Remember When? 2011 Thanksgiving Post Still Has Meaning in 2012…Even If It Still Includes Justin Bieber’s Paternity and Some Pennsylvania Goo

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving 2012.  I was looking through the archives here at Nobody’s View and found an old favorite from last year’s Thanksgiving.

So, on the precipice of Thanksgiving 2012, enjoy!

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I just got home from work on this eve of Thanksgiving 2011.

I got on the Internet and surfed around some news sites and saw headlines that included a stock slide, bloody protests in Egypt, and an assortment of stories varying from Justin Bieber’s paternity test to some kind of goo on a Pennsylvania turnpike.

Goodness gracious.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, right?  Thanks for what?

We here at Nobody’s View know that in these troubled times, it’s getting harder and harder to be nobody-in-particular in this world (trust me).  Even though we don’t make the paper, the headlines of our own lives are sometimes just as, or more, tragic than what we see in the news.

Sometimes.

It’s that word “sometimes” that prompted me to write today.  Things haven’t been a bed of roses on this end at all times and for all things.  But then again, there are also some amazingly wonderful things that have happened to this nobody-in-particular lately.  It’s good.  Sometimes it seems like an embarrassment of blessings.

Sometimes.

It’s not always great, even though I didn’t share the nightmares of so many in the news today.  And, if you’re safe in front of a computer reading this, you probably didn’t either.  But sometimes we do.  Even though sometimes we don’t.  Sometimes it was a good day at work.  Sometimes less so.  Sometimes there is just barely not enough money, sometimes just enough.  Sometimes more than enough.

Sometimes.

Sometimes the pie for Thanksgiving dinner turns out perfect.  Sometimes not.  Sometimes the turkey’s dry, sometimes moist.  Sometimes everyone gets along, sometimes they bicker.  Sometimes it’s all perfect.

Sometimes.

We are in the Thanksgiving 2011 season.  I think tomorrow I’ll wake up and just be grateful for anything and everything, “sometimes” be damned.  Life’s good right now — at this time.  And, maybe if I acknowledge the good in my own life, I can make a difference for some of the unfortunate news makers (except Bieber — probably not much I can do for that guy).  In other words, sometimes we need to take stock.  Sometimes we need to be good with things as they are in this moment.  Sometimes we need to have faith that we made the right decision, took the right stand, found the right job, or are in just the right place.  Sometimes that’s all it takes to be happy in a world filled with tragedy and frustration.

Sometimes…

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To my readers: a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving 2012 and a well transition to the holiday season.  May you be joyous at ALL times.

“Calm” Is the New “Fun” in the Busy Life!

I know, I know.  It’s been a while.

I say that a lot, don’t I?  Well, I always have a good excuse.  Really!  I swear!

Actually, I’ve been working a lot lately.  A lot a lot.  I have two jobs and I think I put in around 75 hours this week.  Yeah, it’s a lot, but it’s okay.  It’s not every week, you see.  Just sometimes.

But it really got me thinking about how I spend my time.  Today, after I submitted a project to one of my bosses, he told me to “do something fun.”  I said, “I will!” and then hung up the phone with a smile.

I swiveled around in my chair and then stopped.  And thought.  And…well…I realized that I really didn’t know what to do!  It’s 4pm.  I’m done with another huge project.  It’s been a busy week.  I finally have a few free hours and…well…I’m stuck!  What’s fun?

So, I took out my guitar and played some Simon & Garfunkel.  That always makes me smile.  And, in a few minutes, I’m going to do my yoga. That always relaxes me.  Then, I’m going to make dinner and watch some funny TV.  That’s always good, right?

So, I realized I really didn’t have to do anything “fun.”  Really, I just had to do something comfortable.  Familiar.  Relaxing.  Those are the gateways.  The ways in to the places inside that make me feel calm.  And as we all know, “calm” is the new “fun” in this modern age.

About 10-ish, I’ll turn in.  I’ll put my head down on my pillow and drift off into a sleep that will end on Monday around 5:30am when another long week will begin (no real Thanksgiving break here!  Probably will be workin’!).

But as that week begins, I guess the lesson is that I don’t have to search in between the work hours for “fun.”  Really, I just need to search for balance.  For activities that make me feel comfortable in my skin.

There is enough drama in life without making more.  There is enough that pushes us off kilter without ourselves adding more.  Remember that.  Surround yourself with positive people.  Do things that give you a sense of peace.  You don’t owe anyone an explanation.  Just do what you have to do to keep it all good.  As for the rest?  Well, deal with what you have to deal with.  Honk the horn when you have to honk.  Say “yes” to that cranky person at work with a smile and gritted teeth.  Eat what you don’t like so you can be polite.

But at the end of the day?  Well, do what makes you calm.  That’s really something more lasting than “fun.”

Election Season 2012 Is Only Terrible When I Watch It

Okay, Nobody Nation.

