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RIP Maija Meijers

From “This is from Bruce, Maija’s loving husband. Maija, the conduit for these messages, passed away on 4/21/21. This page will no longer be updated with new daily messages. I hope that the Angel messages have brought you a measure of peace and comfort.” She served the angels by channeling their messages for the last 40 years of her life.

Maiji Ingrida Meijers was 69 years old, and lived in Western Massachusetts. I would have been glad of her for a few more years in my life, but I must not be selfish. As the angels told her to tell us, “There will be a time to Go Home.  There will be a time to lay aside the body illusion and fly free in Wisdom and Light.  But, meanwhile, be the window through which the Light shines.” She was that window her entire life.

In some sense, I am sure it is a relief to her to remove the makeup and costumes of the life illusion. On the other hand, she often said we aren’t going to heaven; we are already there. She’s just had a change of address.

I won’t be presumptuous enough to attempt an obituary, as my knowledge of this beautiful soul is fragmentary. Maija Ingrida Meijers lived in the room next to me at MIT’s co-ed co-operative Student House during the 1970-71 school year. MIT turned out not to be for her, so I last laid eyes on her almost exactly a half-century ago in the spring of 1971. At the age of 19, she was already deeply spiritual, and touched my soul in a way it has seldom been touched.

I was fortunate enough to be able to catch up with her, once the Internet had sufficient moxie to lead me to her website. She offered me telephone counseling several times, and was a regular e-mail correspondent. I was a daily reader during the 21st century. I recommend the now-static site and her books, available on Amazon. We are never gone as long as someone remembers us; Maija will still be here until I’m gone.

UnFox Your Box Redux

Regular readers will recall that I decided to Unfox my cable box. As the site notes, your options are limited if you don’t wish to send $20 a year to a nest of treasonous, seditious vipers―AKA Fox news personalities. Comcast does not have a tier that includes CNN but excludes Fox, although I did ask for one. So, I slashed my Comcast package to cut out the carriage fee. And CNN does not offer an Over The Top service (apparently because it fears offending cable providers).

Alas, the site doesn’t tell you who DOESN’T pay carriage fees to Fox. Until Comcast wakes up and offers a Foxless tier, I have decided to go with Sling TV Orange. (thanks to the Daily Kos contributor who actually did the research). You should too.



A while back, I ran an item about Allen Smithee, the name directors once used on films they thought had been butchered. Daniel Dern knew Harlan Ellison did something similar:

Ellison on occasion used the pseudonym Cordwainer Bird to alert members of the public to situations in which he felt his creative contribution to a project had been mangled by others, beyond repair, typically Hollywood producers or studios (see also Alan Smithee). The first such work to which he signed the name was The Price of Doom, an episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (though it was misspelled as Cord Wainer Bird in the credits). An episode of Burke's Law (Who Killed Alex Debbs?) credited to Ellison contains a character given this name, played by Sammy Davis Jr.

The "Cordwainer Bird" moniker is a tribute to fellow SF writer Paul M. A. Linebarger, better known by his pen name, Cordwainer Smith. The origin of the word "cordwainer" is shoemaker (from working with cordovan leather for shoes). The term used by Linebarger was meant to imply the industriousness of the pulp author. Ellison said, in interviews and in his writing, that his version of the pseudonym was meant to mean "a shoemaker for birds.” Since he used the pseudonym mainly for works he wanted to distance himself from, it may be understood to mean that ‘this work is for the birds’ or that it is of as much use as shoes to a bird. Stephen King once said he thought that it meant that Ellison was giving people who mangled his work a literary version of ‘the bird’ (given credence by Ellison himself in his own essay titled Somehow, I Don't Think We're in Kansas, Toto, describing his experience with the Starlost television series).

And then of course, there were mine: Gene Paul (KLIQ. The Tech), Paul St. John (KVAN), Gary S. Paul (AdWeek) and Reginald A. Stuart-Smythe (The Tech). Air names were because that’s what people used to do in radio; Gary S. Paul because I wasn’t supposed to be free-lancing at the time, and The Tech because of a rule prohibiting the use of the same byline twice on a single page. And another radio name (see the bottom of the right hand column on this page), Eugene Oregon.

Relationship Advice Redux: Ocean, Mountain or Desert... Or City?

Robert Malchman commented on my first item on this topic:

“You forgot City. I can tolerate Ocean (I like to look at the water, not go in it), Mountain (the Catskills are nice, but haven't been in a decade) and desert (Southwest is beautiful, but haven't been for 30 years). But City is where I want to be, both to live and to vacation (best vacation of our marriage was Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Berlin and Copenhagen). That said, somehow my son loves the Ocean, so we try to go for a week each year, despite it being something my wife and I would rarely do if it were just us.”

While Vicki and I have enormously enjoyed London, Paris, Venice and Amsterdam—even San Francisco (25 miles away) from time to time, she summed up my feelings when she noted, “A city doesn’t feel like much of a getaway.”

It may also be a West Coast thing, or an Oregon thing; I grew up an hour from the beach, an hour from the mountains (REAL mountains, the Cascades) and 90 minutes from the Eastern Oregon desert.

Maybe I should have used the word getaway instead of vacation…

Creosote, The King Of The Coal Tar Distillates

I have been looking for years for what I consider to be the best skit performed on the original National Lampoon Radio Hour; a pitch-perfect parody of a 60s industrial film, Creosote, King of The Coal Tar Distillates. For me, this was the nut graf. In my memory, it went on longer, but it still slays me.

I can still remember sitting with Barb and Dave and a handful of others on Dec. 1, 1973, hearing it for the first time.

Here in two separate vats, each large enough to contain the state of Rhode Island, only an expert can determine which is the runoff and which is the precious creosote extract. Is it the vat on the left or the right? A second opinion is called for. Now a third. The telephone wires hum with the urgent appeals. Soon, Gary, Indiana will be crowded with experts heading in from all over America.

This and That

"Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength." - Corrie Ten Boom

Grade School Male Humor
I found myself remembering Antlers in the Treetops by Hugh Goosed Themoose, and several books by I.P. freely; find many more examples of juvenile humor.

National Poetry Month Again
Revisit the youngest every Inaugural poet (and first poet on the cover of Vogue), Amanda Gorman during National Poetry Month. Or check out Poet Kwame Alexander Reflects On Derek Chauvin's Guilty Verdict.

Humor Contribution
Hard Hats Are Usually Unisex; Humor by Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe.

Orinda Theater Marquee

Movies haven’t started up yet in Orinda, Cal., so the marquee of the lovely Orinda Theater can be rented for a special message. Regular readers will remember the couplet from my love poem You Affect Me that goes:

Every single thing I do
is better, proximate to you

There was only room for half the couplet.

Orinda theatear marquee closeup_small