Friday, December 14, 2007

Always Entertaining

Poltergeist stories are always entertaining. Even when you know the story is exaggerated or plain ridiculous, you can't help but be glued to it.

The funny thing about me criticizing these type of stories is that I actually lived one myself. As a teenager, I had a poltergeist in my room, some scary things happened and eventually a Catholic priest was called in to bless my room and rid it of the "energy" so I could move back into it.

Looking back on the situation now as an adult, I still have to laugh. Not because what happened in my room didn't happen or because I don't believe that these things occur. I laugh because, when they do happen, they always read like some badly written yarn out of a 1950's pulp fiction novel.

The World's Scariest Ghosts Caught on Tape

Here's a show I imagine raised the hairs on many people's arms. It's well done and perfectly edited. This is not to say there aren't some classic cheesy ghost story elements in it, there are. My point is, whether you're a skeptic or not, it's hard to turn away from a good ghost story.

Highlights of the show...

[BAD] In one segment, James Van Praagh's questioning of the little boy, with numerous leading comments to draw a positive response, is extremely embarrassing.

[GOOD] The most compelling segment begins at minute 30 when we get to see video imagery of Orbs caught on tape. Some of the orb patterns do look like bugs flying the night, but there is a video of a grapefruit size orb that is truly intriguing.

Judge for yourself.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Rolando y La Recoleta

I'm going home. Well, my second home, anyway. In April of next year, I will be returning to Argentina for the first time in six and a half years.

Last time I was there, the country was weeks from spilling over into one of the worst economic and political crises of it's history. Last time around, my father was also alive.

It will be weird visiting my father's grave site for the very first time since he died this past July. I'm not sure what I'll feel, really. I'm not sure what I feel about Rolando, even now.

My father was without equal. A real character and a true enigma. He was the type of person you'd expect to find in a Charles Dickens novel via a Gabriel Garcia Marquez fairytale. The type of trickster you take gerat delight in hearing about, but great joy in knowing he's not your father, yet for me, he is my father.

After taking in my father's grave, I'll probably make my way to La Recoleta. Whenever I journey back to my ancestral home, Buenos Aires to more specific, I always make a trek to the city of the dead, La Recoleta. One of the most amazing and artistic enclaves of marble mausoleums in the world. In addition to housing beautiful sculptured final resting places, La Recoleta is also home to a large colony of feral cats and several Argentine luminaries, including Broadway's favorite, controversial first lady, Eva Peron.

Traveling back in time to the more tender parts of the heart is never easy. However, I like not easy. I guess that's part of my genetic inheritance - taking the road less safe. This will always be one of my strongest bonds with my Father - our ability to find trouble even in a nursery of newborns. Yet, trouble can be rewarding in the most unexpected ways.

Some pretty pictures of La Recoleta

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Dream Visitations

On the latest episode of AfterlifeFM, I interviewed Kevin Kovelant, blogger of and Masters candidate in Consciousness Studies at JFK University about dream visitations and how spirit uses them as a method of communication.

Friday, November 30, 2007

In the middle of the night with Diego

Right now, at this crazy hour in the night, my chest is a river of emotion, as memories of that June day in 1986 flood in. I was there. I stood right next to him with 120,000 people chanting on. Yes, I was there! The world cup in his hands, and me, yelling in his ear, D-I-E-G-O!!! Nothing in the world can verbalize or express how I feel and where my heart goes when I watch Diego play.

It's the middle of the night and I am taking a bath of nostalgia. I am happy. I want to wake up my 8 month old boy and take him out to the front yard and show him a few of Daddy's soccer moves before he's old enough to realize that Daddy doesn't really have any soccer moves. Boys will be boys.

Te amo, Diego.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Return of the Trickster

Here is my first podcast on AfterlifeFM Profiles, the studio version to the live show AfterlifeFM.

The first interview is with George P. Hansen, author of The Trickster and the Paranormal, a seminal work for those of you seriously interested in studying the paranormal and consciousness survival.

Powered by

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Deep Inside a Family Haunting

People all over the world have a fascination with hauntings. At one point or another, we've all heard stories of slain soldiers, murdered peddlers and disease stricken children seen walking the hallways of places they once inhabited, or waking up the current homeowners in the middle of the night.

Rarely, however, do we ever get to meet the Poltergeist and their children, nor do we often get the chance to peek inside the emotional damage left behind a senseless murder, turning a simple ghost haunting story into a tale of deep family woe.

Courtesy of This American Life, here is the story of Jason Minter, an associate producer of the HBO hit, The Sopranos, whose quest to come to terms with his mother's murder reminds us all that ghosts don't just haunt homes, they also haunt memories.

(Warning: Story contains graphic details of a murder)
Press Play Below

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ectoplasm declared safe for consumption.

Thanks to those fine doctoral students over at Omni Brain, I've been alerted to a ground breaking scientific documentary that unveils some of the greatest mysteries of parapsychological study.

One such question, "Can ectoplasm be eaten, and what does it taste like?" is finally answered with vivid detail. I imagine that this revelation will now afford physical materialization medium, David Thompson, to finally put a drive-thru up his nose and profit from the ectoplasm well that flows there and in other orifices of his body.

Warning: If you have misplaced your sense of humor, you may want to avoid this video... and this blog.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Oldest Parapsychologist on Earth

Jacob over at has an interesting story about a voice mail he received mistakenly from the oldest parapsychologist on Earth, Dr. Alexander Imich, who is currently 104 years old and still active in the study of parapsychology.

Most people's first reaction to hearing about someone over 100 is "Wow, that's a lot of years!" However, when we hear about someone who is over 100 and still lucid and active in their field, we bow down in total respect and admiration. I know. My own grandfather lived to be 103 years old, and was as sharp a legal mind in his 100's as he was in his 40's or 50's.

I can still remember laying in my bed like a lazy dog listening to him walk up and down the driveway 20-30 times over.

In just four days, I am turning 40, and I don't know if I hope I inherited my grandfather's longevity genes or hope that I didn't. Getting old is no fun, no matter what lies old people tell you to convince you that it is.

Anyway, I'm 40, there I said, but it doesn't mean I have to like it!

Read more about Dr. Alexander Imich here.

Friday, September 28, 2007

First Annual "What Ever Happened to David Thompson?" Essay Contest

WARNING: Sense of Humor Required.

I'm happy to announce the first annual, "What ever happened to David Thompson?" Essay Contest.

As some of you may know, an Australian Survival of Death enthusiast, Victor Zammit, declared last year that the physical materializations of medium David Thompson were "Earth Shattering" and would change everything we know about consciousness survival. This Earth shattering news has barely reached the level of a yawn in the heavens. Why? Well, for starters, the experiments Down Under are anything but scientific, despite the claims of Mr. Zammit. Secondly, David Thompson is a fraud.

In the 4-5 years since David Thompson has been claiming to materialize dead people through the secretion of ectoplasm which supposedly exudes from his bodily orifices, no one has taken these ludicrous claims seriously. Yet, David Thompson is still pulling the wool over people's eyes Down Under, and now, he's taking his ScamFlam on the road with a tour of the UK.

Knowing I couldn't save a few poor British souls from being taken in by this charlatan-come-lately, I decided that the best thing to do in this situation was to mentally fast-forward another year or so in time and live happy knowing David Thompson has either been exposed as the fraud he is, or he's been rightfully forgotten. Yes, in the very near future, David Thompson will have been sent back to the boggy marsh from whence he emerged, and his giddy publicist, Victor Zammit, will be off chasing some other quixotic windmill.

Wait a second, this smells like a contest. Maybe my version of David Thompson's future is totally off. Perhaps some reader out there can come up with a better scenario for David Thompson's eventual downfall.

So, I decided to invite the public to write their own essay on how the David Thompson story should end? Why not? David Thompson's claims are so incredulous and imaginative, they deserve an equally imaginative finale.

