Monday, November 23, 2009


Dad and Me in Indiana many years ago.
I found this picture,
as I am going through boxes
of old photos.

A lot of fun.
I really like this picture,
though the color is poor.

Included in this post

* Rafa Update

* Personal things

* Heath Ledger ~ My Latest Video

Rafa lost to Robin Soderling today in London
4-6, 4-6

Rafa vs. Nikolay Davydenko

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rafa is blogging on times online

The website for barclays atp world tour finals

Online viewing ( for a fee): www.tennistv.com

You might try these links for free viewing:



Pictures of Rafa

Fan Websites for Rafa - Great Source of Information


Sponsored by Babolat

Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball during the men's singles first round match against Robin Soderling of Sweden during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena on November 23, 2009 in London, England.
Photo credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe


I was doing the wash, making the bed up, and a few other things interspersed between walks to the laundry room. I almost always have the television or music on. Often, playing is a Heath Ledger dvd. I don't sit down to watch hardly ever. It is just energy that makes me feel good. Today, I was able to have the Bonnie Hunt talk show on. I miss it a lot because the time it airs is 2:00 p.m. - not a time that falls at a good time. Bonnie has great positive energy, so it is always a pleasure to have that energy radiating out while doing whatever I'm doing.

There was a segment with Troy Dunn (The Locator television show). I have never seen the show and couldn't tell you if I have access to it. He reunites lost loved ones and family members. (You can watch the segment here)

Well, there are rare times, that I cannot go on, I just have to stop everything and what is on the television pulls me in so deeply that I move in and stand 2 feet from the screen or sit down to absorb it all.

This was one of those.

First, I had been having an internal dialogue with myself about my mother and my family members and how I feel about them. Having to emancipate myself from them because of the negative effects that they have on me, isn't a welcome result, but a necessary one for me. I find myself depressed for days after a phone call with the only one that I still have any communication with.

I am just a wonderfully happy person. I feel so glorious most every minute. But a thought of my family and it is like the sun goes away. And yet, ask one of them, and it pretty much would be all my fault that they affect me this way. We don't choose our feelings. Feelings just are.

I used to get a skin rash, that the doctor always said was from nervousness. My family lives in Indiana and I live in Rhode Island. Years ago, when I would go home on a yearly or bi-yearly basis and stay with my parents, I would get this rash. My mother would make comments to me that I got the rash when I went home to make her feel bad. I mean, it is laughable, if it weren't so hurtful.

My mother and daughter relationship is non-existent. We don't relate. We have little in common and no one in my family cares what is going on in my life. When we talk, it is never about me. I never realized this for most of my life, but now that I recognize this narcsissitic behavior, I can accept better the people in my family. I am not trying anymore to get their approval and affection. At least, I see them for what they are and that helps me.

I think it is a reflection of who you are when you see the character of the people who do gravitate toward you. I always noticed this when I was a teacher ~ the parents who appreciated my teaching and my qualities as a person and those who were critical of me. The people that criticized me were the most unhappy people and simply critical people, in the first place. The people who praised my teaching were usually sensitive, thoughtful, generous and many times hard-to-please parents because their standards were so high.

So, I try to understand the world from this view of being from a family where I am not only the outcast by appointment by them, but not knowing where I could have possibly come from. No one in my family likes the things I like ~ all of the arts, music, theatre, dance, art-art, social justice. I am the only Democrat in a Republican family. The region that I am from in Indiana ~ although the state went for Obama in the electoral college last November ~ my area where I grew up, voted for McCain and Palin. I would have had to consider leaving the country, if they had won. Eight years of G W Bush was more than I could bear and another four years with similar mentality would have made me want to leave the country.

So, my point is that I am a foreigner in my own family. I don't mind in some ways. I love who I am. I don't want to sound, well, in love with myself, but I so love my own company. I think I am a pretty neat person. So, my family can't be more important than me following my own destiny. I'll put up with their judgment that I am the awful person that they think I am. And I'll be me.

So, this segment today on Bonnie's show hit me deeply.

Three video clips were shown of a woman who had been a foster mother to a child many years ago for five years. They were reunited because they both wanted to be. They had shared five years together and this "outsider" was the only mother the young girl ever really "had".

Troy Dunn's mother was adopted and had a bad experience of the possible reuniting with her own mother, who said that if she ever knew that "it" was going to contact her in the future, she would have aborted "it".

Tony Dunn's mother works with her son in his work, which he says is the best job in the world.

I understand this bond that the foster mother and the foster daughter had. I have it with my son, that I met in a second grade music class that I was teaching. I had it since the day that I met him. It was magical. It was two soul mates of different generations. And I knew it in a deeply secure way.

