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Sunday, April 27, 2008

How To Get What You Want And Are Dreaming Of

Ten Steps To Happiness



The first step is to decide what you really want. A lot of people spend their time chasing other people’s dreams. Do you know what you want out of life? Are you prepared to follow your own dream?

The second step is to have the proper attitude. You can’t expect to be successful in your life if you don’t have faith in yourself and in what you are doing. Do you have the proper attitude?

The third step is to follow your dream. It is not enough to wish for something. You have to help make it happen. You have to make an effort. Are you ready to take action?

The fourth step is to get rid of the inhibitions that are keeping you from following your dream. Are you too tied down by traditions and taboos to follow your heart?

The fifth step is to use your imagination. When you start to believe that good things can happen, and when you visualize them happening in your mind, all kinds of great things can happen. Can you unlock your mind and use your imagination to follow your dreams?

The sixth step is to have faith. How are you going to succeed if you don’t have faith in yourself and in God? Do you have faith?

The seventh step is to get rid of stress. It is holding you back from being all that you can be. Are you too worried about what is going on in your life to take action and make things better?

The eighth step is to be social and have friends and loved ones. You need to have people you can share your dreams and thoughts with if you want them to have true meaning. Do you have someone to share your hopes with? You don’t want to be alone, do you?

The ninth step is to take charge of your life. Make a plan and stick to it. Set your goals and don’t allow anything or any one to prevent you from fulfilling your dreams. Do you have a plan for life?

The tenth and most important step is to be yourself. You have to believe that you are a good and decent person if you want to be happy and successful. You have to believe in yourself. Do you believe in yourself? Are you convinced that you are going to be all that you can be?

The next move is up to you. Sometimes it is more important to be able to come up with the right questions than to have the right answers.

Do you know what questions to ask yourself to make your life happier and more complete? Take a step in the right direction. Ask yourself a soul-searching question. Discover the truth within you.
*****



If you want to find out how to get what you want and are dreaming of, check out the ten steps to happiness and other articles and excerpts from the novel Johnny Oops at http://johnnyoops.blogspot.com

Monday, April 14, 2008

Excerpt Johnny Oops - CHAPTER 34 -- THE PROPHET’S NEW LOVE

Johnny Senior was frankly relieved to get rid of Jody with her non-stop lecturing, and Sonja whatever his real name was with his rules on abstinence, celibacy, and nutrition.


As far as Johnny was concerned he was an independent Prophet now with no one to answer to, or cause him to look over his shoulder, and no one to second-guess him.

It didn’t take him long to find someone to become his playmate. The object of his latest perverted passion was one Carla Shenk. She was a beautiful eighteen-year-old redhead exchange student from Austria who had become a member of the flock.

Carla shared Johnny’s passion for bondage and his sadistic inclinations; in fact she far exceeded them. One has to wonder why the Prophet got such a kick out of self-mutilation. Maybe it was because he secretly loathed what he had become and wanted to punish himself.

The two of them made quite a sight with their blazing red hair and Johnny with his reddish beard. Someone made the comment that they looked like Santa Claus and his wife in reverse, only on a strict diet and in the nude, well almost nude. Johnny had shucked his flowing robes for the latest tight fitting shirts and brown leather pants. Carla of course sans bra chose to dress the same.

The two of them enjoyed going out, but didn’t like everyone staring at them. They decided to go away on a long ski weekend to an exclusive Ski Resort at Aspen Colorado. They assumed they could enjoy their privacy there. They were wrong.

No sooner had they arrived and checked into their hotel than the local paparazzi started following them and taking their pictures no matter where they went. They weren’t safe in the restaurants, the discos, or on the slopes so they decided to stay in and order room service from the hotel.

When breakfast was delivered they discovered that a photographer had bribed the bellboy, switched outfits with him, and was taking pictures with a camera hidden in the idiot’s jacket lapel.

Johnny got furious and insisted that the hotel manager himself bring them a four day supply of food and wine.

“They would cook it themselves in the suite’s kitchenette,” He told the manager, “I don’t want anyone entering this suite for the next four days, not even the maid. We will clean the damn place ourselves.”

Of course they never cleaned anything, but boy they sure did make a hell of a mess in the kitchenette.

Johnny and Carla settled down for a weekend of kinky sex. They tried every conceivable type of weirdo stuff they could manager without the proper S&M equipment. They hadn’t brought much with them. About the only thing Carla could find in her suitcase was a whip, some masking tape, and handcuffs.

“This will have to do my pet,” Carla said, “It’s all I have. We will just have to use our imaginations.”

Somewhere along the line on the second night of their stay, Johnny made the mistake of telling Carla, “You have no imagination bitch. You keep doing the same thing over and over. The Prophet is bored with you, get lost.”