So, even if you don't know who materialization medium David Thompson is, you can still take part in the contest by reading up on all the controversy here.

The What Ever Happened to David Thompson? Essay Contest

Rules and Guidelines

1)Write a 500 word or less imaginative and fictitious essay answering the question, "What ever happened to David Thompson?"

2)The essay must be creative and entertaining.

3)Essay must end with the phrase, "Ectoplasm! I knew it."

4) All submissions must be received by Halloween night, October 31, 2007.

5)All submissions must be sent to and must be from a valid email address and include a first name* and verifiable telephone number.**

Judging & Voting

I will personally pick the 10 best essays and then ask the viewing public to vote for their top three favorites.

The top three entries will receive a FREE reading with me.
Winners who may have already had a reading with me or anyone else not desiring the reading for themselves may gift the prize to anyone of their own choosing.
First prize - a FREE 2 hour reading
Second Prize - a FREE hour and a half reading
Third prize - a FREE hour reading.

*I will only allow anonymous entries, as long as the true author reveals themselves privately to me.
**Personal phone numbers are only requested to authenticate essay entrant and will never be published, sold or used for any form of marketing or solicitation.

Now, for your listening pleasure, my AfterlifeFM interview with blogger, Michael Prescott, where we discuss the dubious claims of materialization medium, David Thompson.

So, let's all get creative and help me figure out "What ever happened to David Thompson?"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

10 Unsolved Mysteries Of The Brain

The real mystery of who we are lies somewhere between the known and the unknown territory we call the brain. I think future generations will look back to the beginning of the 21st century as the time when we humans realized that the Keep It Simple Stupid(KISS) principle wasn't such a bad way to exist. :-)

For people crazy for information about our brain 10 Unsolved Mysteries Of The Brain

Talking Consciousness

Courtesy of famed neuroscientist, Christof Koch and his Klab we have a wonderful compilation of definitions of terms used in the study of consciousness.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Better off dead?

The old saying, everyone has their price, has even more meaning now that Mingle2, an online dating service, has put up a cadaver calculator on their website.

When you think that love-hungry singles are meeting total strangers on the net, then the whole cadaver calculator on a dating site seems even more creepy than usual.

BTW, my cadaver is worth $4115.00. Don't tell my wife that, though...

$4115.00The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth. From Mingle2 - Free Dating Site

Mingle2 - Free Dating Site

Friday, September 14, 2007

David Thompson - The Fraud from Oz

My colleague in the study of psi and the paranormal, Michael Prescott, has written a thorough and stinging final episode about David Thompson and his claims of materialization mediumship. It is definitely worth the read. I have been vocally challenging the claims coming out of Australia for some time now. Last year, I interviewed Victor Zammit, Mr. Thompson's sponsor, about the controversy on the radio show, Conversations from Beyond.

This year, I interviewed Michael Prescott on the very same topic on my new radio show, AfterlifeFM.

Some people, including my wife, have asked, "why do you care so much about what that guy does in Sydney?" My answer is very simple. He is destroying the credibility of something I cherish deeply - the study of consciousness survival. If phonies and frauds are allowed to bamboozle the believing public, then when that person is eventually exposed, why would any scientist or interested person ever believe me in what I am saying about consciousness survival. In some tangent way, confronting frauds like David Thompson is as important as confronting Holocaust deniers.

Sadly, when there's money to be made from people''s need to believe, the rats and vultures are never far behind. Be Skeptical. Be Open. Beware.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Rhetoric of Madness

Last night I watch the Republican Party debate and came away with a feeling that the only true debate taking place was a brief, yet, heated exchange over the war in Iraq between Texas Congressman, Ron Paul, and former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee.

Then today, I received an email from a friend who sent me a link to another video making some noise on YouTube. The video is a hard-biting, poignant and unequivocal damnation of Bush’s strategy and policy in Iraq. Watch it here.

Agree or disagree, it is hard to ignore the quotable facts behind Keith Olbermann’s recent commentary on MSNBC.

There’s a lot to think about before next year’s election, but there’s nothing, outside of one’s own health and family, that’s more important. I have two children now. I don’t want to even imagine what awaits them in tomorrow’s world. I guess that’s what all parents have said, generation after generation, but it seems that few generations have raised the stakes as high as ours has.

I don’t care about Republicans or Democrats anymore. I just crave truth and honesty, and frankly, I don’t even know where to start looking for that. So, I am going to just pray for the end of madness and hope someone hears me. Please feel free to join in.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Who's Afraid of the Afterlife?

The following is an abstract of a paper written by Dr. Neal Grossman. The article appears in the first issue of AntiMatters, a quarterly open-access journal addressing issues in science and the humanities from non-materialistic perspectives.

The evidence for an afterlife is sufficiently strong and compelling that an unbiased person ought to conclude that materialism is a false theory. Yet the academy refuses to examine the evidence, and clings to materialism as if it were a priori true, instead of a posteriori false. I suggest several explanations for the monumental failure of curiosity on the part of academia. First, there is deep confusion between the concepts of evidence and proof. Second, materialism functions as a powerful paradigm that structures the shape of scientific explanations, but is not itself open to question. The third explanation is intellectual arrogance, as the possible existence of disembodied intelligence threatens the materialistic belief that the educated human brain is the highest form of intelligence in existence. Finally, there is a social taboo against belief in an afterlife, as our whole way of life is predicated on materialism and might collapse if near-death experiences, particularly the life review, was accepted as fact.

PDF link to Dr. Grossman's article

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Circle of Life

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my sister-in-law, Donna Crabtree (age 41), She had been battling juvenile diabetes for many years, and the last 5 years of dialysis were too much for her weakened heart. She will be buried next to her husband, Carl, who was killed 3 years ago by a drunk driver.

Donna is survived by her two children, C.J. (age 20) and Emily (age 13).

We miss you already, Donna.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Life Support

On August 7th, an hour prior to the start of my AfterlifeFM show, my sister-in-law, Donna (age 41), suffered a massive heart attack due in part to complications from juvenile diabetes. She is currently on life support and in a coma. The outlook is not good. She has two children.

Prayers are needed.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Great Deals on Coffins at Costco

The timing is a bit odd for me to have come across this story today. After all, I just had to buy a coffin for my father less than two weeks ago. Maybe that's why I am not put off by this story. In fact, I had to buy more than just a coffin, I had to pay for mortuary services and an entire funeral.

There are no Costco's that I know of in Argentina. Even if there are, they wouldn't be anywhere near where my father lived. Every time I asked my father for an address, it would be a succession of "at the intersection of this street and that street, just up the road from the gas station, turn right and look for a small shack past a column of red berry shrubs."

In the end, the coffin my father received was a plain pine box - humble, simple and totally unpretentious. All qualities my father lacked in life. In a way, I figured I'd make one last attempt to instill in him traits I thought might aid him getting past security at the pearly gates.

To some, selling coffins at Florida's Costco may seem tasteless and even opportunistic, but in a competitive, free market environment, even the Grim Reaper has to take advantage of demographic opportunities. See news article on Costco Coffins.

So, what's my point here? Well, for one, you'd better pick out your own coffin ahead of time, because you never really know what revenge your children will take if they have to buy one for you. And secondly, if you are going to go the cheap route and buy one at Costco, go ahead and kill two birds with one stone (pun intended), and buy yourself a whole palette of discounted Lysol All-purpose cleaner while you're at it. Aisle 12, I believe.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Last Gasp

In the early morning hours of July 22nd, 2007, a defeated and disease-ravaged man lay dead in his bed. Beside him, his nerve-shattered companion dialed a preset number on the man's cell phone.

My phone rang. It was 12:30 am. I almost didn't hear it. Nick Drake strummed his last stance on my iPod, and my Pit Bull and a German Shepherd were chasing a wild scent left on a butcher shop's brick wall.

My phone rang again. Standing under the shadows of the San Gabriel Mountains and the yellow light of a half moon, I flipped open the cell phone and saw the caller ID, "Papi".