It’s almost over.  We’re on the cusp.  The end is in sight.

Election season is almost over.

Thank God!

I don’t know how much more of this I can take.  It’s just really getting to be too much.  I see it this way: if you’re still undecided, well…y’know.  And what of all these billions spent on getting elected?  Imagine all the good that money could do!  All the things politicians promise–how much could $2 billion buy?

Well, I could go on and on about money and decency and whatnot, but this is politics we’re talking about, so decency really doesn’t have anything to do with it.

But this past weekend I had an interesting break.  I was able to go up north in my state for a pseudo-business thing and had the opportunity to get off the beaten path a little bit.  Like, really off.  So far off, I spent a good part of the day chatting with folks who don’t have power.  Or TV.  People who make their handicrafts in the backs of their cars and make a living that way, no matter what the politicians say about “jobs.”

When the subject of politics came up, this was one response: “It doesn’t really affect me.  I do my art.  I have my own job.  I don’t really think about it.”

We live the way we live here in the world of electricity.  We go on with our bile-spewing politicians, televisions, and workaday jobs.  And we forget that there are people who live a whole other kind of life.  Not one I’m romanticizing or wishing I had.  Just another way of living.  Just something different than what we might call the “norm.”  The question, “Can people be happy living that way?” doesn’t seem to really come up.  When your life is what you know, it’s all you know.

It’s only when you pine away for it to be other than it is that trouble brews.

What was so striking is that I didn’t turn on a TV for two days.  I didn’t have political acid thrown in my face.  I didn’t even think about the elections except for a brief exchange with the craftsman I met.

It was a trip of conversation.  Of isolation.

There was no questions of happiness.  I was just…calm.

And it was nice.

But now I’m back home and the commercials are still on.  One person bagging on another.  One person promising better.  The other person promising…well…who the hell knows what.

Fighting.  Cursing.  Lying (lots of that).  Buying votes.  Denying votes.  Hate.  Bile.  All the usual things in this 2012 election season.

But somewhere up north, there’s a guy who works by daylight and sleeps by moonlight.  He hasn’t seen the ads.  They haven’t seen him.

And frankly, both seem pretty happy about that.

All Candidates, Including President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, Can Encourage New Thinking on Civility…and Incivility

As election season approaches, think of the history of these United States.  Think of the proud American spirit.  Think about living in a country that takes the time to have debates before an election, and encourages its great citizens to vote, and take part in the democratic process.

Then, think about how it must feel to live in Ohio right now.

Imagine watching TV in Cleveland and then seeing every attack ad ever made.  Imagine trying to live in that key election state.  Now, where I live, it is still pretty bad, due to hotly contested local elections.  But the presidential candidates have pretty much give up here, so I’m insulated from the presidential ads.

But Ohio?!?  I can’t even imagine.  Of course, I’m a Browns fan, so I’m trying to picture watching a Browns game (argh!) with attack ads throw in (double argh!).  Do the ads work?  Who knows?  The latest CNN.com poll shows President Obama up by 4%, but you know how that can go.

The only tally that matters is the one on election night.

But this Nobody’s thoughts today are not with the Browns or percentage points.  They’re with the question of civility.  If you’ve seen the debates between President Obama and Governor Romney, you’ve seen a strange mix of incivility and civility.

There is fire and brimstone flying at debate time, then, at the end, the families gather on stage for some hand shaking and pleasantries.  One could almost get the idea they were all going to leave the studio and go for ice cream afterwards.  Can you see that?  The Romneys and the Obamas ordering hot fudge sundaes at a local Dairy Queen and talking about…well…who the heck knows?

Now, as amusing as that image is to ponder, it gets me thinking about the frontiers of civility in our country, and around the world.  Nobody’s view is for the rest of us.  Not the candidates, but the voters.  Not the prime ministers, but their people.

This isn’t just about politics.  It’s about societies.  We tend to vilify people from other places, or candidates from other political persuasions, but have you ever really thought about that?  I mean, really thought about it?  Think of your friends from different cultures or the guy at the side of the road you helped when his tire was flat.  Did you check their politics?  Their backgrounds?  Or did you just help?  People are, generally, people.  And we usually believe that as regular citizens.

The problem is that, quite often, bullies and despots rise to power.  Then, in acts of “leadership,” these rulers create often hateful or vengeful policies, kill their own people, and do all sorts of horrid things, and we lay blame at the feet of their subjects…subjects whom we would gladly help if they crossed our paths in the everyday.

I’m not wise in the ways of politics, but something does not seem right about this.  Yes, we see people marching angrily in the streets supporting some horrific action, but don’t forget–in the great bell curve of humanity, there will always be those who agree with hate and rage.

But what about the rest?  What about the mother clutching her child in a bombed-out apartment, praying that the violence will end, or that her child can grow up someplace safe.  What about the masses who work their fingers to the bone for almost no pay under regimes that don’t care whether they live or die?  What about the student who has to look over her shoulder every day walking to school, lest a would-be policymaker will do more than simply discourage education for her gender?