He was in foster care. I love him more than anyone in the world. He is my son. He is the most special person that I have ever experienced. I never wanted children, but destiny had other plans for me and I accepted that.

He is the coolest. Yes, there were years of hell. But those are over. Now, it is just the best. The best, richest, thing I have ever done or known.

He is the most talented person I have ever seen. Talent abounds in him. And he doesn't take it for granted.

So, when I saw the way this foster mother felt for this foster child that was "ripped" from her life these many years later, I thought: here is a mother, who didn't bring this child into the world and yet she feels so deeply for this child that she wanted to be reunited. They were connected. They had the most beautiful thing a human being can have, a bond to another spirit, soul.

I was moved. To tears. I thought, "That is wonderful". How endearing, this quality of human beings. I am happy for them.

Today, I got a card from mother. She never calls. She never says anything in the cards. I couldn't handle opening it at the end of the day. I will open it in the daytime when I can afford to be more brave.

I have been going through my boxes of old pictures and letters, lately. Letters mostly from old boyfriends, but also from my dad.

Thankfully, I do feel close to my dad. Though not always was that true. But now I know why. It was my mother who was a barrier between dad and me.

He died May 10, 2007. But death does not end a relationship. Bitterness and meanness do, though.

Just a few of the posts that I have done about dad:





I, like many, feel a bond to Heath

And now, my latest youtube video.

Another one of Heath Ledger.

I don't know what is happening at youtube. But I have an issue about them approving of the two songs that I used in this video on my tested "Private" upload and then they give me a warning about copyright issues with UMG when I posted it as a "Public" video. I think this is completely wrong. The karaoke song shouldn't be an issue. And the Pointer Sisters song was tested about four times at Youtube, before I posted the public version of the video late last night. And youtube is featuring the video.

Something also is going on with Youtube and the country of Germany. It is more restrictive than the litigious USA. A shame because many people from Germany enjoy Youtube and now all of a sudden, videos that once they had access to, no longer is true.


I have spoken on this before. So I will not be too lengthy, but this is all backwards. These companies and perhaps the artists they represent need to take their heads out of the antiquity of copyright laws and think outside that old box. It isn't affective and it is working against them.

If they were smart, they would seize the day and use youtube for free promotion of their business endeavors. They obviously aren't smart. Karaoke is getting my business....I am buying up karaoke after karaoke versions of songs I want to use on Youtube simply because the artists who made the songs a hit won't allow us to utilize them on our humble little works on Youtube.

It confuses Youtube, I find. They sometimes claim the karaoke version has copyright issues. But they really think the recording is owned by UMG, Sony Music or WMG when indeed it is not.

They might as well shut down Youtube if we can't use the movies and music at all. How much do you think the per centage is on Youtube of videos that don't use movie clips and music recorded by someone other than ourselves? Pretty high, I believe.

They should be giving us incentives to use their music and movie clips. Not the other way around.

I was thinking the other day that if I had a movie just about to hit the theatres, I would offer Youtube posters a contest to enter to get an advanced viewing of the movie of their favorite actor and have them create a little tribute using clips from the movie. Choose a winner ~ all the while generating free press for their upcoming movie. And musicians could give us permission to use their music, newly released or old to use - in order to promote selling more of their music.

I notice now what companies are sponsoring a movie or music.

It does not create warm feelings. So all those ads they PAY for to promote their movies and music can have all the spit and polish of professional commercialism, but the public relations is suffering from this stupid, half-baked belief that they need to crack down on Youtube posters for using the movie clips and music.

Unintelligent. Bad business sense. And a waste of their money on PAID advertisement and for all their lawyers.

Stepping down, now.


Uploaded by me ~

Help us get "The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus" in our local theatres in the USA. It is our last chance to see Heath on screen in a new film. Don't let us be left out. Go to this link to Demand It!

Vanity Fair article - June 29, 2009 why-was-heath-ledger-so...

Shekhar Kapur's The Four Feathers ~ Heath Ledger

The text from my Youtube page's sidebar for this video:

In honor and with respect for the human being that Heath was and still is in our hearts.

We are visitors on this planet.
We are here for ninety or one hundred years
at the very most.
During that period,
we must try to do something good,
something useful, with our lives.
If you contribute to other peoples happiness,
You will find the true goal, the true meaning of life.
H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

I tested these songs five times here at Youtube as private videos and each one of them passed and are MP4 downloadable for others . And this one - youtube told me immediately is blocked in some countries. Except, so far they haven't told me which one(s). If any it will be Germany. This is so sad, because I specifically tried my very best to buy music that would work in Germany. Let's hope the status will be worldwide.

A previous blog post of mine about Heath:

Heath Ledger and his 'gentle way'

Link to the full article:

(a portion of the article is below)
Even as a teen-idol, he showed signs of being separate from the pack.