"Oh God, my father's dead."

I was right. He was.

"Papi" was no ordinary liar. He was, without exaggeration, the Mozart of liars. His fictional compositions were orchestral masterpieces of fib. As composer and conductor of his fabricated truths, my father was unrivaled below the equator. Yes, below the equator. My Papi was born, lived and died with all his lies in Argentina. Beautiful Argentina.

Hours before my father died, on July 21, he celebrated his 69th birthday by trying not to die. Papi was always afraid to die on his birthday. His mother, my grandmother, died on her birthday, and he couldn't shake the awful irony that that coincidence somehow represented. So on his birthday, my father held on for as long as he could to make sure the clock hand past the midnight mark. Life, in his opinion, had been sadistically cruel to him, and even though he nevr seemed to win at it's game, he wasn't planning on losing this time. There was no way that the cruel irony of his own mother's death would repeat itself in his life.

I called my father to wish him happy birthday only 6 hours before he died. He sounded awful. More awful than all the other times I called him and he sounded awful. The problem was, you never knew when he was faking his illnesses or not. This time, however, there was no mistaking the sounds of a man running away from the last gasp of life. He sounded so bad that after hanging up the phone, I started making plans to go down to Argentina. It had been six years since I had seen my father last, and though my wife and I had wanted to travel the year before, something always delayed our plans.

Papi adored my children the same way he adored his children. With all his might and always from afar. I think it was easier for him to be an exiled father than a real one. Self-exiled, of course. My father had a hard time living in truth, and he never wanted his children to really see what he himself could not face. That his life was an unfinished romance novel wrapped around a plot line of "would have's, should have's and could have's," and written by an unreliable narrator who was always running to stay one step ahead of his last gasp.

Me, I am in a mixed state of emotions. I'm thousands of miles away, and instead of attending the funeral, I attended to the arrangements and the payment. A few weeks before he passed, Papi made me promise to bury him properly. He didn't want to end up in the community pothole as he called the public cemetery.

Like most deaths, pain is accompanied by laughter and silly memories, but death also reminds us how ephemeral our physical experience really is, and it brings into focus our own use of that time. Death screams, "do all you can to not waste a single second."

For the most part, my father wasted his life and threw away his relationships. Just a few days ago I talked to him about regrets and he was defiant all the way. This time, I didn’t get upset, I just laughed and said, “well, I’m sure you’ll be changing your mind one day soon, just don’t forget to come back and let me know.”

Amazingly, Papi gave me a sign not even 24 hours after his passing. A little miracle of a sign that conceded, “Marcel, maybe you were right, but hey, I’m still here, so I guess somebody is going to give me a second chance.” Maybe one day I will write about this sign, but for right now, I'm happy to keep it to myself.

I've also decided that one day I am going to tell my kids everything about their grandfather. Yes, everything. Hopefully they will understand why, in spite of it all, I loved him strong.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bang Bang Buddhist - Signs of the Apocalypse

Politics, power and the new world order have begun to encroach on one of the world's most peaceful religions/philosophies, Buddhism.

For years, the Sri Lankan government has been fighting the Tamil Tigers (a terrorist insurgency), without much support from Sri Lanka's religious leaders. Now, the call to arms has been taken up by a small political party of Buddhist monks.
See video for more.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Six Feet Over - Adventures in the Afterlife

Hilary Mantel, a reporter from UK's The Guardian Unlimited, wrote this skeptically tinged review of Mary Roach's skeptically tinged book on the many different areas of paranormal study. I haven't read it yet, but as long as it's not downright dismissive without looking at the current data available, then I think it could be a good read.

The Other Side
Hilary Mantel

When I was a small child at a Catholic school we were taught that the soul could not be weighed, measured, pictured nor described. Like a gas it permeated us, like a liquid it filled us to the brim. Like a sheet of glass, it could be marked or stained by venial sin, or etched by mortal sin - in the latter case, industrial-strength repentance would be needed to make it clear again. Intimate with every part of us, it was neither in us nor of us; when we died, it would go on, without the body. We learned this at the same time as we learned our times tables and how to tie our shoelaces, and most people could grasp the metaphors involved. But when the priest came for the annual religious examination, he would hold out a piece of chalk and ask us to "draw a soul"; there was always some dimwit who swaggered up to the blackboard.Descartes, among others, fell into the dimwit's error. He thought the soul was located in the pineal gland, or at least that the pineal gland was a sort of information hub for spirit; he came to this conclusion after hacking up a great many carcasses, bought in the butchers' shops of Amsterdam. The idea that the soul can be located, that it can be weighed, that it has colour and form, has persisted into the present century, as Mary Roach shows in her nimble excursion across the frontier into the next world. Is the soul, detached from the body, subject to the laws of gravity, or "relegated to an eternity among the derelict satellites and Nasa detritus"? Does the soul weigh 21 grams, as the title of the Hollywood movie suggests? Could the dead be heard if, as Edison thought, you could make a sort of psychic megaphone? At the end of the 19th century, and early in the 20th century, the air was full of disembodied voices, of invisible rays. Radios and telephones and X-rays were technological marvels; most people didn't understand them, but no one would accuse you of being a credulous fool if you claimed that your mother's voice was issuing from a bakelite handset.

Dreams, phantoms, omens, apparitions - perhaps these marginal, troubling phenomena could be quantified, analysed, explained? Freud, for one, wanted so much to be thought of as a scientist. But states of mind, let alone states of the soul, proved resistant to verification, and the dead seldom speak when the qualified and accredited are listening. Their communications as recorded by professional psychics are so banal and garbled that they must be regarded as a sly cosmic joke. "How is the weather?" a discarnate entity is asked, in one current, properly funded American research project. The answer comes from the Beyond: "It's like Florida without the humidity." Another shy spook confides: "I can wear pleated pants now." The afterlife's answer to "Do you engage in sexual behaviour?" is a little hesitant, but can be summed up as a disappointing "not really".

Roach is an American columnist and science writer. She had a religious upbringing, claims to have had nun paper dolls, and engaged in "the meagre fun of swapping a Carmelite wimple for a Benedictine chest bib". This over-privileged childhood has left her a little too pleased with herself and her "bad attitude." She is the naughtiest girl at psychic school - a weekend course in raising spirits - and like many psychics themselves, she has a big ego, and can even show off about her shortcomings: "My ignorance is not merely deep, it is broad; it is a vast ocean that takes in chemistry, physics, information theory, thermodynamics, all the many things a modern soul theorist must know." But she is energetic and canny in pursuit of haunted spell-checkers, spirit orbs, lab-induced temporal lobe seizures, electronic voice phenomena, ectoplasm, infrasound and near-death experiences. Skittish but smart, she knows how to navigate the marshy ground of self-delusion that is found between truth and lies, and she has captured the deep personal unpleasantness of many of the people who work in the spook trade - their aggressive irrationality, their intolerance, their unsubtle bullying tactics. But it is surprising she is not more impatient with her whole subject. It's easy to poke holes in supposedly scientific studies of mediumship, but perhaps they should not be undertaken at all. The afterlife has become a staple of trash TV and a branch of the leisure industry. It is no more useful to disbelieve in ghosts than to disbelieve in tenpin bowling or portable barbecues. A fair reaction to the puzzle of the afterlife is what Roach calls "the Big Shrug".

She touches, though, on some intriguing topics which could have merited further exploration - voice hearing, for instance, which recent Dutch research suggests is a phenomenon more widespread among the perfectly sane than anyone had imagined. "It could well be that the main difference between skeptics and believers is the neural structures they were born with." Some people will never see a ghost, and some people can't help it; reason with them as hard as you like, they will not deny the evidence of their senses. At the end of her tour of the afterlife, Roach believes "not much, but more than I believed a year ago". It is a mild conclusion to an entertaining book that is best when it is digressive. Her footnotes are a gruesome joy. It is worth reading Six Feet Over just to meet Frederick II of Sicily, a pioneer scientist of the 13th century, who used to give his guests a good dinner and then disembowel them, "wishing to know which had digested the better".

original article

· Hilary Mantel's most recent novel is Beyond Black (Harper Perennial)

Monday, July 16, 2007

The biologist and the philosopher

E.O. Wilson is a biologist. Daniel C. Dennett is a philosopher. Both believe that understanding evolution is essential to understanding our humanity. Despite an incipient blizzard, they met up in the spring of 2004 to talk about God, evolution, incest, and of course, ants. This was their conversation.

