Thursday, April 26, 2007

I Promise You a Rose Garden

Every year in early April I am amazed how fast my roses bushes have grown in the few short weeks since their drastic pruning. When pruned in the last week of January or first week of February the barren bushes, trimmed back to a few stalks, appear they will never recover to bring fourth again the beautiful roses.

While growing up we had rose gardens and I hated those things...stickery thorns...which seemed to outdo the beauty of the blooms, and I didn’t want anything to do with them. But that all changed. My late husband, Don Pendleton loved flowers and every spring we would visit the nursery and come home with a load of flowers for our patio and garden. During the hot summer months, Don would faithfully and enjoyably water the pots and our garden at least once if not twice a day. When we bought our home in Sedona, Arizona in 1994 we added rose bushes after discovering how well roses grew at the 4500 elevation. Sedona is a Planting Zone 6. Surprisingly, they did well in the summer heat and the summer monsoons (late June to September) may have helped along with the cooling off in the evenings and nights. Before Don passed away, we had planted about eight rose bushes among our lava rock landscaping and in the next two years I added to that number and had 28 roses, including an area of miniatures, all planted in direct sun. I really hated to leave my beautiful roses when I sold my home and moved back to California.

I now have ten rose bushes here in Northern California (Planting Zone 9) in their third year. And I have to say, the roses do not tolerate the heat here as well as in Sedona or even in Southern California. At this time of spring and after the first early blooms that are usually not too perfect, they are pretty and will do well until the heat arrives. July and August are not good for the roses here at all, and blooms can scorch in those hot afternoons of 100 degrees or more. The rose bushes are on automatic watering drip systems, but I have to admit that I do not give any of my patio flowers the attention that Don would have given. It’s just too darn hot. So this year I will not spend my usual one hundred dollars at the nursery but instead will pot a few more geraniums which seem to tolerate the heat and don’t need the constant watering that other potted flowers need. The potted geraniums even made it through the frost this winter just fine.

A couple of my favorite roses are the Brandy Rose, above, and the Peace Rose, below. I took the photos a couple of days ago.

~ Linda

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Imus Overreaction

What we have experienced this past week has been the all too familiar tactics of what our media has become. The media apparently was done with tearing down Anna Nicole Smith and Howard K. Stern, and jumped at the opportunity to ruin someone else, i.e. Don Imus. Recently I’ve been watching some of Imus’ MSNBC show if I happened to be awake in the wee hours of the morning. I enjoyed all I saw. I liked the up-to-the-minute news, the political interviews, and the singers, etc. I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of Imus, but I found the show interesting.

His cancellation by MSNBC and then his radio show firing by CBS was uncalled for and an overreaction. Imus’ comment was offensive and I do not condone his words aimed directly at the Rutgers girl’s college basketball team. He never should have said those words, but he did, and took responsibility and apologized. And that should have ended it. But instead Al Sharpton, Jackson, and others, used it as an opportunity to elevate themselves and their agenda. Were those three words worth a man losing his forty year career? No. After all he is considered a shock jock and his show brought in 25 % of the revenue for the radio company, and 20 million plus, and was the fourth rated talk show. So why the panic from advertisers? Obviously advertisers misread the public as polls are showing that about 75% of people feel he should not have been fired, and today a Fox Poll is showing 76% agree another media company should hire Imus to resume his radio show. This firing was about money: fear and panic, not outrage.

I doubt anyone was complaining about the two weeks off as a consequence except those who were determined to make this such a big issue that he would be fired. Imus has always been a little outrageous, so why now when this kind of language has become so prevalent and apparently acceptable by many in our society? Why is it OK for rappers and comedians to use these terms, or other terms directed at Caucasians? Why is there a double standard?–and reverse discrimination happening? I’ve heard repeatedly on TV that 80% of the disgusting rap music is bought by "white youths." If that is correct, which I tend to doubt, then they have to stop giving the music attention, as do the black youth. The music is degrading toward girls and women, borders on porn, violence, drug use, and worse. Some commentators have compared Imus’ comment to that of the actor, Michael Richards. No comparison there at all. Richard’s outburst was done in anger and rage, was extremely malicious, and was definitely intended to be racist. Imus intended his comment to be humorous but of course it was not.

There is a much bigger issue here and reflects the division we have in this country. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are always looking for an opportunity to jump in and, in most cases, make a situation worse, in the name of "racism." While this was happening, three other athletic students from Duke University were cleared of all rape and abuse charges. A year ago, Sharpton and Jackson turned that event into a racial issue and inflamed the community, ready to hang these students out to dry. There have been numerous times when they have inflamed events. It’s time Sharpton, Jackson and other black leaders, use their positions and influence to make positive changes within the black youth culture, and not focus on exaggerated victimhood issues. We all need to come together and make this country a better place, not a place of division based on the color of skin.

And on the same day that CBS fired Imus, Oprah had a brief interview with the young women’s college team on her show, and she follows that up with learning to dance to hi-hop music, and makes a comment that a "white guy" can’t dance. Seems that is as racist as what Imus said. She then followed that up indicating a man in the audience as the "white guy I’m talking about." According to postings on her message board a lot of people were not happy with her comments and called it "reverse racism."

One of the young women on the team said that Imus had taken away her dream. Each of those girls need to know and believe that their accomplishments are theirs to have and honor and all this media circus will not affect their feeling of pride unless they let it. That is where their power is as women.

And sadly, while the meeting of the Rutgers women students and Imus and his wife was happening at the Governors mansion last night, the Governor of New Jersey, Jon Corzine was critically injured in an automobile accident on the way to the meeting. That shouldn’t have happened either.

The old 19th century proverb, "Sticks and stones will break my bones but words [names] can never hurt me," seems to have lost its value in today’s world of mass media.

~ Linda

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Linda Pendleton's Comic Book Interview

I was contacted recently by an online comic website, Jazma Online and asked by Richard Vasseur, V.P., if I would be interested in doing an interview about my adaptation and scripting of The Executioner Comics: War Against the Mafia, and Death Squad.

I was happy to do so and the interview is now posted at:

~ Linda