Friday, December 9, 2016

Rock N Roll Music and the Proof of the Existence of God!

I'm making a rock n roll movie. It's called, "Ghostroads - A Rock N Roll Ghost Story" Here's the trailer (if the link doesn't play, click here:

The movie stars my favorite Japanese rock band of all time, "The Neatbeats." Rodney Bingenheimer (AKA "Rodney on the Roq" KROQ Los Angeles) is also in the movie. Rodney is one of, if not thee most famous DJ in the world. He's made many great stars famous. As some regular readers might know, I used to be Rodney's assistant (Read: His lowly "Go-fer.")

Rodney Bingenheimer

In Japan, it isn't too cool to "toot one's horn" so to speak, so I tell few people about my past....

One day, during the shooting of the movie, I was at the Neatbeats' studio. There I saw they had a book about Phil Spector (a very famous music producer who did the Beatles, etc.) 

I saw the book and then I opened the book to a random page and, I'll be damned if there wasn't a photo of Rodney and Phil Spector right there. "What a coincidence!" I thought to myself.

I walked back into the studio where we were shooting and said to the Neatbeats members, "Hey! You guys like Phil Spector?" 

They all said, "YES! HE IS GOD!" 

Phil Spector

I answered, "Oh? I've met him two or three times. I even "had lunch" (or was it dinner?) with him and Rodney when he showed up to that restaurant that Rodney 'lives' at in Hollywood named 'Canters.'"

Oh. That was a mistake. I opened my big mouth. Should have shut up and said nothing.


I could tell by the expressions on their face that they didn't believe me at all. Their jaws dropped open in disappointed disbelief... They looked stupefied.... 

Here, all this time, I was their friend. They thought they could believe me and trust me.... But here I was telling them something that, to them, couldn't possibly be true in a million years...

I said, "No! Really! I have! I have met Phil Spector a few times.....I'm serious." They still looked like they thought I was full of shit....

Flustered and insistent to prove I wasn't lying, I figured I'd offer proof... I added, "Do you guys know who Rodney Bingenheimer is?" 

They all lit up again and said, "Of course! Rodney on the Roq is legendary! He is a DJ god!" 

I paused... hesitated a bit, and then I said, "I was Rodney's assistant from 1980 ~81. He introduced me to many famous people...."

It seemed then like the roof caved in. I was ready for the insane asylum by the expressions on their faces.

I could tell by the way they looked at me that they had lost all respect for me at that very moment. They thought that I was a total useless bullshitter. 

They didn't believe me at all. 

...Not anymore.... 

.....Not about.... 


I protested, "No! Really! I was! Rodney introduced me to lots of famous people. The Ramones, Phil Spector, etc. etc." 

They still didn't believe me... So, in frustration, I threw my hands in the air, gave up and said, "OK. Fuck it! Whatever!...." 

That was Jan. of 2016. 

A few short months later...

In May 2016, by sheer coincidence, Rodney came to Japan and I was able to be a tour guide for several days for my old friend, Rodney on the Roq! I hadn't seen him in over 25 years.... 

We went to many good restaurants and fun places in Tokyo while he was here with his girlfriend (and fab movie director), Kansas Bowling who made the horror film, "B.C. Butcher." (

And, Rodney and Kansas both appeared in my movie too! What timing!!!! 

So, don't tell me, "There's no God!" 

There is. 

I have met him. 

His name is Phil Spector....

...and another god named Rodney Bingenheimer.


(I took lots of photos and wrote about sightseeing with Rodney here: 

With my old friend and legendary radio DJ, Rodney Bingenheimer 
at the Poor Cow in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo, Japan May 27, 2016.

Friday, November 4, 2016

2017年の新年会パーティー! 渋谷Milky Way! 2017! New Year's Party!

Once again, we're having a New Year's Party on Jan. 23, 2017! This is Japan, "Shinnenkai" (New Year's Parties are after the New Year... It just is OK?)

2017年月1月23日(月)@Shibuya Milkyway
OPEN/START 18:30 / 19:15
ADV/DAY Invitation Only 1D¥600
TICKET:会場・各バンドweb予約 (11/5(土)正午12:00解禁&予約受付開始) Invitation reservation:
お問い合わせ:Shibuya Milkyway  03-6416-3227 


Three of Tokyo's Hottest girl group's to perform!