Seed: E.O. Wilson + Daniel Dennett

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Mac Attack

The iPhone is out. I don't have one and I'm jealous. I'm also ticked off that most of the folks who are lining up around the block at all the AT&T stores, are the same PC pounders whose parents once lined up at a Sears register to buy them an Apple Performa.

Few people will understand this post, as most people are either living outside my world or simply too dispassionate to care about a competition so petty and insignificant as the Mac vs. PC rivalry.

I've been a Mac guy since the Apple IIE in the mid 80's and have owned several different Macs since.

I'm a creative Mac guy, not a techie Mac guy, but I still worship Steve Jobs genius, and every time I see Bill Gates on the news, I can't help but to whisper "Nerd thief" inside my head. Yes, it's childish, but this is serious turf rivalry, Yo!

Speaking of that...

Here is a hilarious rap spoof of the whole Mac vs. PC battle. You know what side I'm on, so back off you DOS operating chumps!

And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Grieving Mom in "Afterlife" by Donald Antrim

Antrim has turned, in his nonfiction, toward a reckoning with the complicated grief brought on by the loss of a complicated parent. The seven chapters of "The Afterlife" are dominated by his mother, Louanne, who married and separated from Antrim's father twice and died of lung cancer in 2000. Her alcoholism, her smoking, her emotional volatility, her needy, proud, eccentric temperament — these all add up to a legacy that challenges Antrim's impulses toward clarity, irony and reserve.

Read more from The New York Times Book Review

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mind Science Foundation

Courtesy of the always interesting Deric Brownd's Mindblog I have come across the Mind Science Foundation, an amazing resource of information, news and professional contacts for anyone interested in the history and future of consciousness study.

I share because I care. :-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Restore the Republic

I grew up in a libertarian family. I am sure that I was educated in constitutional law long before I knew anything about the birds and the bees. Yes, it's kind of sad to note that while other boys my age were transfixed by naked tribeswomen in National Geographic, I was totally engrossed in the papers of Jefferson and Adams.

An amusing side note to my family's deeply involved political dogma, was that at one point, at least 75% of the members of my family were on a ballot somewhere in the State of Texas. Even I was dragged into the political arena, though a bit begrudgingly.

When I turned 18, my older brother submitted my name as a candidate for Texas Railroad Commissioner. He was too busy running for another High office post. When I informed my brother that I was going to college and had no intention of being Railroad Commissioner, he said, "don't worry, you are going to abolish the position the first week you are in office."

In college, I became more "progressive" or "liberal", and I rebelled against what I perceived as the outdated and old-fashioned theories of the Libertarian Party. When I started doing stand-up comedy, digging into my family's "let's go back to 1776" mentality was a good source of humor for my act. Let's face it, Libertarians are not the coolest cats in the alley.

In 1988, my family, and the whole Libertarian world, was all gaga over a new political hopeful. Ron Paul became the Libertarian Presidential candidate and made quite a showing on election night - better than anything the Libertarians had ever experienced nationally before.

Flash forward 20 years later, and Ron Paul is aiming his sights on the big house once again. Some things have changed, though. This time around, Ron Paul is a Republican Congressman, not a Libertarian dark horse. Like last time, his campaign is still focused on the idea that government power is born from individual rights, not he other way around.

I would like to think the work I do as a medium has a similar message to it. After all, I am of the belief that God comes from individual consciousness, not the other way around.

Would I vote for Ron Paul given that he win his party's primary? I'm not sure. He does possess that one quality we all wish we could possess - selfless integrity. As a person, I trust him more than Hillary or Obama. Stranger than that, I'm beginning to think my crazy family might have been right all those years ago. Sometimes I even wonder how different life would have been as the Texas Railroad Commissioner instead of a guy who talks to the dead. Ah, the wonder of it all.

Monday, June 18, 2007

AfterlifeFM - Interview with Alex Tsakiris

I'm inviting you to listen to yours truly for the AfterlifeFM debut. My guest was Alex Tsakiris, host of the magnificent podcast,

Friday, June 15, 2007

Barak Obama's Crush

Yes, I am a man in all senses of the word.  Finally, something to get me excited about the '08 presidential race.

Queerer than we can suppose.

No matter what you think of Richard Dawkins or his philosophy and (non)beliefs, there is no doubt he is one of the most thought-provoking, entertaining and convincing thinkers of our times. The video below is just another example of how Dawkins has managed to set himself up as the leading voice of thought in the Western world.

Personally, I think he got it right at the beginning of this video when he quotes British geneticist, J.B.S. Haldane, in his revision of a quote from Hamlet.
"I suspect that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of, or can be dreamed of, in any philosophy. That is the reason why I have no philosophy myself, and must be my excuse for dreaming."

J.B.S. Haldane

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Going Live with The Dead

Exploring The Science
Behind Consciousness

       Thursday June 14, 2007
     4 pm PST • 7pm EST

Click Now

Monday, June 11, 2007

Afrterlife Bling

British artist, Damian Hirst, has an eye for death unlike most. His art frequently flirts with the theme of mortality in ways that are jarring, dazzling, and in some ways, downright creepy.

Hirst is not without his critics. Some have trivialized his art as nothing more than cheap visual effects pandering to pop cultural trends. Perhaps it's the fact that Hirst is one of the most economically successful living artist in the history of the world that makes him such an easy target, who knows?

One thing is certain, though, with his latest creation, a $99 Million dollar skull, death has never ever looked so "ghettoliciously" beautiful.

Friday, June 8, 2007

An olympic-sized eyesore & me

The Pickards has a wonderfully amusing blog post on the public outcry over the London 2012 Olympic logo selection. Even if you don't care about the Olympics, the English or graphic design, I still think you'll get a kick out of this rant.

So what does this all have to do with consciousness, life after death or moi? Well, Jack Pickard also wrote a little piece on me called, The Medium is the Message. Fortunately, I seemed to have weathered his biting wit a wee better than the official London 2012 logo.

Monday, June 4, 2007

V is for Vaccine

We didn't vaccinate our daughter Nina, well, not until she was a month past two. In April of this year, I was guilt fed and coerced by her new pediatrician into giving her the Hib vaccine and Prevnar (pneumococcal).

It's not that my wife and I don't want to vaccinate. We just want the freedom to choose how we vaccinate. So now that my son Waylon is here, we are once again pressured (and accosted) to make a determination about how we plan on vaccinating our child.

Trust me, I've done as much research as a lay person can on this subject. I understand both sides to the argument. I acknowledge that some vaccines have greatly reduced if not eliminated certain diseases from childhood experience. However, there is also that mysterious element out there which worries me greatly... some of you know it better as the unknown.

As a medium, I know about the unknown. Almost all scientists would tell me that I was full of shit if I tried to explain to them how it is that I can communicate with the consciousness of the dead. So you see, I have personal experience telling me that, as well-intended as science may be, it isn't always right.

My big concern about vaccinations is that the schedule is too aggressive for a baby's body. More importantly, there has not been a single long-term study done to explain the "explosion of neurologic and immune system disorders in our nation’s children." since the widespread introduction of public immunization. Here is a webpage that explains this concern far better than I ever could.

I truly welcome all opinion, criticism or spiritual support on this.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

9 Steps to Genius

Over time, many people have asked me to teach them my genius. Though flattered, I am so busy at being a gosh darn genius, I never really had the time to sit down and figure myself out. Luckily, someone else has.