Oops, Johnny shouldn’t have said that while he was handcuffed and bound to the bed.
Carla went into a rage. First she whipped him bloody with her whip. Then when he started to scream and beg for mercy she covered his mouth with the last of the masking tape.

Next Carla gave the Prophet a lecture telling him, “You are an over the hill bastard at twenty two. I’ve had better sex with my dog. You are an inconsiderate monster who doesn’t care about other people’s feelings. I thought I loved you. Boy was I wrong. You’re pathetic.” With that she packed her bag and left the hotel in a huff never to be seen in those parts again.

Late on the fourth day, the manager responding to complaints by hotel guests that a strange smell was coming from Johnny’s room; disregarded his instructions and entered the suite followed by two photographers who had made the manager an offer he was too greedy to refuse.

What they found would make these paparazzi rich men. The scandal sheets would pay a fortune for the photos. They didn’t stop shooting. They discovered Johnny naked and spread eagle on the bed. He was handcuffed to the four-poster bed frame. His feet and mouth were bound with masking tape, and on his stomach Carla had written in red lipstick, “Some Prophet, he’s pathetic.”

It was over. The scandal would ruin the Institute. Johnny was no Prophet, he was just a pathetic sex maniac, and soon the whole world would know it. The manager finally managed to get Johnny out of his restraints and took the masking tape off his mouth. Johnny was alive, but practically too weak to speak from the lack of food and water.

Johnny whispered in a hoarse raspy voice, “I was just trying to crucify myself to save my flock from the end of the world. I am offering myself up to pay for their sins.”

This last statement wouldn’t wash. The pictures told the real story. Johnny the Prophet was finished. The Institute was finished. Dialectic Spiritualism was finished.

Jody flew home with Jason in a vain attempt to save her precious Institute. This time even she couldn’t stem the tide of the impending disaster. The paparazzi took pictures of them getting off the plane from France arm in arm. They labeled it Infidelity Dialectic Style in the press photos.

Johnny Junior arrived at Rancho Santa Fee where the family was gathering. He told the reporters, “I am here to save the day. I am the one true Prophet. I have the ‘word’ now.

It was just about his last ‘word’. Junior was mobbed by a bevy of former lovers including at least a half a dozen movie starlets carrying signs reading, “He gave me the clap.”

Junior’s goose was cooked. The paparazzi took pictures of him slinking out of the garage carrying a cardboard box, which they labeled, “Antibiotics,” for the sake of the scandal sheets using their photos.

Vividly Magazine ran a picture on its cover of the whole family with the caption, “The County’s most dysfunctional well known family.”

There was a small inset photo of the Prophet spread eagle on the bed. They placed a large Red Cross over his pecker to hide it and included a small sub-heading, which read, “This is as sick as it gets.”

Senseless Magazine not to be out circulated ran a cover picture of Johnny as a young boy on one side and as a grown Prophet on the other with a big headline reading, “Innocence turns Rancid.”

The article started off by saying: “Let us introduce you to Johnny Oops, the worlds leading charlatan and fake. Where has all the money gone Johnny? What have you done with the people’s faith?

That was enough for the IRS. They cancelled their entire fall season and had over five hundred agents swoop down on the Institute, and impound the entire facility, all the Institute’s bank accounts, and its various Post Office Boxes used to collect donations from the faithful.

The IRS issued a statement saying, “This is shaping up as the worst case of tax avoidance by a phony non profit organization that we have ever seen. These people should all face criminal prosecution.”

With the flock deserting in droves, their resources frozen, and the public against them, Johnny went on the attack. He went on a leading TV news program and made the following statement, “My people they are trying to persecute us for our beliefs. We have seen this happen before in history. Do not let the infidels and bureaucrats deceive you. Dialectic Spiritualism is the voice of the future. Don’t let the establishment throw you back into darkness. Come with me. See the light. Reach out and touch someone. Show that you really care about their private parts: the parts of them that make them essential human beings, the parts that bring us all together in a harmony of passion and virtue. The parts that exemplify the moral imperative of fulfilling your needs and satisfying your urges."

Oops, I guess it was this last part, which caused the adverse reaction. The audience rose up and stormed the stage. They carried Johnny out of the TV studio and dumped him in the sewer where they said he belonged. They kicked and pummeled him nearly to death before the police arrived to disperse the angry mob.

Johnny was left broken and sobbing in the filth of the sewer. His dream of a better world was gone. His hope for a better future was destroyed. His irrational belief in himself as someone who would make a difference was crushed.

When he was finally carted off in an ambulance he sobbed out, “My people, be of good faith. I shall return. You have not seen the last of Johnny Oops. Remember the plane crash. Prepare for my next coming.”

Poor Johnny, no one was listening. He was yesterday’s news. He had broken faith with the people, and they were in no mood to forgive him. He had committed the cardinal sin of thinking he could actually walk on water, and then trying to do it. He had drowned himself in a flurry of self-destructive activities befitting a true sado masochist.