Su Ko D Koi / The Stephanies / The Pats Pats

Su凸ko D凹koi (すっとこどっこい) 「ブス」

THE STEPHANIES - Baby, I love you

Be there!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Spotify Sends Unsolicited Emails and Spam! Stop it!

I really hate it when companies send me spam and emails I didn't ask for. I get it when small companies do that; small businesses do what ya gotta do but I especially hate it when big companies do it.

Spotify Japan breaks the rules and lacks common sense.
Apple, Google, Rakuten or Amazon do not send unsolicited spam or emails but Spotify does.

Spotify! I didn't ask to be on your mailing list. 
Stop sending me spam and unsolicited emails immediately! 

Then, when I tried to unsubscribe, (which is difficult because Spotify failed to put a simple to use "Unsubscribe" button on their mail) I clicked the return mail button and it popped up: "Unsubscribe" so I sent it (They probably phished my emails contacts - sorry about that!) Nevertheless I got a "Undeliverable mail" back from Google.

Spotify! Don't send me spam or mail I didn't ask for!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Confessions of a Propagandist for the State!

"In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."- George Orwell

"Jake" is a news reporter for a major broadcasting station in Japan. His program is broadcast to millions of homes. I recently interviewed, "Jake" (not his real name). We met at my favorite watering hole and "Jake" confessed his story to me. Here is what he said:

"In a surprising turn of events, I have lately found myself in the position of propagandist for the state and Big Pharma. It's true. I am now reading and broadcasting the "news" (read: "propaganda") to millions of people in Japan.
It disturbs me to have to read out some of the stuff that arrives on the newswire.

If I tell the truth on air, I will most likely get in a lot of trouble even if I am not fired. If I follow the "party line" and read out the propaganda as written, I will wind up hating myself and quitting. (This has happened already twice before.) These are my only choices. It's just the way it is. I don't want to get fired, but it will happen if I tell the truth. If I do like everyone else and trot out the lies, I will keep my job.

I just cannot parrot the lies. I think the news has lost all credibility, and station ratings go down because people know they are being fed propaganda. I think people are smart enough and mature enough that, if they are given the facts, they can make intelligent decisions for themselves.

Anyhow, here’s how I got into this curious position.

I was hired to produce and direct a prime-time show on a major broadcasting station. I have a staff of five, including me. I was told that I would also have a professional newsreader to come onto the show and do his stuff.

The day before the first show, at rehearsal, I was told that we didn't have a newsreader after all. I was dumbfounded when I was told that I was expected to do the news. As producer/director (which translates as engineer, scriptwriter, co-host and coffee boy) I pretty much had my hands full each and every show. 
It is a live broadcast, and in live broadcasts, mistakes are verboten!

So I became the news anchor. Not by choice, but by – well, like I said, it just fell into my lap. Don't get me wrong; the news needs to be done. So since there was no one else qualified to do it, I was stuck.

Now, here's where the problem begins. I know the news is written for people around the education level of an eighth-grader, so lots of facts are omitted, but sometimes the propaganda is just so blatant that I can't stand it. Also, from years of experience, and being a voracious reader, I have developed a healthy skepticism of what passes for news these days.

Here are two examples of news stories that I had to read out that just made me roll my eyes. But, before I do that, let me quote George Orwell once more:
"Omission is the greatest form of lie."
Keep that in mind. The news stories are not written so that I must directly speak a falsehood. But they are filled with important omissions, which turn some of them into blatant propaganda. 

Read this next bit of news. It is the kind of story that all news reporters read verbatim. Tell me what's wrong with this picture.
G-8 statement slams N. Korea 
Ministers of the Group of Eight countries condemned North Korea over its nuclear and missile development programs and warned that the group will take additional steps if Pyongyang fires missiles. In a chair's statement released after the gathering, the G-8 foreign ministers "condemned in the strongest possible terms" North Korea's active nuclear weapons development and ballistic missile program.
The statement also criticized North Korea's "current aggressive rhetoric," saying, "This will only further serve to isolate the DPRK." 
Like I said, this is blatant propaganda. I just couldn't bring myself to read this out as is. If I did, I would be a tool of the propagandists. This sort of news is a lie by omission and can only serve to stoke public opinion into supporting a war against North Korea that will get a bunch of innocent people killed! That's right. This is a lie and this news is written to further a political agenda.