So, for all those genius wannabes, here's a quick study guide on how to think like a genius (or like me).

Hello, brain!

Brain exploration is about to revolutionize and redefine science, medicine, capitalism and possibly daytime soap operas. At least that's what Charlie Rose and his illustrious panel of brain experts say.

Below is Part One of Charlie Rose's series on science and the brain.
From Freud to the mysteries of the human brain. Topics include Sigmund Freud and the study of psychoanalytics, information storage and processing, learning, remembering, perception, thinking, feeling, and behavior. Panelists include: Paul Nurse, Eric Kandel, Aaron Beck, Steven Roose, Peter Fonagy, Nancy Kanwisher, Nora Volkow, Rebecca Saxe and Liz Phelps.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Joy Ride

I'm back with a head full of mush, madness and little moments of in between. That's what it's like going back home to what was once your home.

I did bring back some sand with me. Take a look.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Yeeeeee Hawwwww, Pard'ner!

Ever been to Texas? It's a small country stuck inside a big state. I'll be there on vacation visiting friends and family, so don't be surprised if you start to miss me some.

Along the way, the Family Cairo Tour 2007 will make variouos stops, including a visit to San Antonio, the city where my journey with Spirit began. From there we're off to the beach town of Port Aransas, a Spring Break haven which in my youth played host to some of my most embarrassing failures as a budding Casanova. As a finale, I delve deep into my college nostalgia with a trip to Austin.

See you in a week and a half, ya'll.  

Friday, May 11, 2007

Deport all Mediums!!

I've been doing some perusing around the internet, visiting various science-based parapsychology websites or PSI friendly blogs and one thing has become increasingly clear to me... mediums are the illegal aliens toiling the field of parapsychology. That is, with very rare exception, mediums are not mentioned, acknowledged or assimilated into the greater family of parapsychology study.

If mentioned at all, mediums are relegated to the respect level of lab rats; set free from their cages on special occasions to perform tasks that offer up statistical opposition to chance probability.

Perhaps the marginalization of mediums is warranted. After all, the industry has historically been ripe with frauds, quacks and hucksters... but so has the insurance industry, medicine, politics, and yes, that sacred hall of intellectual elitism, academic research.

My guess is that parapsychology researchers are more interested in garnering personal acceptance from skeptical, university peers than they are interested in enfranchising mediums like me. Well, that's a real shame because good mediums are out there, and we're a huge untapped resource. So, instead of treating us like lab rats, perhaps you might want to do something a little radical, like invite us to the collective consciousness conference table.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Transcendence of the foot

In a previous post, I had bowed down before the gods of "fútbol" and offered up a link of homage to Messi & Maradona"s history making goals. That link was removed by YouTube. Heathens!

Alas, a Japanese fan has saved me with this transcendent video blossom (watch it with audio on to glimpse Nirvana).

Talking Mind

Here's yet another little project of mine. It's called, a bi-monthly roundup of independent audio podcasts that explore the science, spirituality, philosophy, mystery and controversy of human consciousness.

Tune in as skeptics and believers debate the mysteries of the mind (available for ipod download or online listening).

Monday, May 7, 2007

PSI Wars

Dean Radin and The Institute of Noetic Sciences are in full force so to speak in this Star Wars spoof that tackles the very real battle between reductionist materialism and paraspychology.

Sure, I usually like my animation without the quantum geek factor, but this is worth the silly entertainment value.

Friday, April 20, 2007

1986 all over again...Viva Argentina!

Being a medium is fulfilling, but the honest truth is that I would give up my talent for talking with the dead just for one chance to play with the Argentine national soccer team. I'm that much a fanatic. See, though I was born in NYC, both my parents are from Argentina, and I was raised in Buenos Aires. Fútbol (soccer) is our religion.

In the summer of 1986, I was an 18 year-old virgin who had just graduated from High school. None of that mattered, however, as in my hands I had tickets to the World Cup in Mexico.

Still today, I consider the summer of '86 as the greatest summer of my life. Argentina won the World Cup and I lost my virginity to a stripper.

The seduction began on June 22, 1986. I was in the stands of Mexico City's Estadio Azteca when Argentina, led by Diego Maradona, scored the two most famous goals in World Cup history. The best part of this amazing game was that the victim of both of Maradona's goals was none other than England. If you are an Argentine soccer fan, there is no greater rivalry or joy than trouncing England and their aspirations of a second cup.

The first goal was the infamous Hand of God goal, and as I was celebrating it, I got into a row with a pair of British hooligans who almost threw me over the second level balcony 80 feet below to what would have been my certain death. The second of Maradona's goals is called the Goal of the Century. I can still remember crying like a new bride after Maradona scored it.

Two days ago, Argentina's future soccer genius, Lionel Messi, scored a goal so similar to Maradona's World Cup spectacular, that the whole world is once again hailing him the next Maradona and savior of soccer. God must love Argentina.

This year I'm turning 40, and for my midlife crisis purchase, I am going to skip buying a Porsche and instead aim my sights to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to relive the summer of '86. The only trick now will be getting my wife to let me bring that stripper along. ;-0

Here is a video comparison of Maradona's 1986 goal and Messi's 2007 goal side by side. Viva Argentina!

The Two Billion Pound Psychic

If me not having won the lotto in nearly 99 different attempts wasn't proof enough, here comes more evidence that I do not rank very high on God's list of favorite psychics. London's Daily Mail is reporting this story.

It was a stroke of good fortune he probably didn't see coming.

A feng shui master – or Chinese fortune-teller – will inherit the £2 billion fortune of Asia's richest woman.

Nina Wang, the eccentric Hong Kong tycoon, has apparently made Tony Chan Chun-chuen her sole heir.Nicknamed 'little sweetie' for her braided pigtails, mini-skirts and giggly persona, Mrs Wang, 69, died earlier this month from cancer.

Her decision to leave her vast wealth in the hands of an outsider, while shunning her family, is sure to lead to a court challenge.

Media reports had suggested that Mrs Wang, who had no children, had drafted a will in 2002 pledging much of her estate to charity.

But a revised will drafted last year, as she battled cancer, named Canadian-educated Chan, who advised her on feng shui, as the beneficiary, according to the well-placed source.

She reportedly added a clause to the will insisting that he use the wealth he has inherited in a 'good and proper way'.

Mrs Wang, ranked the 154th richest person in the world by Forbes magazine last year, had a life touched by tragedy.

In 1990, her husband Teddy was abducted by gangsters and never seen again. A Triad gang admitted in 2005 that he had been murdered and his body dumped from a boat into the South China Sea.

She stirred controversy by waging a legal war against her father-in-law, Wang Din-shin, to secure her husband's billions - even though he had not been confirmed dead.

Mrs Wang won the eight-year legal battle in 2005, securing full control of the estate and of Hong Kong's largest private property developer, Chinachem group, in a probate saga that captivated the city of seven million with tales of illicit affairs.

When asked whether Chan would get all the money, the source stressed again that he was the 'sole beneficiary' and that all of Mrs Wang's estate, including that of her husband 'gets paid on in sequence' to him. The source would give no further details.

A statement is expected from Mrs Wang’s lawyer today.

Chan, a fortune-teller to the stars, is understood to have been introduced to the businesswoman by a fellow tycoon and to have been involved in her funeral arrangements.

The ceremony was held on Wednesday morning and was attended by politicians and tycoons, including Macao casino magnate Stanley Ho, who arrived at the funeral home in a line of gleaming Rolls-Royces and other luxury cars.

Hundreds of white wreaths lining the pavement filled the air with the scent of flowers while, inside an altar was covered with more blooms.

A heart-shaped wreath of red roses bore Mrs Wang's smiling portrait and a flower-covered hearse transported her body to the crematorium.