By Michael Ordoña
...."His energy and enthusiasm for life will never cease to inspire me," said Ledger's longtime friend and business partner Matt Amato. "A friend of mine said after Heath died that we must continue in Heath's 'gentle way.' Those words sounded perfect to me -- Heath's gentle way."

..."I was intimidated by how worldly wise he seemed to be and how much he understood himself," said Jason Isaacs, who played the sadistic Col. Tavington in "Patriot." "He took a house in the forest while we all lived together in a condo. Like many in my profession, I seem to need company and to fill the silence with noise; he didn't need that, and he was very happy in his house in the forest. I know 21-year-olds; I'd never met a 21-year-old like him."

In 2001's "Monster's Ball," he made an indelible impression in a brief appearance as a tough death-row guard's sensitive son. It was an understated, soulful turn in a supporting role -- hardly the stuff of a teen idol lusting for fame.

Daneil Day-Lewis SAG Awardt winning speech where he dedicated his SAG award to Heath, January 2008 - just five days after Heath left his mortal body.

Making "King Rat" by Daniel Auber
we are the masses -Making-king-rat-daniel-auber

When Heath asked me to collaborate on this video I found it more than just a good cause, I was incredibly happy to have that first experience of he and I sitting by a desk and giving life to something together. So far our previous collaborations were of a different nature (a big movie production and a lot of cooking at dinner parties) I was confident because, in my opinion, if someone can cook together, they can also make a movie.

The creation of an artwork is a process that people enjoy in different ways. For some it's painful, for others it's joyful, but it's always hard work. The first part of the creation for the "King Rat" video (two weeks of making the animatic with Heath) had been just a lot of fun and discovery. We were both new to this kind of work, and that's what kept us excited.

A few weeks before starting I made a sketch of a fishing whale character. Heath liked it, so I knew more or less what kind of style I should draw going forward. When I joined him in London, Terry Gilliam let us work in the conference room of his visual effects company (Peerless). It was luxury: we had a massive window overlooking Covent Garden, and Terry's creative vibrations in the air.

Terry would come to see the progress every once in a while and we were excited to hear his advice. This is why Heath decided to have the "Monty Python trumpets" popping down from the clouds, and also why I proposed to have Terry's face as "The Sun" in our video. We felt like school kids inspired by our favorite teacher.

......After Heath left us, I didn't have any intention of finishing the video without him. It was Sara Cline who had the idea of finishing it, so Heath's cause against whale hunting would find exposure. And we would all have the pleasure of seeing another one of his challenging works. I said yes with no hesitation.

The second stage of making the video, with lead animator Norris Houk and animator Jade Taglioli, was about bringing to life the still drawings from the animatic.
My mind was still populated by all the information and details that Heath transmitted me during the London days. I knew exactly what he had in mind for the animation. For example, his description of the whales walking towards the bow of the boat, or dancing during the party, was very precise. We both had a whale dance in the office before starting to work on that sequence.

In fact, the main quality that would have made Heath a great director, in my opinion, was his ability to be contagious with his ideas, and to describe them in a very convincing way, with a lot of joy. Work has to be fun somehow, otherwise it's not worth it.

Jade and Norris did a remarkable job animating those shots for a month. My duty was to pass the message on, as precisely as possible.

My favourite memory on this video is very far from its shocking and distinctive taste. It's quite cheesy, actually: whilst we spent long days working on the animatic, listening endlessly to interrupted bits of Isaac's haunting and cavernous voice, there was another song being played constantly coming from outside the window.

It wasn't annoying us because its paradisiac nature was having a complementary effect on us. It was Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow". Every time I randomly hear that song, I think of how lucky I was to be over there for a few wonderful weeks.

More blog posts of mine:

Poetry by Sandra Hammel ~Beauty Can Be Eternity in a Moment

My Favorite Interview with Heath

Just Wonderful ~ Just like Heath

At this post are three wonderful parts of an interview with Heath on December 2, 2007, just weeks before that January winter night that he passed away interview is uploaded by springrose147 This interview is precious and priceless. Heath is comfortable and relaxed in this interview.

A very small portion of this interview:
like, what success is is, I mean the only time that I'm alive, and living and expressing and feeling, and, and relating is, is, is when I'm on set and that time between action and cut and so that's the only thing that's really important is how that experience is, and, and how that experience will affect my life and what I have to give from my life to that experience. And everything that happens after that is just irrelevant.
Heath Ledger
December 3, 2007






One of my other passions is to prevent and stop genocide ~ it will only stop with us.
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S WORDS ~ A TEST ON HIMSELF ~ "If we care, the world will care ~ If we act, the world will follow" president-obama-words-A-test-on-himself




Thank you for stopping by.

Sandra from Rhode Island ; )

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