Civility is courtesy.  Civility is tolerance.  Civility is respect.  Unfortunately, so many times, those who lead do not lead with a civil mindset, but with anger, hate, and rage…with selective agendas and desperation.  The grab for power is ultimate, all else, subordinate.

Now, in America?  We’re lucky.  For all the horribleness of election-season ads, we generally vote in peace and the sun rises in peace the next day.  However, I mention the seriousness of incivility because as the election season comes to a close, I am saddened to see how quickly civil words are replaced by bile.  How easily candidates are able to destroy others’ reputations, families, and good names.  How, without so much as a care, people insult sitting statesmen and stateswomen in an effort to unseat incumbents so they can move into their offices, readjust the chair, and get about the business of reversing the other person’s policies.

As you watch the elections come to a close in our country, remember, this is not an “American” issue.  This has nothing to do with one country or another or one candidate over another.  It’s simply about all of us.

However, we can teach our children differently.  We can use election season not as a time to hit the mute button on ads that most people find annoying.  We can take this opportunity to set a new example.  A civil example.  An “if-you-don’t-have-something-nice-to-say…” example.

Call this Nobody an optimist, but I am hopeful that within a few generations, we can reduce the acidity in the world and promote a more tolerant and civil atmosphere. I believe it starts with us.  It starts with hearing candidates on the issues and ignoring them on the incivility.

It begins with common sense.

But I will say this: if this optimist is wrong, he will certainly be thankful for the mute button.

The 2012 Society of Southwestern Authors’ Wrangling With Writing Conference Brought a Meet-Up, Inspiration, and Connection

Good lord!

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to post here.  Life just keeps on pushing!  So much going on.  So busy.  Highs, lows, heres, and theres.  Work I have to do and work I make up to avoid what I have to do.

So much so much so much!

But this last weekend?  Well, I got a reprieve.

I had the privilege of attending the 2012 Society of Southwestern Authors Wrangling With Writing conference in Tucson.  I went with a family member, and this was our first go at a writing conference.

And I must say, it was quite special.  I met a lot of incredible people, some of whom provided me books so that I could get better acquainted with their work.

Many weren’t just casual encounters, but people with whom I hope to work someday.  People who see a mission.  Who hold a vision.  People who want to change the world in humility.  In fact, I’m looking at two of the books right now: one on better leadership and one on reiki.  You wouldn’t know their names right now.

But you will someday.  You will.

Simply amazing.

Throughout the weekend, there were many great speakers, including the great Hazel Dixon-Cooper, the noted astrologer.  Her subject?  Using the astrological traits of characters to make them more robust.  I’d never really thought of my characters as having a “sign” that could affect their personalities, but it was fun to explore that.  To consider that we can connect even in fiction through creating characters that may share, or contradict, our own birth sign traits.

Another highlight was Kevin Smokler, author and speaker.  His folksy style and quick wit made a last-minute appearance into something memorable.  He’s a guy I’d love to work with someday.  His talk was terrific.  Check him out.  Please.

But perhaps the most special part of the weekend was spending time with my agent.  We’ve been in business together, and been friends, for almost two years, but this was our first live meeting.  It was so wonderful to come face to face with the woman who cares for my books, shepherding them like wayward goats.  We shared some meals, many laughs, and a vision.  There are so few opportunities to really connect with people, and when you get the chance, it’s special.  But when you get to actually work with them?  Well…indescribable.

I came home, and returned to the world of my work.  My jobs.  Now, I’m fortunate that my jobs enable me to write for a living.  It’s a dream.  But something else was there when I was back in the office Monday working on something other than a novel.  A sense of gratitude.  That’s right.  I was working on something for a client, and for a brief moment I had the chance to give thanks to whatever power in the universe that my living comes from my fingers.  From typing.  From creating.  Whether for business or pleasure, writing is a privilege not to be taken lightly.

Writing is a privilege.

Yes, the Society of Southwestern Authors conference taught about promotion.  Wrangling With Writing gave us direction on grammar, Facebook, Twitter, ebooks, and the like.  We had chicken.  We had cheesecake.  We swapped ideas and exchanged cards.  We watched hotel TV.  We took notes.  Some authors pitched.  Others simply listened.  It was a conference after all.

But in the afterglow, I hope we did something else.  I hope we inspired.  I hope we were inspired.

And, most importantly, I hope we connected.

Sir David Ramon Hawkins M.D., Ph.D. — An Obituary You Might Not See, but Should….

An obituary crossed my desk today.

You probably didn’t know the man.  But then again, maybe you did.

He didn’t make a big splash like a Kardashian.  He didn’t write a book-a-minute like some of the authors you may know.  No theme parks named after him.  No shock-jocking.  No infamy.