In her lifetime, however, Mrs Wang was renowned for her thrift. She and her husband often claimed they had no time to spend money and that they preferred fast food to fine dining.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Meditation Moment #1

I used to co-host a radio show called In Good Spirit, and every now and then I would poke fun at the self-anointed gurus of new age meditation. I've always said, if you can't laugh at yourself, you're obviously looking in the wrong mirror.

So, take off your shoes, dim the lights, get into the lotus position and hold your nose -

Meditation Moment #1 (voice by Marcel)

Hey, Big Lender!

Like many people, I'm interested in the world beyond my front door. I've been fortunate in my life to have travelled to over 30 different countries, both as a tourist, as an adventurer and as a glutton for the human spirit. Lately, responsibility and finances have sidelined my travels, but my wanderlust has never subsided.

In truth, my heart aches to be on the road. My Austro-Hungarian grandmother use to tell me that we come from Gypsy blood. Imagined or real, I believed this story. Without a doubt, I have the traveler spirit coarsing through each and every one of my cells. Put me on a plane, train, ship or bus and I am transformed into a poet of passion, politic and possibility.

Today, I'm elvoving from cultural spectator to international lender. I've decided to take $50.00 and become a micro-lender. I want to make a difference, support international entrepreneurs and connect with my universe once again. Thanks to groups like Kiva, I can invest my $50.00 anywhere in the world with just a ckick of the mouse. Take a look...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Science of Mind

I'm happy to announce a belated "Welcome Back" to Matthew Cromer and his very informative blog, Science is A Method, Not A Position, otherwise known as AMNAP.

In his most recent posting, Matthew Cromer continues his analysis of reductionist thinking with a thought provoking post on The Mental Universe...
"The 1925 discovery of quantum mechanics solved the problem of the Universe’s nature. Bright physicists were again led to believe the unbelievable — this time, that the Universe is mental. According to Sir James Jeans: “the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Smart Skepticism

Mediums and psychics are generally ignorant in their own field, and when they open their mouth, they usually do more harm than good. Obviously, I speak from experience. Personally, I believe that I am a damn good medium, but I also know that I have a long way to go before I can claim any knowledge in the field of parapsychology. I do get brownie points for trying, though.

Luckily for all of us, there are parapsychology researchers out there, both professional and novices, who keep the light shining on this topic in a way that is both presentable and respectable outside our own community. A way I call smart skepticism.

Recently, I've discovered a smart skeptic, Alex Tsakiris, who hosts a brilliant podcast with some stellar interviews. It's called Skeptico, and well worth your time.

Here is an interview from his site with author, psychologist and skeptic
Dr. James Alcock.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Raccoon Resurrection

Death and resurrection are obviously appropriate topics for Easter Sunday. In fact, if you stretch the metaphor a bit, death and resurrection are appropriate topics for most holidays. It seems particularly relevant on Saint Patrick's Day, when millions of people drink themselves to the brink of death, and somehow are miraculously resurrected by the next morning (not without mental stigmata, of course). So, not to diminish the importance of Easter, but my Saint Paddy's Day resurrection story outshines any personal connection I might have to the Easter story, though this story involves a furry, four-legged nature critter instead of a persecuted messiah.

No disrespect to the Irish, as I am married to a wonderful Irish lass, but aside from that good fortune, "the luck of the Irish" has never really been with me. Case in point, my job interview on Saint Paddy's Day, 2004. I was still a full-time freelance writer, doing my spiritual work part-time and totally pro-bono. Since moving to California from New York a year earlier, I was spending a lot of time hustling work.

I got to the interview with five minutes to spare and quickly parked next to the building office. Right away I noticed that this was no ordinary building. Circular in shape, surrounded by a large circular yard, and fenced in by seven foot high iron spikes, the building had all the appeal of a county jail, though I later came to find out it was a converted Methodist church.

The other thing I noticed about this odd building was a cheap, vinyl banner (like they make at Kinko's) hanging on the fence advertising "Jobs available inside." I've always considered street recruitment vinyl banners as a warning sign to stay out.

"What is this, an ad agency or a Wendy's?" I thought to myself.

I turned off the car, but before stepping out, I spotted two weird men loitering outside of the main gate of the building. I gathered that the gate was locked, but it was almost 8:30 AM, and this type of security measure seemed way out of place for an insignificant advertising agency.

Again, my intuition kicked in; I became increasingly suspicious of the scenario. I called my headhunter and asked her, "Amy, are you sure this is where I am supposed to be? This place looks like an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, or maybe a Scientologist recruitment center." My headhunter confirmed the address and said to go in and check it out.

As I hung up the phone, someone opened the gate for the two loitering weirdoes. I waited a minute in the car so that I wouldn't have to enter with them. As I made my way into the main entrance of the seven foot iron spiked fence, I saw a pretty young woman in a business suit stop in her tracks and stare up at something on the iron fence. I looked too; my jaw dropped in disbelief.

At first I thought it was a stuffed toy animal, but then I saw its blood dripping down the fence. Even in this shocking state, I couldn't help but have a Hallmark moment and think, "what a cute raccoon." Quick glances here and there, and I suddenly realized that the raccoon had been lanced by the sharp tip of one of the iron fence spikes. Struggling to grasp the spike with his front claws, the raccoon tried to pull itself free, but to no avail. It knew that it couldn't let go. If it did, it would be hanging upside down and death would painfully follow.

It was a weird moment. I laid my portfolio down. The young lady and I were facing each other on opposite sides of the fence, looking up at the bloody scene. The raccoon seemed deeply aware of the situation. He looked into our eyes with a knowing sense that the young woman and I were witnesses to its crucifixion.

I looked down at my feet and saw a broken branch. My CSI sense told me the whole story - raccoon steps out on to a weak branch, it brakes, raccoon falls ten feet in the air and lands on the iron spike of the fence. A centimeter or two to either side, and our friend would have hit the ground and escaped relatively unharmed. Luck (or fate) always seems to be a matter of centimeters, doesn't it?

The young woman informed me that she had just called 911. Apparently, 911 was sending over Animal Control. In the meantime, the young woman and I hardly shared a word. We waited silently with the raccoon, only mumbling sorrows in hushed tones. Occasionally, a totally uninterested employee from the creepy office building would walk right pass us, never once thinking that two weepy people on either side of a spiked fence starring up at a dying raccoon was odd.

Soon, Animal Control arrived. Out of the van came two slightly awkward-looking government employees, who when trying to assess the scene, resembled Laurel & Hardy trying to open a can of beans without a can opener. They weren't really sure what to do or where to begin. Their big idea was to the pull the raccoon off the spike like a piece of shish-kabob meat. I suggested that they sedate the creature first. After another 5 minutes of scratching their heads, they finally agreed with my idea.

Innocently, I asked if a veterinarian might operate on the animal after they removed it. "Operate?" they mused, "Oh no, this little guy will have to be euthanized." The death sentence was now sealed. There would be no last minute reprieve from Governor Schwarzenegger. However, the minute Animal Control told us this detail, the raccoon stopped struggling to free itself, and quietly resigned to wait for the light.

We all stood quietly with it, totally helpless. Even Laurel & Hardy found some grace in the moment. The young woman couldn't take our helpless state for much longer and searched around the ground for a small something. She found a morsel of bread and stuck it on the iron spike right next to the one that the raccoon had been impaled on. The dying critter looked over at the morsel of bread, taking it gingerly into it's mouth with one paw while keeping itself propped up with the other one. This was the last supper.

It was 8:45 AM, and technically we were both 15 minutes late for our interviews. As the sedation slowly weakened the raccoon, the young woman and I decided to say our final goodbyes. It was a slightly awkward and embarrassing moment, but no one made fun of anyone. I turned to the young woman and said, "I'm here for an interview, but now I don't think I can concentrate any more." She replied, "Me too. I have an interview right now, but now I just don't care."

We walked in together to building's lobby. I tried to snap back into a professional tone and told the receptionist, "I'm here to interview for a freelance copywriter position. I'm a bit late."

