could you have your meltdowns elsewhere please?


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I mean, come on, who is this generation going to call in the future? Kayne? Taylor Swift? I don't think so.

Okay, I'll give you that Marx could maybe not have ranted and whined on Instagram, but you can't criticize too much I suppose.


La La Land

No, I haven't seen it yet. I'm in the sticks and there aren't forty movie theaters right next to me. Nor are there endless Starbucks. There are only three! It's like purgatory up in here.


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However, I'm so happy that a dancing, singing musical with a hopeful message is doing well. What happened to the movies? Where there are only space movies, superhero movies and crime dramas. I know the romantic comedy is no longer relevant, but some of us still love to leave the movie theater with hope. And no, not hope in a cape because, well, isn't it obvious?

My mom and I are watching "Bridget Jones's Baby" tonight. I'm telling you though, I'm so glad someone followed their passion and wrote the movie THEY wanted to write and gave us "La La Land." I love that the Indie movie/TV route is giving hope to people who don't write what is supposedly commercial. Writers need to write their passion.


"Show 'em who's boss!" #Burberry

I'm coveting this handbag.


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I bought a new car this week, so a new Burberry seems over the top. #Spoiled But my son's girlfriend -- I have to love her, she's a handbag girl, too. And she said to me, "You need that handbag for your new car! Show 'em who's boss!"

I miss having that attitude. You only go around once, and I hate that I've become so practical and can't justify this handbag. Part of my charm is that I'm not practical. LOL The thing I love about this girl is that she has explained to my practical son, in a way that he can understand, that handbag girls aren't giving up the fight. We love them and appreciate them like art. Art you carry on your arm daily. I joke that I can dress like a homeless person, but I need a good handbag.

I drove the mom mobile. I did my time. What's your thing? What makes you happy even though you realize it is completely impractical? As I'm mourning the loss of two fantastic friends, gone too early, I want less guilt in my life and more fun.


Bridget Jones's Baby

Yesterday, I went to buy "Bridget Jones's Baby" because my mother hasn't seen it. (Granted, I don't know that my mother WANTS to see it, but that hardly matters.) She has a theater room. 'Nuff said, right?


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Anyway, I'm at Target buying the movie yesterday and you know how new releases are all at the front? I just picked up a copy and got in line. Not in the self-checkout line because Target's self-checkout machines are a joke. They never work, and Silicon Valley brilliance does NOT translate into self-checkout IQ. And I have a gift card -- not even going to try advance maneuvers on that thing.

So I step in line and remember, this is the ONLY thing I'm buying. The gal looks at me, looks at the movie and says, "I heard this movie was terrible!"

Uh, so does little miss salesman want me to put it back?

I tell her, "I loved it. I love all things Bridget."

She gives me that, "Whatever lady!" look and I bounce off with my new movie. While the rest of the house clears off to watch "Star Wars" we'll have Colin Firth.


Christmas Movies 2016

Wow, there's a lot of nothing this year. LaLa Land looks like something I'd like, but I don't know, it seems more annoying than sweet. Time will tell, I suppose. Why does it feel like a Woody Allen movie? I'll see it, I'm sure. America needs a musical. Edit: Everyone says La La Land is perfection and magical, so I'm totally going. Yay for a musical and a romantic romp. We need some happy up in this country.

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I know the biggie is Star Wars Rogue something, but let's get real. I'm not seeing that. I have raised three Star Wars fanatics and managed to never sit through Star Wars the original. I take pride in that.

"Collateral Beauty" might be decent if Will Smith wasn't in it. Has he ever been in a good movie? Okay, maybe when there were aliens involved. Is that because Scientology gives the good alien movies to its own?


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Let's be honest. I'm going with a sure thing. I'm watching "Bridget Jones's Baby" again on my parents' giant home theater. I had to laugh because my friends each said, "Oh, I saw that movie with you." Yeah, all my friends did. Separately. Because I'm sad that way and I love me some Bridget. I'll also see "Manchester by the Sea" but I haven't had the chance.


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#FliporFlop separation gets messy...

Christina is already dating someone. Girl, settle down. Granted, she's probably had problems in the marriage for a long time before actually separating, but with two small children, that's awfully quick to start bringing in someone else.

Allegedly, Tariq and Christina are going to continue to work together -- flipping houses into blah boxes with the latest tacky tiles and upgrades. Sorry, can you tell I'm not a fan of their style?

For me, HGTV is all about the personalities. If I can't handle the personalities, I can't handle their shows/work. "Flip or Flop" isn't for me. I find her whiny and he doesn't listen. Watching their show drove me nuts. I'm sorry they're separating though and I do hope they can work it out. The guy sounds like he had a nervous breakdown of sorts. Don't people stick those out anymore? We just toss people too quickly in my opinion. Though granted, I don't know what the issues are here. I just know there are two small kids. They say it's a shocking split. I'm not so shocked. You?
http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/flip-or-flops-christina-el-moussa-dating-contractor-report-w456259

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Other shows I can't watch on HGTV because of the personalities:

Anything with those annoying property brothers. Ugh. I am not the least bit charmed by them. EDIT: Okay, wait. I take that back because they're going to New Orleans -- and Scott Bakula is going to be on an episode. I LOVE Scott Bakula. I remember dating when I was single -- because that's when it's best to date, LOL -- and Wednesdays were off-limits because "Quantum Leap" was on.
I've had to forgive him for being on "Star Trek" but, that's another tale.

My favorites are Chip and Joanna Gaines from "Fixer Upper" -- oh my gosh, I would move to Waco (which I like) for a Magnolia house. My son and I have actually discussed buying a house there for when he's out of the Marines.

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I also love "International House Hunters" except when we export bratty Americans who think they're going to another country and they're going to find a McMansion with granite and an American-sized fridge across the world. They live DIFFERENTLY because it's another country. Embrace it, or stay home!

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My favorites on that one are the French countryside, the old Italian villages and England. What about you?


Painting a mental picture...

My daughter is a natural at this. I do wish she'd write, but she thinks my life is the ultimate in boredom and there is no chance. She wants to be on a ranch with her Paint horse and her Australian Shepherd. Are you wondering where she came from yet?

So this morning, I hear her getting ready for school listening to Johnny Cash. That was my DAD's favorite! I got dragged to Johnny Cash concerts. Now my daughter is listening? You can't write this kind of irony.


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So another video comes on and this one has someone fighting off a firefighter. Elle says, "You can't fight off a firefighter. I've been in a room of firefighters. These are not small men. You're not getting through that wall."


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I just love that word picture. The wall of firefighters -- the room filled with their big presence. The girl needs to write, but maybe later. After she lives a full life filled with adventure.