I admit that I did broadcast the story the way it was written but I added a critical fact to the very last paragraph that I think people need to know. I said:

"The statement also criticized North Korea's "current aggressive rhetoric," saying, "This will only serve to further isolate the DPRK." While ignoring the fact that US B2 Stealth Bombers, capable of dropping nuclear weapons, have been making threatening flights over South Korea just seconds away from North Korea."

Gee, isn't this little fact relevant? Not if you are a propagandist for the state. 

Saying this, though, is telling the truth. How can we expect the North Koreans not to be bellicose when US bombers are buzzing their territory? Hell, the USA carpet-bombed the North during the Korean War, killing an unknown thousands of innocent civilians! Of course they will scream to high heaven when US bombers are flying around, within seconds of flying time of their country. Please refer to: Ubuntu Peace Education Project website:
In the Korean War, the U.S. demonstrated its willingness to attack Korean civilians in order to injure unidentified military partisans. In doing so, it violated international humanitarian law and provisions of the Geneva Conventions. Among illegal actions engaged in by U.S. soldiers and the U.S. command during the Korean War 1950-53 war were the destruction of clearly marked hospitals and destruction of irrigation dams at Kusong and Toksan that provided water for 75% of North Korea’s food production.  
The Air Force at the time reported that the "subsequent flash flood scooped clean 27 miles of valley below", noted the flood waters wiped out supply routes as well as villages, and acknowledged that the loss of the rice crop will mean "starvation and slow death."    
Napalm attacks more widespread than those ultimately banned in Viet Nam 16 years later and carpet-bombing destroyed 75% of North Korea’s cities and villages...    
The American planes had bombed the entire city (Pyongyang) multiple times in the Korean War and obliterated virtually everything in it. Indeed U.S. reports cite a general ordering a stop to the bombing of Pyongyang since "nothing worthy of a name" was left standing. 
Why we are stoking the flames of war with the North Koreans – a country that can't even feed its own people – is just beyond my comprehension. People need to wake up and see that they are being manipulated.

The next story that I had to read out also made me want to pull my hair out. It was about a 74-year-old man dying from bird flu in China. I can't remember the exact text now, but it went like this:
China: In the last two weeks, 11 of the 43 people infected with bird flu in China have died, the World Health Organization said Friday. 
The latest to succumb was a 74-year-old male patient from Shanghai.
Bird flu, again? You’re kidding me, right? And how does the death of a 74-year-old man in China make the news when average life expectancy in China is 72?
We go through this flu nonsense every four or five years. The last time this sort of sensationalism flared up, I complained about it and predicted this story coming up. Big deal! (Let me make another wild prediction: that there will be a war in the Middle East within the next year or so.)

Eleven people die in China and that makes the news? What a joke. How about a few points of reference here? 

First off, there are over 1,340,000,000 people in China. Over 65,000 die in traffic accidents in China per year (an average of over 170 people every single day!) Many Chinese factories are dangerous and every year there are hundreds of thousands of fatalities and injuries! I have read of about 300 people dying every day in China in factory and industrial accidents!

And these people want us to worry about eleven people dying of the flu? 
They call this "news"? I call it propaganda! 

I simply refuse to be a propagandist for the state. I wish more so-called news reporters would wake up and realize that they are not helping – and are actually harming people – by scaring them like this."

By this time, "Jake" was very drunk and about to pass out. I put him in a cab and took him to his home so he could sleep off his drunk and his frustrations.

I cynically chuckled and was reminded of my old saying about TV news:
"Remember the Golden Rule about TV: 90 per cent of everything you see on TV is bullsh*t; the other 10 per cent are commercials."