Nothing like that.

He was a psychiatrist.  A physicist.  A man who tried to show that the simple act of pushing on muscle could give an answer to any yes/no question known in the universe.

He was Sir David Ramon Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.  Or, as he was more simply known: David Hawkins.

He wrote books that maybe 100 people read (Orthomolecular Psychiatry with Linus Pauling), and books that were controversial and deep (Power vs. Force, Eye of the I).

Revered by some.  Reviled by others.  Always controversial.  Always entertaining.

I had the privilege of seeing Dr. Hawkins speak a few times.  Some of the things he said were quite illuminating.  Some were clear as mud.  Sometimes, he told himself a private joke and laughed alone.  At other times, we laughed with him.

But he always made you think.

I’m not going to launch into a description of his teachings (or findings).  It would be impossible.  It wouldn’t do them justice.  It would just make things more confusing.

Instead, if you feel moved, check out Veritas Publishing or his biography and descriptions at Hay House.

I don’t know why I felt moved to write about him today.  I just saw the obit and decided I wanted to say something.

Remember: whether you agree or disagree with a particular spiritual or philosophical teaching is no really the important thing.  The importance lies in engaging, discussing, and processing.

And David Hawkins gave us that opportunity in more ways than even he may know.

Rest in peace, Doctor.  May you now fully live the truths you believed.

September 25th and 26th Are Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur 5773/2012 — Laundry Time…Again!

Another year.

Rosh Hashanah 5773 has come and gone for our Jewish friends here at Nobody’s View, and now is the time for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur.  What follows is a column from last year, and…well…it’s time to bring it out again.  I’ve changed the dates to this year.

Happy Yom Kippur 5773/2012!

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So, our Jewish friends give us yet another great holiday about which to blog here at Nobody’s View.

This Tuesday, September 25, 2012 marks the start of Yom Kippur.  Or, in terms of the Jewish calendar, it is Yom Kippur 5773.  The holiday is ensconced in the Hebrew Bible in Leviticus 23:27 where God instructs the Hebrews that on the tenth day of the seventh month (Tishrei), the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, is to be observed.  Other readings, including Leviticus 16, provide instructions to the priest according to the day, including the preparation of the scapegoat in order to atone for the sins of the people.  Offerings, abstaining from work, and sincere repentance are the order of the day.  This is the price for release from sins.

It’s a Day of Atonement — “at one-ment.”  In religious terms, the day bridges sinners with the One who does not sin.  The holiday that is just past, Rosh Hashanah 5773, was the start of the Jewish new year.  The Book of Life was opened and the great pen was set to parchment to inscribe names for the coming year.  On September 25, 2012 (5773), Yom Kippur, the book is sealed (actually, it’s sealed on the next day, but the lunar holidays start the night before!).

Let’s go back to that word “atone.”  What does that mean?  Perhaps it is the forgiveness of sins or the act of making amends.  On Yom Kippur 5773, our Jewish readers come before God, admitting the wrongs committed in 5772.  They abstain from work, food, and the delights of the outside world and steadfastly appear before their Creator, seeking forgiveness and a place in the coveted Book of Life.

But now we have a different question on our hands — Where exactly are sins?  To put that another way, where is a ‘wrong’ located?  Does it become part of our body?  Is it jotted down on a Post-It note somewhere?  Is it blogged on some great and holy blog on the Internet?  (I haven’t found a blog like that so far, although there are a few that fancy themselves such a thing.)  I’m sure there are tons of theories on this, but I tend to favor a suggestion that sins do not reside in the soul, per se, but on our human clothing.

A few years ago, I was fortunate to hear a particularly interesting talk concerning sin and atonement.  The scholar compared these times of atonement to doing one’s laundry.  How?  Well, we of the messy eating crew know that stains very often appear on our pristine white clothing.  Come to think of it, that’s always when they appear — when we wear white.  And, it’s usually a colorful food we spill when draped in white — grape jelly and mustard come to mind.  Now, when someone wearing pure white returns to the office from lunch, their stains stand out, you see.  It’s true.  What is the first thing you notice about them upon their return?  The stains!  Admit it — you call it to their attention and rib them about it, don’t you?  “Nice shirt, Frank!  Did you get any in your mouth?”  Poor Frank.  That guy needs to wear more black.

So, in our example of atonement, through repentance, fasting, earnest prayer, or good will, we can, literally, do our laundry and wash ourselves clean.  Holy bleach!  Divine detergent!  Perhaps the memory of the stain is still with us.  Perhaps we regale our co-workers with the tale of the giant meatball sub.  However, the stain itself is gone — erased from memory and no longer a source of terror or embarrassment.

