Friday, June 20, 2014

Oh Ricky You're So Fine...Man, That's Awful.

I recently began following Ricky Gervais on Facebook, and discovered that he is a passionate animal welfare advocate.  I already knew him as a ridiculously talented actor, comedian and all-around outspoken individual, but didn’t know about his interest in critters.  Cool.

So, I thought, wouldn’t it be amazing if I could somehow get him to notice RSCF?  Wouldn’t he love to come meet Delilah and Ninita and be our new best friend and advocate?  I mean HOW HARD COULD THAT BE, RIGHT???  Yes, I am that na├»ve and pie-eyed.

Who could possibly resist this??  WHO???
So I sent him some pictures and links on Facebook, and wrote a probably way too long message, and asked all my Facebook friends to like the message and beg ask him to contact us AS IF THAT WOULD WORK.  Well, it did….sort of.  Mr. Gervais posts pics every few days of something mind-blowingly adorable with the caption, “I found this in my belly-button.”  I had the brilliant idea this morning to send him a photo of Ninita with the post, “Mr. Gervais, Ninita, our baby pygmy marmoset, would like to know if you have room in your belly-button for her.”  GENIOUS, AMIRIGHT????  Anyway, he actually responded today in the comments with a smiley-face emoticon, about which I am totally excited and consider “first contact”.  Don’t judge, I have no idea how you go about reaching out to famous people these days.

Screen-grab of the Facebook post with Mr. Gervais SMILEY FACE ACKNOWLEGEMENT!
Another Facebook friend forwarded me Mr. Gervais’ management contact info (I have no idea how she got that), and I have decided to write a letter to ask if Ricky (yes, we are on a first name basis since the smiley-face emoticon, right??) would consider meeting us and maybe be a part of one of two documentaries we are considering.  One about the Red-browed Amazon Parrot Program, and another about Delilah and the Bongo Repatriation Program.  Both are equally fascinating—one about a species of parrot brought to the brink of extinction due to habitat loss and the black market pet trade (lots of shady characters, mob connections and even….MURDER), the other a story about the life of an orphaned baby bongo antelope who beat the odds to survive, and her new role as ambassador for a program that has brought her species back from the brink of extinction through captive breeding.  That,  and the successful-nobody-thought-they-could-do-it return of these majestic creatures to their homeland on the protected slopes of Mount Kenya. Get your tissues ready—it’s a tear-jerker. 
So, how the Hell do you put that into an email that is supposed to be two paragraphs no more than 5 sentences each?  That’s what I hear is recommended in a “cold call” like this because celebrities are inundated with requests and if your communication doesn’t grab somebody’s attention in, like, 10 seconds or less it’s one more dumped in the queue headed for the recycle bin.  Notice, I used the word “queue”, which is British, as is Mr. Gervai…I mean Ricky.  Ever since I’ve considered contacting him, all the conversations we have in my head are with British accents.  Yes, I am an idiot.
This stuff just stumps me.  I guess I’m supposed to strap a GoPro on me and run through the field with Delilah for YouTube, or stage some sort of Vine that you pray goes viral featuring Ninta and her toothbrush massages, but I HAVE A REAL LIFE SO THAT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.  I need the folks at Aardman Animations to do a Claymation video of Delilah inviting Mr. Gervais to her prom or something.  That’s still a thing, right? Young folks asking celebrities in a video to go to prom with them?  And yes, it’s Mr. Gervias—who am I kidding????  Hey, Delilah asking him to her prom is pretty damned good idea….hmmmmmmm….sigh, I need help.

Ninita getting a toothbrush massage.
The thing is, we really need someone with a supportive audience and a strong public presence to help us.  We may be a tiny 30-acre facility at the end of a dirt road, but we are home to some of the world’s most endangered wildlife and we succeed where many larger organizations have failed.  Unfortunately, we’re not so good at attracting national support, or a “face”, for our cause.  Bring species back from the brink of extinction?  No problem.  Establish vast tracts of protected habitat home to some of the world’s most endangered plants and animals?  DONE.  Contact a celebrity and get them to support us?  NOT A CLUE.
Why Mr. Gervais?  Why any celebrity?  We live in a time where a recognizable face counts. A LOT.  And more to the point, I respect the man.  He speaks his mind, seems unafraid of voicing his beliefs, and we need that.  Someone willing to tell the truth regarding the status of our world and the incredible damage we have done to it.  And also to show that we can effect change, we can preserve what’s left of nature, but it ain’t pretty and it ain’t easy.  While I am grateful to the recognizable voices behind many “nature shows”, I don’t see Oprah, Morgan Freeman or Alec Baldwin willing to stand up and say out loud what we all know is true—humans have wrought a holocaust against nature with heinous consequences.  I believe Mr. Gervais has the balls to do just that and more.
So, Mr. Gervais, if you see this—please contact us.  There is a tiny monkey, some truly amazing parrots, and a young lady bongo antelope who really want to meet you.  Who really NEED to meet you. 
Now, to squeeze this into two paragraphs 5 sentences each.  Sigh…..

Kisses to you Mr. Gervais!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

For Maya--The Naked Truth

We suffered a terrible loss this week.  The passing of Dr. Maya Angelou has left a silence where once resonated a quiet, calm, deeply emotional and heartful voice.  Her words inspired generations and the echo of her voice will hopefully roll through time forever.
Her passing brought to mind something I created a few years ago--a necklace in tribute to women and how women are perceived through time.  Created from images of vintage nudes, steel, and an aged mirror.  Text affirmations in glass vials rest in between.  I wrote something to go with it, but never published what I wrote until now.  This is for every woman out there who has ever struggled and doubted herself.  The necklace now resides with a fantastic, strong, talented and joyous woman in her own right--I could not have wished for a better person to wear this and live this.  Thank you, Durga.  And thank you Dr. Angelou, for so eloquently speaking and  joyously living your truth, and for sharing that truth with the world.
For Maya--The Naked Truth
What age am I you ask?
I'm the age where I answer to no one but myself.
I'm the age where the only opinion that matters is my own.
I'm the age where my hair, my clothes and my body are configured, adorned and displayed to please only me.
I'm the age where a great sense of humor and a strong sense of self
are a thousand times sexier than a big dick or a big ego.

I'm the age where sex, when I choose to have it, is mind-blowing.
I'm the age where the people I love and choose to spend time with understand what that time is. 
A gift.
I’m the age where time has meaning, and if you waste mine you have stolen from me
and I will have none left for you.
I’m the age when the brand, make and model mean nothing, but quality and craftsmanship mean everything.
I’m the age where art is like breathing and I choose to breathe deeply.
I’m the age where I can weep for the world, and I do. 
I’m the age where I could choose to look away…but I don’t.
My age is a wave that has carried me across a vast ocean, and I ride the swell as long and as far as I can.
My age, in a word, is enviable.