Edited by Jeremy Irwin

Reprinted from

Friday, October 14, 2016

Photo Dump of Rock Stars I've Met in Japan

"My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person." - Andy Warhol
"If you see something that moves you, and then snap it, you keep a moment." - Linda McCartney
This is a boring post with photos.... Move along... Nothing to see here folks...

I'm putting these photos up here because they had been on Myspace but Myspace seems to have compressed the hell out of many of them and now they are only icon sized so the digital images are worthless. (You can see them all here - still many are missing!) These are a few that I could save that seem to have escaped massive compression and I don't know where the originals are (I put them on Myspace to save them originally!)

There's tons more that are lost forever it seems. I can't find the photos with Joey Ramone, the Stranglers, Aerosmith and there's so many others that have fallen in the memory hole.... Tons of photos with really famous artists over the years (Japanese artists too)... Poof! Gone!

Oh well... Here's what's left... These are all photos taken between the years 1998 (99?) to 2009 or so... (Oh and a photo of me with a 10-year-old Ricky Martin!)....


Maximo Park


New Cassettes

Duncan Redmonds of Snuff and Duncan's Divas

Marky Ramone and Alex of Anti-Product

Paul of Maximo Park

Yoko Ono

Linkin Park

Fat Mike

Siouxsie Sioux (my wife, Yuka, in front)

Siouxsie Sioux

Vincent Gallo

Elvis Costello with George Williams (George took better care of his photos than I did. He even has an awesome photo with Jimmy Page!)


Daisy Chainsaw

Howard Devoto of the Buzzcocks

Maximo Park

Elvis Costello

Jake of Stiff Little Fingers and Bruce of the Jam

Juliette Lewis

Guitar Wolf


Buckcherry (the girl standing up on the left is my wife) 

Olga of Toy Dolls (Hey! Why isn't Mike in some of these pictures? Duh! Someone has to hold the camera! - and I can't find the photos with me in them!)

Le Tigre

Pere Ubu

Alex Empire of Atari Teenage Riot


Animal Collective

Earl Greyhound

White Stripes

Boss Hog

Mike of Suicidal Tendencies

Paul Weller (second from left) Taro Furukawa (far right)

I'm in the white shirt with Menudo. Ricky Martin at 10-years-old is in front with solid blue shirt.

With Shiga san and Yasuha (Japanese TV show, never mind)

With Shinko san and Yukari Morikawa (Yukari had one of the biggest selling and number one hit songs in all of Japan in the 1980s) 

That really is daddy Bush. Don't believe me? See here. I've gotten lots of photos with famous politicians in Japan too.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Best Teacher in High School I Ever Had Wasn't a School Teacher - She Was an Extremely Beautiful Classmate!

With that title, you are probably thinking about some hot high school "sexcapades" or a story of some girl who taught me about sex in high school. No way. I think those things only happen in movies or crappy Bob Seeger songs. For 90% of the people in high school (at least in my time) dates and going to dances were only things we dreamed about or saw in movies. I was one of those people. 

I never had sex until I was 20, or was it 21?

My high school yearbook photo 1975

After so many years of elementary, junior, high school and college and university, I can only remember a few teachers who really taught me something. I had one in 4th grade, Ms. Demuth, in Minnesota. She gave me a Snoopy card once that said, "Life is full of rude awakenings." I'll never forget that lesson. I don't remember any elementary teachers who influenced me or inspired me after her. 

In High School, I had Mr. Holts, my science and biology teacher. Mr. Holts taught me that there's a big difference between playing and doing. And then, and, in college, there was Mr. Al Miller. Mr. Miller was best of all because he taught me about television, how to handle myself in front of people and, outside of school, he taught me how to be a real gentleman; how to be kind and respectful to people - to all people.

Mr. Miller impressed me because he would, for example, talk to parking lot attendants and doormen and call them, "friend" or "sir." He treated everyone with respect. Not only did his mannerism and respect for people influence me, it touched me so much that it set the way I try to treat people all my life. Alas! I am a poor student and I can never attain the enlightenment of my sensei. I think few people can be such a sincere gentleman as Mr. Al Miller. If the world was filled with people like Mr. Miller it would be so much a nicer place to live. 

But I digress.