That interpretation (just one of many from only one scholar of many) had a profound impact on me — not as a Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, or Atheist, but as a person.  It redefined the nature of sin and repentance, casting it into a much gentler sea.  Sure, we all know that it’s easy to judge other people.  It’s easy to define someone by a casual (or intentional) deed or error.  But think about this — it is quite likely that the people whom you value most are those that look past the faults and see a shining core.  They don’t judge based on the passing acts of a human life.  They forgive us our foibles and earnestly believe in our better natures.  They don’t see only the remnants of pizza sauce on our white shirt.  Instead, they know our clean soul and better nature.

I’ve often used the following as my measure of judgement (I said often, not always!): If my life was in danger, would the person with the stained clothes rush to save me?  The answer is probably yes.  If his life was in danger, would I save him despite my stained clothes?  That answer is probably also a yes.  With those two propositions on the table, do I really have time to judge?  Probably not.  A life, not a deed, is on the line.

Become a multi-tasker: learn to love, assist, and do the laundry all at the same time.

5773 is on its way for our Jewish readers here at Nobody’s View.  For the rest of us in Nobody Nation, this can also be a time to get something good going — something that applies for all of us, whether we are Jewish or not, famous or unknown, exalted or plain, rich or poor.  Imagine that this Tuesday, September 25, 2012 will begin your last day (or, the evening before your last day).  How do you want to be remembered — for the times you judged another or for the times you forgave?  For the damage you inflicted or the fences your mended?  For the fear you harbored or the courage upon which you sailed forth?

The Book of Life is in its last stages of editing.  It’s up to you.  Will you wash away or forgive the stains of the last year or let the stains blemish you?  Will you point out the stains upon others or let them eat in peace?  Don’t be fooled into thinking this post is only about God, sin, religion, or Biblical injunction.  It’s about common humanity.  It’s about all of us — all of us and our clean endings….

All of us and our clean beginnings.

Rosh Hashanah 2012/5773 — Reflect, Renew, Reenergize…and…Remember the Gap?

Happy Rosh Hashanah 5773 to my Jewish readers out there in Nobody Nation.

Or, Rosh Hashanah 2012.

Either way, for our Jewish friends, sundown Sunday marks the start of the new year.  A new beginning.  A time to reflect back on all that transpired in the last year, and to look ahead at all the goals for the days ahead.  The start of days of awe.  The start of days of wonder.  The start of the new.

The new year, or any new year, whether in Judaism or for other traditions, is a time to stand at the starting line, waiting for the word “go.”  It’s a pause.  A moment.  A gap between what was, and what will be.

But what’s in that gap?  What’s in that pause?  What goes though a person’s mind when the training is behind and the race is ahead?  Is it nerves?  Excitement?  A tremendous sense of quiet focus?

Often, when a new start comes for me or one of my friends, no matter what our religion or pursuit, I think about that gap.  That moment before the official start of a new race.  When we stand in prayer or anticipation or in a secular phase between what was and it is coming, what is it that we’re really doing?

If we’re just standing there regretting everything that has happened, then we aren’t thinking about ways to make a fresh start.  If we ignore the past altogether and just say, “I’m living in the moment now!” we risk leaving loose ends.

But, if we stand in focus…if we stand in reflection…if we stand with a real sense of desire to account for what has happened, and an earnest desire to prepare for what’s ahead, then we give ourselves a chance to really understand this moment.  This liminal phase in the doorway between what’s behind and what’s ahead.

Okay, now what does all of that mean?  Maybe it’s like this.  We had a goal in the last year.  There was something we wanted that perhaps we didn’t receive.  Now, we have a ceremony going on in this moment — secular or religious, doesn’t matter — that will give us time to pause and reflect — to stand in the reality of our situation and take stock.  So, maybe we review the paths we took to that goal that didn’t work out so well.  The false starts.  The earnest attempts.  Maybe we think about the delays, the disappointments, the things that didn’t go exactly as planned.  But now, in this moment, we’re not pursuing.  We’re not regretting.  Instead, we’re holding.  Holding a space.  Sitting in the middle between what we want and what we’ll do to get there.  So we plan anew.  We pray.  We take stock.  We get the courage up again.

And then we take a step.

We move ahead.

We put one foot in front of the other and take a fresh stride into a new commitment.

That, folks, is what a new year is about.  Take resolutions, for example.  They’re not necessarily about making a commitment to an absolute.  Rather, they’re about standing in the gap between what we wanted and what we still want and committing to a fresh start.  A renewal, of sorts.

Don’t lose sight of the importance of that.  Don’t miss the MAKING of the vow…the TAKING of the pause…the MOMENT of reflection.

The STANDING in the gap.

As the year of Judaism turns to 5773, whether you are Jewish or not, take a minute to appreciate the pause.  The stop.  The opportunity.

Stand in the gap between desire and accomplishment and renew your commitment — either to something old, or something completely new.

REFLECT on what you wanted.

RENEW your commitment to pursue it.

REENERGIZE your will to carry on, and…

REMEMBER to be fully present in the space between the dream and the journey to get there.