The Prophet hadn’t been able to prophesize his own demise. Or was it just going to be another opportunity for a spiritual rebirth?

On his way to the hospital Johnny bemoaned his fate. In a semi-conscious state he wondered, “What has happened to Johnny Oops? Where have I gone wrong? What happened to my promise? Who am I? What is to become of me? Why am I being tested this way?”

Monday, April 7, 2008

GRANDMA’S SECRET POTION OF FAITH

Grandma Jenny slipped shoveling snow off the front steps of our home in the midst of a fearsome snow storm at the age of ninety-six and broke her hip. She was a feisty little woman who weighed only ninety-five pounds and stood four feet-nine inches tall. The shovel was bigger than Grandma. You might wonder why she was out shoveling snow early in the morning at her advanced age, but it was part of her stubborn and cantankerous nature. And it was a part of her tradition. She didn’t want my father going to work and getting his feet wet in the snow. It was a matter of respect for the man of the house. It was a matter of faith in her traditions. It was her way.

Grandma was from the old country – Russia to be specific. She came to the United States as a girl of fourteen traveling for fifteen days on a tramp steamer, and surviving on bread and water. She lost her provisions, her money, and her clothes on the trip over to thieves that hounded na├»ve, unsuspecting young girls such as her as a normal part of refugee voyages in those days. Most people though it was the work of greedy members of the crew. She arrived in this country penniless and literally with only the clothes on her back. But nothing could stop Grandma from making a new life in the land of her dreams, or bringing with her the rituals and traditions that were an innate part of her heritage, her faith, and of her very being.

Until she slipped and broke her hip, Grandma Jenny had always been healthy. None of us in the family could remember her having a cold. She attributed her good health to a secret potion of Elderberry Brandy that she distilled in the attic of our Georgian Colonial House. I have no idea where she got the Elderberries from or how she prepared the brew. We were never allowed up to her special place in the attic to see what she was doing. Everything that Grandma did was a secret.

Grandma had a shot of the special potion when she woke up in the morning and when she went to bed at night, that much she told us. To the best of my knowledge it was the only medicine she ever took. On rare occasions such as holidays and birthdays, we were all invited to join her for a sip of her Elderberry Brandy. I was allowed to participate from the time I was a teenager. Boy did that stuff pack a wallop. It is no wonder that Grandma was never sick. The brandy must have killed the germs. My dad didn’t really like it. He was a scotch man. My mother struggled to swallow it. She didn’t drink. We all participated in the ritual. No one in the family was about to insult Grandma Jenny. She was too tough a cookie to be trifled with.

On one of the rare occasions when Grandma Jenny bothered to talk to me, communication was a problem since she spoke only Russian; I asked her what was so special about the secret potion? She sort of half smiled at me indicating that when I was more mature I would understand, pointing at my head. Grandma was great at the universal language of hand signals. I do understand a little Russian, but I don’t speak the language. Fortunately for me Grandma did understand English except when she chose to pretend that she didn’t. Even the dog understood Russian because Grandma fed him and he didn’t speak at all. When she called him to come and get it in Russian, he came running. No one disobeyed Grandma. The dog was a huge Boxer named Slugger. It was amazing to see him cower in front of my Grandmother, and wait for her command allowing him to eat. He sure didn’t act like that with my father or me. He once jumped up on my Dad and pushed him so hard that he fell down and dislocated his shoulder. Slugger wouldn’t dare jump up on my Grandma. The dog knew better.

After Grandma passed away, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was so special about her secret potion and how to make it. Grandma wasn’t big on measurements or recipes. She insisted that you just add a little bit of this and a little bit of that. This was the way she talked when someone wanted to know how to make her yeast coffee cake or her saffron laced ginger-carrot candy. Unfortunately the secrets died with her.

I think I finally have the answer when it comes to her secret potion. It wasn’t the herbs that she added. It wasn’t how high the alcohol content was. It was the love with which she made it and dispensed it to the whole family. It represented to her a melding of old traditions and new rituals. It symbolized her faith in God, and the respect she had for our family and our Country. It was a way for her to celebrate her freedom. It was her way of communicating to us in a language of kindness and caring that we could all understand.

Sometimes when I sip a little brandy late at night to help calm me from the stress of the day and the threat of terrorism or natural disasters, I wonder, couldn’t we all use a little of Grandma’s secret potion to help us through these troubled times? The commercial stuff doesn’t seem to be doing the trick anymore. It lacks the tradition of caring, kindness, and love necessary to make it a special brew. It lacks that personal faith-filled touch of Grandma Jenny. It doesn’t have her tenacious character or her will to survive. It lacks respect.

There are some things that you can’t put in a bottle, smack a label on, and expect to work miracles. Sometimes you have to find the right ingredients in your own heart. Sometimes you have to distill them yourself. Sometimes the secret potion of faith is within you.