Mr. Al Miller was the best school instructor I've ever had  

Even though I had these teachers in school, the best teachers I had in school weren't actually my official teachers. Nope. The best teachers were girls I liked. There were several of them. They didn't teach me important things because they were my girlfriends or anything. They didn't teach me anything because they were particularly kind to me. They taught me well because they were only kind to me when they wanted something from me. They were kind to me when they wanted something like for me to tell them the answers to questions on tests so that they wouldn't fail. They taught me when they used me.

I'd oblige them because, well, in my high school immaturity and insecurity I figured being used and then dropped like a wet a dirty dish rag was better than not being used (or even spoken to) at all. This might sound bitter, but it's not. Those girls taught me well and I appreciate them for it. The lesson that they taught me was a lesson in life and, had they not taught me, someone else would have. They taught me the real world.

One of the girls who really taught me well was a girl who was in several of my high school classes named Kathy Dobbe (I think that's how it is spelled!) I'll never forget Kathy. Kathy Dobbe doesn't know that, all through high school, I had a crush on her and thought she was the most beautiful girl in school - maybe even in the entire world. I thought Kathy was a goddess. 

Kathy was a great teacher. The peculiar part about Kathy's teachings to me is that I'll bet we never spoke three words in total to each other my entire junior and senior years.

I am reminded of Kathy recently because, on Facebook, a few weeks ago, I saw one of those dumb "Guess who's joined your high school class Facebook community?" notices and saw that Kathy had joined (I don't join things like that - come to think of it, how do they know what high school I went to???). I also wonder why so many people seem to long for high school days. Are things that bad today? Were things that good back then? I don't think so... But, then again, I wasn't a popular kid in school...

Anyway, from the Facebook, notice, I saw what Kathy looks like today. Well, I am assuming it was Kathy.  I've never met her mom, but I gather that she today looks like her mom did back then. Kathy looked pretty good, all things considered. I think she looked quite good especially compared to her peers. 

Not aging fast enough? Drink soda! Hoo boy! Japanese people don't drink sweet drinks anywhere near the level that American people do. Even lots of younger Japanese still prefer tea. 

Damned if people in America don't look very old, overweight and past their years! Kathy didn't really look that way, but when I see people in America my age, they all have gray hair and are fat! I saw another picture of a girl whom I have known for over 35 years last night. She is a year younger than me but in her photo she looks easily ten years older than me. It must be that processed food Standard American Diet (it's called S.A.D.) that those people are eating. I'm glad I eat raw food and live in Japan where people eat healthy food. (Any wonder why Japanese women live, on average, at least six years longer than American women? The men live more than four years?)

But I digress.... Again!!!!

Unbeknownst to her, like I mentioned, Kathy also doesn't know that she taught me self respect. She taught me that because I had a complex all through high school; I thought I was inferior and shorter than all the (pretty) girls in school. Really! This complex messed me up because I figured that pretty girls don't like short guys. The guys all have to be tall, dark and strong; just like in the movies. Kathy taught me that I wasn't shorter. In fact, I was taller than her by a few inches... Actually, until she taught me, I never knew that I was taller than all of them. I simply never realized it.

Now, you're probably imagining that Kathy taught me this important lesson in self-esteem in life at some school function like a dance. Imagine! Kathy Dobbe and me dancing cheek to cheek on the high school gymnasium floor to some slow and romantic song. It's one of the last numbers of the evening. The lights are turned down low. Everyone grabs their date and heads to the dance floor.... We look into each others eyes and we embrace...

The saxophones start to play... "And they called it puppy love...." 

No. No. Stop the music... Stop the music! I'm not that old!

Think of it, Kathy and I, cheek to cheek, in a warm high school kid's love embrace? Can you imagine it? No? Neither can I. I was enthralled with Kathy but that was it. Even if I had asked her for a date, and she said, "Yes," that would probably be the end of it. She'd probably have scared me so much that, had we met for a date, I couldn't talk. Not a word. If I could utter a sound, it would be like a bird chirping or a wheel squeaking. Nope. Couldn't do it. Just like in the movies. And that's the only part of this that is like it is portrayed in the movies: Geeks can't handle beautiful women. Geeks are always like that. 