With that formula, I can’t guarantee you’ll reach your goal, but I can honestly say you’re giving yourself the best chance at seeing it in fresh light with a new vigor.

Heck, that’s a recipe all of Nobody Nation should follow.

Do it.  Help a friend to do it.

Then, when you reach the finish line, don’t forget to celebrate.  Your Jewish friends will tell you that Rosh Hashanah 5773 has time for that as well.

9/13/12 Is the America’s Got Talent Finale Reveal–One Act, One Million Dollars! Your Choices? David Garibaldi and His CMYKs, Tom Cotter, Joe Castillo, The Untouchables, William Close and the Earth Harp Collective, and Olate Dogs

So, here we are.

The America’s Got Talent finals.  David Garibaldi and His CMYKs, Tom Cotter, The Untouchables, Joe Castillo, William Close and the Earth Harp Collective, and Olate Dogs.

Which one of these acts will take home the million?  Thanks for joining us at 7pm in the West here at Nobody’s View!

[We here at Nobody’s View have a soft spot for America’s Got Talent.  Why? Well, contestants on the show are our kind of folks.  Just regular people like you and me who get to live their dream.  Getting their moment in the sun.  People doing what they feel they were born to do.  Hard to argue with that!  And, judging by the thousands of you who join me here each season, well, I think you agree!  Welcome to the LIVE Nobody’s View America’s Got Talent 2012 blog.]

So, how about Big Bang Theory?  How great is that show, right?

I assure you, Nobody Nation…I do lots more than watch TV, but Big Bang Theory.  So great.

Anyway, tonight?  The TWO HOUR finale of America’s Got Talent.  Two hours to make one announcement.  Sounds like a politician’s press conference.

I’m sure I’ll have lots of time to do some things around the house while some of the filler is going on, but I’ll be here.  Typin’ it all out for you.

David Garibaldi and His CMYKs, Tom Cotter, The Untouchables, Joe Castillo, William Close and the Earth Harp Collective, and Olate Dogs will also have a long wait.  I can’t believe we reached the end.  I can’t believe we’re here without Dittelman.

We love ya, Dittelman.  You’re not forgotten.

So, who was your favorite from this season?  Who is your pick here at the end?

The opening montage was each act talking about how badly they want this.  Beautiful scenery and music in the background.  And then?  The chaos of the AGT intro.

Then Nick Cannon dressed in a white/silvery tuxedo.  One of my viewing partners wants to know who provides his clothes.  Not to wear them…just to know.  I’m sure it’s somewhere in the ending credits.

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Anyway, Nick introduced the acts, and one by one they waved to America.  Some with berets.  Some with dog collars.  Some with vests.  I’ve never been a vest person myself, but some people can really pull it off, dontcha think?

Wasn’t it great when they showed some acts from the past, including acts that put things through their tongues and eyelids?  Well, that last part wasn’t great, but it was nice to see some folks from the past.  Opera singers, magicians, comedians, dancers.

You have to admit, Nobody Nation, these are some brave folks.  Anytime you put it all on the line for passion, well…that’s great.

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David Garibaldi and His CMYKs did a duet with Flo Rida.  Luckily, I still like the song Piano In The Dark.  The original.  By Brenda Russell.  I’m going to say that again.  Brenda Russell.  Thank you, Brenda Russell for Piano In The Dark.

Enough on that.

Oh, and great talent Garibaldi.  But then again, you know that already!

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We’re back.

Ne-Yo is on stage.

I’m going to do some things around the house.  Maybe have a snack.  Whatever.

See you soon!

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Then?  The judges talked about their favorite moments from last night.  Howie Mandel loved Tom Cotter.  Stern loved William Close and his originality…been his pick since the first show.  Osbourne gave well-deserved kudos to The Untouchables and (of course) Olate Dogs.

It really is a great final.  I’d really like to see any of these acts live.

And Dittelman.  Would love to see Dittelman live.

But he knew that already, right?

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After the break?  William Close performed a duet with OneRepublic.

They actually suit his style.  It was a nice combination.

But y’know what I’d love to see?  William Close and Coldplay.  That would be amazing.  Strawberry Swing, Speed of Sound, Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall, Everything’s Not Lost.  Yeah.

We can have dreams, folks.  Even about concerts we’d love to see!

Close and Coldplay.

Nice.

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After the break?  Popcorn in the Orville lounge.  You think they’d ever have a “Nobody” lounge?

Probably not.

Anyway, Olate Dogs and The Untouchables with Frankie J.  This was a really entertaining act.

The Untouchables are just incredible.  Every time I see them, they bring it.  And the dogs?  Well, amazing, too.

Anyway, after that wonderful act, we were treated to some great “X” moments.  Remember those?  I did too.

Whatcha gonna do?

Watch ’em again.

Speaking of which…Burton Crane came back to ask us, “Whatcha gonna do?”