"Me too," said the young woman. "Me too, what?" I invited.

"Me too. I'm also interviewing for a freelance copywriter position, and I'm a bit late," she offered confidently. Then as if a chain reaction had been unleashed, the two weirdoes who had previously been hanging outside the fence when I pulled up, said, "Us too, we're also interviewing for a freelance copywriter position."

I was under the impression that I was having a personal interview with the president of the company. I was told to bring samples of my work and to be prepared to have extensive discussions about my qualifications. It quickly became apparent that there weren't just three other copywriters standing in the lobby, but three copywriters standing in my way to this job.

I said out loud, "I can't believe this! They scheduled four different copywriters to come in at the same time and compete with each other for one job." As the words finished coming out of my mouth, another man walked up to the receptionist and said, "I'm here to interview for freelance copywriter."

Instantly, I recognized that the raccoon was a sign - death isn't glorious, survival is. At times, we are all animals struggling to stay alive, hanging upside down with a stake driven through us. Life can be oddly cold in its warmest intentions.

The job we would be competing for turned out to be a chance to write TV commercials for those "caring" lawyers you see during daytime television. You know the ones... "Injured in a car accident? Hurt on the Job? Call Whitcomb & Meyers at 1-800-636-3636. We'll defend your rights and get you the money you deserve. Remember, we don't get paid until you get what you deserve. Call right now at 1-800-636-3636."

We were hustled into a large debriefing room. Ms. Wallace, the company president, was a self-important, slave driver. Trying to ignore her abrasive attitude, I looked out the window and could see the raccoon's last stance. A sense of defiance came over me, and I asked the company's president if the 1-800 Lawyers agency handled worker's comp cases, because if they did, your company's in big trouble with that raccoon out there. She gave me a small cutting laugh which I interpreted as..."keep that up, and soon your ass will be freelancing at the end of my shoe."

We were instructed to go to separate parts of the building and come up with an ad concept for the "Legal Defenders." We were to write 1 to 2 TV spots for that concept, turn them in and go home. No one-on-one interview, no need to show the portfolio of work we were asked to bring, just give them free work and hope you are selected.

I looked outside the window and saw Animal Control driving off with the raccoon. I searched for the young woman whom I had shared the raccoon moment with earlier hoping to share another sad goodbye. I found her deep in the land of litigationville dreaming of trouncing the competition. One thing about compassion, it always has an experition date when saddled next to self-preservation.

I felt a competitive animal instinct kick in. I jumped into the lion's den, and my adrenaline started pumping. I wasn't about to fall off the branch onto an iron spike without a fight. I spent 3 hours secluded in a small room churning out TV spots for a bunch of ambulance chasing lawyers. With each TV spot I wrote, I felt more and more alive, distancing myself mentally from images of the crucified raccoon.

I left the building drained and tired. Outside, I could still see the raccoon's blood drying in the sun. Had this whole incident been a random act of natural selection, or some kind of omen warning me away? Then I thought a nice, cold pint of Irish brew might help me figure things out. Happy Saint Paddy's day.

A few days later, I got the assignment. Any elation over my victory faded as the whole writing for a money-grubbing slave driver Cruela Deville type turned out to be an experience even more miserable than the interview. Yet less than a month later, I made a personal decision to balance out my capitalistic talents with my spiritual ones. I made the leap from "street medium" to "professional medium."

Even today, every time I am driving behind a city bus advertising one of those 1-800-INJURED lawyer ads on the back, I think of the damn luck of that poor raccoon. Deep down,even though I know our consciousness survives, I want to believe that life is more than just dumb luck. I want to believe that on that Saint Patrick's Day both the raccoon and I were somehow resurrected to a better place. I want to believe that we're not all just walking out on to some weak tree branch with a spiked iron fence waiting below us. Who knows?

Lesson: The signs are everywhere. Acknowledge their wisdom even if you can't follow their path.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Not so terrible two's

Sure, life can be tough, but sometimes life will give you a small surprise... like two lollipops, one for each hand. These moments are rare, savor them slowly.

To demonstrate what I am talking about, I present Nina, my newly-turned, two-year old daughter.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Donuts with Kuralt

A few minutes ago, I was in my kitchen nursing my most recent bad habit - stress and insomnia. Some nights I have so much worry going on in my head that I can’t quiet things down enough to lay myself to sleep. My wife, as sweet as her pleas to come to bed are, hasn’t found the right muzzle for all the head chatter that’s making her a bedroom widow.

So, there I was, in my kitchen eating pistachios, and then suddenly, in the middle of dissecting another pistachio shell into two equal halves, a spirit ( a man) stepped in and said “hello.” Of course, as a medium, I don’t usually get startled by this type of intrusion, however, this time, I was pleasantly shocked. After all, it’s not every night that I get a kitchen visit from Charles Kuralt. Then again, I remembered the first and only time I met Mr. Kuralt, and the hour wasn’t much more reasonable then either - 5:35 A.M.

It was a frigid Sunday morning in New York City. I’m going back to February, 1994, 13 years ago. My girlfriend at the time, Misty June (no, she’s not a dancer), was working as a nurse at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital on Manhattan’s West side. This particular Sunday morning she had the six A.M. shift, and I was her chauffeur of choice.

There’s a diner on 57th or 58th street near the hospital, and Misty and I stepped in for some coffee and donuts to take the chill off. I remember being totally groggy and half awake when I heard that distinctive voice. If I ever had a “greatest generation” cultural hero, here he was, standing right before me.

Mr. Kuralt was saying something in Spanish to one of the diner employees. Taking advantage of the fact that I speak fluent Spanish, I made a little joke that Mr. Kuralt took note of. He asked me where I had learned my Spanish. Once I told him I was from Argentina, boy oh boy, did he start talking. Of course, Mr. Kuralt had been around the world a few times and then some, and he knew so much more about Argentina than I did.

All told, we stood at the counter talking to Mr. Kuralt for about 10 minutes. If it had been up to me, our talk would have gone on for hours. However, he had his Sunday Morning show to get to around the corner at CBS studios, and Misty had IV drips and bedpans waiting for her at the hospital.

As Misty and I prepared our departure, we wrapped ourselves in our NY winter survival gear, and Mr. Kuralt insisted on buying our coffee and donuts. When we tried to politely refuse his generosity, he told us how happy we had made him just talking about his travels in South America. This, my friends, is a memory I cherish forever. Charles Kuralt telling me how I had made him happy just talking. Wow!

Ralph Grizzle, one of Mr. Kuralt’s biographer’s, wrote that, “Kuralt enlightened by seeing the good in us - not because that was all there was to see but because he chose to.”

I think I needed this reminder. If I choose to see past the stress and anxiety that’s keeping me up, I might be able to see the good, too, and hopefully, I can return to my dreams, the ones sleeping right there next to my wife.

Thanks for the donut, Mr. Kuralt. Again.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My Reading with Medium John Edward

Just the same way that massage therapists sometimes need to go see a massage therapist to unwind, or a hair dressers will sit for another hair dresser to look pretty, so too must a medium sometimes become the lab rat for other mediums.

When the urge for a reading hits a medium, the stress of finding another good medium who doesn’t know anything about them sets in. Truthfully, it’s not that hard to figure out who the good mediums are. All you have to do is talk to them. It doesn’t usually take long before most mediums say something that smells fishy. That’s not to say they are frauds or anything, but you can’t underestimate the value of “style” when it comes to your reading.

For instance, I am a very much “in your face”, Dr. Phil style of medium. I tell it like it is, whether you like it or not. Really, it’s Spirit who tells it like it is, but Spirit knows my personality and convictions, and they know I won’t sugar coat the hard stuff.

The truth about mediums is that they are always suspicious of other mediums. There’s the whole professional jealousy part of it, but then there’s also that “ego” that makes mediums falsely believe they are somehow more “gifted” than the person next to them. In my case, it just happens to be true. ;-) That was a joke.