It's been scientifically proven that high school geeks' vocal chords stop functioning properly when they are around girls who they think are so pretty they aren't real or aren't from the Milky Way galaxy. 

I suppose I should tell you why I had such an inferiority complex. It's a long story so I'll make it brief. Before moving back to California, I had spent the last 8 or 10 years (I can't remember) moving all around the USA and going to a different school almost every year. That meant that when I went to a new school I had to start over and make new friends... This also meant that I didn't have very many friends. This is hard on a kid but a good lesson in life (that is for another blog post on another day). Since I went to schools in the South and Midwest, I was used to their school system and their curriculum.

Well, I don't know about today (but can't imagine that it's so different) the level of education in Midwestern and Southern elementary schools are a few years ahead of California public schooling. That means that what they are teaching in 5th grade in a school in Minnesota, they are teaching in 7th grade in California public school. So when I moved from Minnesota, where I was getting "C's," to California, I was suddenly getting "A's." Classes that I hated and struggled in in Minnesota, like Algebra, were, in California, one big joke. Suddenly, from being a dumb kid in school in Minnesota (or as my very kind older brother would insult me all my life, "The F-minus Kid") I went to being the smartest kid in my class.

Through high school, my older brother got all "A's." He went to school in Minnesota too (you do the math). So, even though my grades in academics weren't as good as his, I was still a geek, got mostly A's and, as such, an outsider. Because, even back then, in a California school getting good grades meant you were a momma's boy or teacher's pet and definitely NOT cool.

So here I went from being a dummy in school with no friends in the Midwest to being a smart kid in school with no friends in California. I thought being smart was good? Not in California public school it isn't. Can you imagine how that would play games with a 15 year old's mind? 

My high school in California, was a regular west coast high school like you'd see in the movies. You know, pretty blond girls and handsome blond guys. Everyone drove a hot rod American car and had perfect teeth. The ocean wasn't a ten minute drive from school so we had tons of surfers, stoners and our high school also had the standard issue football team and basketball team that every all-American high school had.

Everyone at my high school looked like they had just jumped out of some Hollywood movie. This is Janet and Randy, who were Prom King and Queen. 

The boys teams at my high school were lousy (you wouldn't know it by the "big man on campus" attitude those guys showed while at school). Nevertheless, it was a big deal every year when we'd play the cross town high school's own lousy team in our standard issue cross town rivalry. The teams would basically take each year going back and forth beating each other. The cheerleaders would cry because, well, as you know, beating Cross Town is so immensely important, especially since, as any cheerleader will tell you "...This is senior year and our last year at high school. We must win!" Maybe it was all planned that way... Maybe they do that in American society to teach militant tribalism (it's great for military recruitment)....

But I digress.... For the third time...

I was talking about Kathy Dobbe. Besides the very pretty girls, surfers, stoners, hot-rodders, and football and basketball players, my school also had geeks. I think I was King Geek at my school. I was King Geek because my grades were almost all "A's" and I was president of the Science Club for my junior and senior year.

Being a geek in high school sucks because the "cool kids" (pretty girls, surfers, stoners, hot-rodders, and football and basketball players) didn't want to have anything to do with you. The only friends a geek has in high school is other geeks. So, all through high school, I only went on a date twice. The first time was when Shanda Shinkaruk asked me to go to a backwards dance with her (she was pretty too and terrified me also!) and then, my senior year when I got up the nerve to ask one of the smartest and most popular girls in school, Debbie Henry to go to the prom with me. Debbie said, "Yes" and that changed my life too.... But let me stick with Kathy for now. Debbie is another story.

How did Kathy teach me self-respect and give me a better self-image? It's ridiculous, really, when I stop to think about it. Here, all that time, all through 11th and 12th grade I thought all these girls would never go on a date with me because, are you ready?.... I thought they wouldn't go on a date with me because I was shorter than they were.

Seriously. This is what I thought. It was what I believed. The day that Kathy Dobbe destroyed this belief is still strong in my memory...

Only geeks and dorks helped the teachers with things like the projectors and handing out petri dishes. I did that sort of thing a lot. Come to think of it, this might be my first photo of my ever having worked in the cinema industry.