He had a crew of rappers.  He had energy.  And I’m sure, some kind of licensing agreement for that song that will make him a mint!

Whatcha gonna do, Burton?  Live large.  You deserve it.

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After the break, Howie wanted to surprise Howard Stern.  We got to see the video.  A Nissan Altima with Big Barry in the trunk.  Not a great gift for Stern, but very entertaining for the rest of us.  Love this guy.

When Howard unzipped that bag and found Barry?  Well…great.

Next up?  Blue Man Group.

I have yet to see these guys in Vegas.  Tonight they brought the ultimate dance party.  They gave us a beat, and the word “butt” 100 times in 100 ways.

Now, that’s an act.

They’re at the Monte Carlo now?  I love that hotel.  Hmmm…maybe I’ll try to see them next time I’m there.

After that was a look back at the judges’ season.  Their first day.  Their first day with Howard Stern.

What did you think about Stern this season?  I liked him.  I thought he brought a good vibe to the show.  Now, we can still hope that Sharon doesn’t leave, but if she does, at least we’ll have Howard and Howie.  But who’s going to be the creamy middle?

Make it right, NBC.

Then, we got a judge roast from past acts.

Tom Cotter was the roast master.  Ah, fantastic.  Slam-tastic.  Comedy Central needs to hire Cotter.  But then there was Joan Rivers.  That’s right.  She told Cotter he was “too nice.”

Oy.

She took over.  And, well…Slamulous.

She’s still got it, folks.  Big time.

She really slammed ’em all.  I could have watched it all night.  So, Comedy Central?  Get them both on the same stage for your next roast.

Killer bit.

Please, Comedy Central.  Listen to this Nobody.

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Joe Castillo and the PS22 Chorus

This was a nice pairing.  It wasn’t loud, in your face.  It was just calm.  Sensitive.  Good for all of you!

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Elimination 1

The six finalists came on stage for the first result.

The act in 6th place and leaving the competition is The Untouchables.

I have to admit, I’m a little surprised.  I thought they’d finish a bit higher, but then again…the talent was incredible this year, and it was anyone’s game.

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Elimination 2

The act finishing in 5th place and leaving the competition is Joe Castillo.

I had a feeling he’d be next, but I love his act.  He is just an amazing artist and he really seems like a genuine person.

His is an act that can change lives.

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Elimination 3

The act finishing in 4th place and leaving the competition is David Garibaldi and His CMYKs.

Sad.  I love Garibaldi’s act.  And, I’m going to renew my request: Please!  Can I have an Einstein???

I know I won’t get one, but I felt like I had to put that out there.  Innovative.  Creative.  Heading for future success.

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Next?  Justin Bieber.

Time for me to head outside to do some chores.

See you soon….

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Okay, I’m back.  Went out and did some chores.  Now?  Time for Nick Cannon’s backstage antics.  And onstage antics.  We saw him on the Grand Canyon.  We saw him on the Golden Gate Bridge.  We saw him with snakes, archers, crotch shots, pole dancing.

It’s a good life, indeed.

Next?  A performance by Green Day.  Not bad.  You may not love ’em, but they’re pros.

Anyway, after a bunch of commercials for clothes, politicians, cell phones, and clothes…we’ll have more.

Remember when you didn’t have a cell phone?  I think it was sometime around ’94….

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Elimination 4

The act finishing in 3rd place and leaving the competition is William Close.

Did you hear the boos?  Oh, my.  Wow.  I’m more than a little surprised.  My viewing partners?  Shocked as well.

But Sharon reminded Close that Simon Cowell would do great things for him, and I think that’s true.  Close is a sure bet.

I had him pegged to go all the way.

Wow.

Wow wow wow.

Just shows to go ya….

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Final Elimination

Tom Cotter and Olate Dogs

A tremendous comic and the best animal act on the planet (I can’t prove that…).  Tough choice.  Who would you pick?

Who did America pick?

In the end, it was Olate Dogs.  Can’t say I’m surprised.  I really thought it was Close, but still…tremendous talent.

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Well, it was a long season, folks.  We’ve had a lot of fun.  A lot of craziness.

And, hopefully, we’ve all learned a little something.

Listen folks, we’ve been saying this since the start: America’s Got Talent is about regular folks like you and me (and, sometimes, their dogs) who are living the dream.

And that’s what Nobody’s View is about.  We’re done with AGT, but dreams never stop.

I want to thank the thousands of you who tuned in with us here at Nobody’s View.  Come back.  Keep reading.

Stay in touch.

9/12/12 America’s Got Talent–The Six Finalists Perform! Whose Talent Will Be Worth a Million?

On Wednesday, 9/12/12, the six America’s Got Talent finalists perform.

Whose act will be worth a million dollars?

Thanks for joining us here at Nobody’s View for the write-up as we join Sharon Osbourne, Howie Mandel, Howard Stern, and Nick Cannon, and try to guess which of the six will be America’s choice.