It was biology class. I can't remember why, but Mr. Holts told us to line up to collect some materials. For some reason, it wound up that Kathy Dobbe was standing right in front of me. I had never come that close to her before.  I was an extremely shy boy and would never intentionally stand next to her. I was so shy that, had she come close, normally I would shy away and back off to the other side of the room. But here she was! The girl of my dreams! The girl I had only seen from afar and she was standing only two feet in front of me... This goddess!!!!  

As usual, Kathy paid no attention to me and was talking to one of the other beautiful people, a guy, in the class. When she turned her back to me was when it hit me. I was shocked! I couldn't believe it. I had to get closer and check and recheck again. Were my eyes deceiving me? Not only was I taller than Kathy but I was taller by at least three inches!

You cannot imagine how much that really confused me and threw me for a loss. I was absolutely dumbfounded. It was as if a scientist who dedicated his entire life to a theorem and was completely and totally convinced that this theory was true had just found out that all his beliefs and life's work were completely wrong. Everything he (I) had thought, believed and was convinced to be true was completely wrong and had zero basis in reality. You can imagine how this twisted my mind especially as a geek and president of the Science Club!.... Chuckle.

Soon after, I began talking to many other girls. I began to check my new theory and discovery by use of the Scientific Method: "I am taller than these girls hereby it is OK for me not to be such a loser." I tested it over and over and found it to be true.

I stood next to the beautiful girls in school. I was taller than them. When some of the pretty (but dumb) girls in science class would suddenly take a 180 degree turnabout and go from not even knowing that I exist or actually being mean to me to being so sweet and kind and asking for my help giving them the answers to Biology tests, I started having an attitude. I'd intentionally give them the wrong answers.... Really! I am ashamed to admit that I did that one time but then felt bad about it... After that, if those girls wanted my help, I'd just tell them, "You're always mean to me then you want my help at test time? No. I don't think so." Then these girls would get really mad at me and bad mouth me. I think they got mad because I had always given them answers before so they had come to depend on me and when the answers stopped coming, they thought I was a jerk. They treated me like a jerk 100% of the time from then on.

That's OK. I didn't care. Before that, they treated me like a jerk only 95% of the time excepting at test time. Now they'd treat me like dirt 100% of the time. So what? Their loss, not mine, I figured.

And, after all, I was taller than they were and I got good grades. "Who needs dumb manipulative girls, anyway?" I realized.

Life is full of give and take. Life is also full of manipulative people. I thank god that I was to have this seemingly banal experience of standing in line behind Kathy Dobbe and how that changed my life. It's weird the little seemingly unimportant things that make a huge impact on our lives and way of thinking. From the lesson I learned from Kathy Dobbe, I learned self-respect and self-confidence... Perhaps from that experience I also learned too much, way too much, self-confidence too and exercised that far too often.

But this self-confidence has taught me to be independent and to be creative and to depend on myself. It has helped me to avoid the rat race whereby too many people today fear for their jobs and their future. Of course, I sometimes worry about the future and money too, but, opposed to a company employee who has no control over whether or not they lose their job or get laid off, I create my own work and I create my own income. I have come to, through experience and self-confidence and a good self image, to know that, if I put my mind to it, I can do anything. I believe that thinking that way, and helping your child to do so also, could be one of the best lessons in life that they'll ever learn.


I think the lessons I learned from this one experience are (if you are a student, this is for you. If you are a parent, please consider how you can help your child):

1) What we think and believe is often not true. An open mind is necessary. Some of the things we believe are so opposite of actual truth it is epiphany when we realize it.

2) Often we need others to help us achieve these realizations and epiphanies. 

3) We need to have more self-confidence and to explore.

4) Learning to read and write in school is important, of course, but many of the other important lessons are not taught by teachers. They are taught by other kids, parents and the outside world. We need to prepare our kids better for that.

5) Parents need to tell your kids that they are beautiful. This seems obvious but not enough parents do this. Most parents never do this at all.

6) A kid with great self-esteem and self-confidence can do anything and be whatever they want to be. Make sure your child is that way. 

Thank you Kathy Dobbe and to the Kathy Dobbe's everywhere.