It’s been a long day.  I’m really looking forward to this!

[We here at Nobody’s View have a soft spot for America’s Got Talent.  Why? Well, contestants on the show are our kind of folks.  Just regular people like you and me who get to live their dream.  Getting their moment in the sun.  People doing what they feel they were born to do.  Hard to argue with that!  And, judging by the thousands of you who join me here each season, well, I think you agree!  Welcome to the LIVE Nobody’s View America’s Got Talent 2012 blog.]

Opening montage with lots of noise?  Check.  Disembodied voice of Cannon mentioning a million dollars?  Check.  Judges saying words like “sensational” and “million dollar act” to no one in particular?  Check.

So, William Close, Tom Cotter, The Untouchables, Joe Castillo, Olate Dogs, and David Garibaldi.

There they are.

Great finals, right?  Although, it would be better if Dittelman were here, but alas….

This is for all the marbles folks.  For the million bux.  The headline show in Vegas.  The life changing moment!

Did I build that up enough?

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Act 1

David Garibaldi and His CMYKs

Love this act.  So great.  So creative.  I’ve never seen anything like this before, and I don’t know if we’ll ever see this again.

Tonight saw the group break out The Who and the tuxedos.  Tuxedos covered in paint.  In the end?  Great.  In the end?  Einstein.  Brilliance in physics and paint.

I agree with Howard.  I’d hang that in my house.  David, please…if you’re reading…can I have an Einstein?  Please!

I’m placing my order.

A Garibaldi Einstein.

How great would that be?

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Act 2

Tom Cotter.

How funny is this guy?  He says he’s been scratching and clawing his way along.  Check to check with three kids and a wife?  That’s passion.  That’s dedication.

Cotter decided to roll the dice tonight.  He had Cannon roll a die and it came up: “Poor Examples.”  And off he went.  It was a brilliant tour of nursery rhymes that appeared to be written by crazy people.  Seriously.  Who DOES write those things?  Heh.  He really is fantastic.

Can a comedian take the whole thing?  I’m not sure, but I can tell you–he better clear his schedule, as he’s going to be touring for a loooooong and wonderful time.  Can’t wait ’til he comes to my town.

I’m just sorry I won’t hear him again on the show!

And yes, Sharon, I also love the filthy comedy!  I was actually the guy in the tie in my improv troupe who told the filthiest jokes.  Ah, those were times.  No one expected it, and man…good times.

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Act 3

The Untouchables

How amazing are these kids?  How amazing are their coaches?  Seriously.  Amazing.  Get them on a cruise and have them teach the rest of us how to do what they do.

They really are terrific.  And a great song choice, right?  Proud Mary would be…well…proud.

How can they be that young and that perfect at what they do?  Practice, I guess.

Practice practice practice.  “The future of America,” indeed.

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Act 4

Joe Castillo

How great is this guy?  How unique is this act?  Sand.  That’s right.  Sand.  Oh, and a beret.  And how great is his wife Cindy?  She just supports what he does.  I doubt she cares how much money it makes for him or how famous he gets.

She just gets him.

Fantastic!

What’ll he show us tonight?  A band.  Choreography.

And Stern in a beret.  That was a nice touch.  I do agree with Sharon, though…maybe something a little more epic than the AGT judges, but still, it really is fun to watch Castillo work.

The only problem is, if you watch too closely, you get sand in your eye.

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Act 5

William Close and the Earth Harp Collective

What can we say about this?  Close has to be the front-runner.  He has to be the favorite.  He is larger than life and his act is so polished.

He says that tonight is a “symphony” of his instruments.

Pachelbel Canon.  So beautiful.  He’s ready to go tomorrow.  Right now.  Tour it.  Take it on the road, Close.

I mean, c’mon.  The Jackie Evancho of large harps.  You heard it here first.

Stern’s right–Close packed it all onto the stage.  Everything.  He was front and center and the show went on around him.  Brilliant.

I can’t wait to get my tickets for Close’s show in Vegas.

Maybe I’ll even get an Earth Harp for my house.  And one of those dangling acrobats.  And a backup singer.  Do you think he’ll sell those at his souvenir stand?

Probably not.

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Act 6

Olate Dogs

This duo and their dogs could challenge Close and his Earth Harp.

Sorry, Sharon…you have to give that dog back.

This is a great act, isn’t it?  These dogs are brilliant, and yes, they do make us happy.  I think it’s going to come down to Close, Olate Dogs, and Cotter.

Even if those dogs don’t win, they’ll still continue to be the most spoiled dogs in America…except for Sharon’s, that is.

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David Garibaldi and His CMYKs, Tom Cotter, The Untouchables, Joe Castillo, William Close, and Olate Dogs.

Good luck picking this one, America.  It’s anybody’s game.

Join us tomorrow for the reveal.

Who is your pick?