I’ve had a couple of amazing readings in my days, but the one that truly stands out was with the gifted medium, John Edward, better known as the dude from Crossing Over who talks to the dead.

Following is a detailed story I wrote about that experience. I hope you enjoy it.

This is a story. A LONG, WONDERFUL STORY.

A long story about a particular Tuesday in my life... Tuesday, February 17th, 2004, to be exact. The day that I had my face to face Crossing Over experience with John Edward.

When people hear that I was read by John Edward, they immediately ask, “What did he tell you?” “Who came through?”

No matter who asked, I couldn’t even begin to answer these questions because it is impossible to remove the information received from the actual experience itself. So here, for the first time, I will try and convey to you the sequence of events as best as I can remember them. In total, my reading with John Edward lasted probably all of 5 minutes. Within those five minutes, John Edward made several references to conversations and places I had experienced earlier that same day.

Tuesday 2/17/2004 -

8:46 AM - Ground Zero – World Trade Center

It wasn’t intentional for me to be standing at Ground Zero this morning, and at this time - the exact time American Airlines flight 11 crashed into the North Tower. Exiting the subway, I had walked in the wrong direction and found myself staring at the large void. I had five friends survive 9/11, one of them my upstairs neighbor, a fireman who was injured as the South Tower came down. Like many New Yorkers, I watched the towers fall live before my very eyes.

It’s still hard to go back to those day, because on some levels, I still haven’t dealt with some of the shock, anger, hate, fear and sadness that was permanently imprinted in my mind that Tuesday morning.

Yet, in spite of this hole in the ground, this painful void before me, the sky above me is not raining down debris, but reflecting my heart, now clear and full of piercing blue hope.

9:04 AM - NYPD Headquarters – 1 Centre Place

Walking past 1 Centre Place, NYPD headquarters, I ask a security guard to please direct me to the New York Office of Health & Mental Hygiene. Now before you go making any wise cracks about my hygiene, mental or otherwise, I’ll have you know that I was looking for the office of Vital Records. I lost my passport and I’m getting married in Mexico, so two great reasons to get my birth certificate. Besides, in New York City, my mental hygiene is what gives the Big Apple character.

9:38 AM - Office of Vital Records – Room 133

Last name? Cairo. First Name? Marcel. Place of Birth? Le Roy Hospital, Manhattan, NY

I had all the answers. Wrong!

The vital records clerk hit the breaks, “Wait a second. Your father’s name on your birth certificate does not match what you just gave me.”

“What? That can’t be! “ Then I remembered. My real father got booted off all legal papers after he had kidnapped me and my older brother, Alex. Once we were safely back in the US with my Mom, my Step Dad, Tom Snead, legally adopted me and my older brother.

“Try Tom Snead,” I told the suspicious office clerk. BINGO!! I was born after all, and now I have a birth certificate to prove it.

Then looking closer, there was something strangely familiar about a certain date on my birth certificate. Not my actual birthday, but the date that my Mom and real father filed the certificate... October 10th... four days after I popped into this wacky world. However, October 10th is very important for another reason, it’s Tom Snead’s birthday, my (step)Dad. And the date my fiancée, Leigh and I, are aiming for for our wedding!!

“What a strange coincidence,” I thought. My real father and mother filed my birth certificate on my Stepdad’s birthday. Then I remembered a bumper sticker I once saw... Coincidences are miracles where God decides to remain anonymous. Why not? After all, Tom Snead was my Dad. He raised me and loved me like his own son, and to me he was the greatest Dad in the world. Chalk up another miracle to “anonymous.”

11:11 AM - The Read Cafe – Brooklyn, NY

Patrick is late. Patrick is always late. I haven’t seen or spoken to him in the eight months since Leigh and I left New York for California, so I don’t mind his habitual tardiness. Besides, I chose The Read Cafe because it was closer to Patrick than the other nearest cafe, three blocks further up the road. Three blocks make a huge difference in my schedule today. It’s my last full day in New York. I have more friends to see, and I have to catch the 4:24 PM train to Long Island to see John Edward.

The Read Cafe holds a special place in my heart. It’s a mini library/bookstore/coffee house close to where I used to live. Sometimes The Read would have musical bands or guest speakers. The owner’s name was Brooks. He was a 30 something year old white boy from the Midwest, who consumed literature and knowledge the way most New Yorkers consume coffee. The Read was a perfect relationship for him and the city.

In addition to being The Read’s owner, Brooks was also its head waiter, busboy, cashier and resident guru. In fact, Brooks was a certified Buddhist teacher. In 1998, he decided to introduce the basic principles of Buddhism to anyone interested enough to show up every Tuesday at 7:30 PM. Once again, Tuesday would play an important role in my life.

In 1998, my soul was a complete mess. That Tuesday when I first walked into Brooks introduction to Buddhism, I was battling severe bouts of depression. I think God put me in that cafe that day because after listening to Brooks talk about Buddhism for just an hour, I was joyful – truly joyful.

So joyful in fact, after three Tuesdays, I skipped the fourth Tuesday’s class to go to a movie, and I never went to another class again. Like a good Buddhist, though, Brooks forgave me. After that, when I got my coffee and bagel at The Read, I would jokingly remind Brooks that the three classes I did attend qualified me as a Buddhist Bystander, and therefore I deserved a discount on my breakfast. “No dice,” he would say. “Buddhist believe in balance, and your balance is $1.50.”

All these memories rushed back to me for the first time in five years. Later in the evening, John Edward would remind me again.

4:24 PM - Long Island Railroad – Penn Station

“This is Havana, our new baby.“

Christine, Kat and Laura were my travel partners to see John Edward in Long Island. Before boarding the train, they all had seen pictures of Havana, a shelter dog Leigh and I had adopted only a week earlier in South Central, Los Angeles.

Leigh and I have been unsuccessfully trying to have a baby since November, 2001, three years (see Video). Even though we’re planning an October wedding in Mexico, we feel like we’re getting too old to delay our becoming first-time parents. So we adopted a dog. Leigh joked the day we adopted Havana that a dog would help us test our parenting skills before the real thing came along. And boy was Leigh right. Havana tested us from day one. Just one year old, Havana shows all the signs of an abused dog. Dramatically skinny, torn pads on her paws and refusing dog food in preference for grass and garbage. She has kept us up and worried almost every night. Just leaving her in California for our trip to New York caused us severe emotional distress. We hired a dog sitter and called her twice a day. We’re neurotic parents already.

I wish Leigh could be here. She had to return to Long Beach the night before. I bet she’s playing with Havana right now.

6:33 PM - Marriott Hotel – Melville, Long Island

Christine, Kat, Laura and I head straight to the Marriott cocktail lounge. We just found out that John Edward will be 30 minutes late. House Merlot all around.

7:34 PM - Salon 7-12 - Marriott Hotel

The room is buzzing. Christine, Kat, Laura and I are sitting about 6 rows back from the stage. There are about 300 people in the room anxiously watching an empty microphone on a stage adorned with just one chair. There are no props, no cameras and no curtain. Just the audience and a room full of dead friends and relatives all waiting the arrival of one man.

John Edward walks in. Heartfelt applause. He’s late because he was at his own cousin’s wake. She died from cancer just days before. The revelation creates an immediate bond between John and the room. All awe of his celebrity disappears and the readings begin.

8:07 PM - The Moment – Row 6

The people sitting directly behind Christine, Kat, Laura and I are receiving a message. They are friendly Long Island women in their 40’s, the kind that love to talk and laugh and then talk and laugh some more. This is nice, but not so nice when you have 300 people waiting for you to get what’s being said to you.

John’s is trying to deliver a message from their grandfather or some close relative. The women can only make sense of about 70% of what John is saying. Mostly, they are just so giddy that John is talking to them that they forget to pay close attention. At one point in the reading, one of the ladies even tries to place a cell phone call to her mother, effectively talking over what John was trying to convey.

During this reading, Kat, Laura and I start to believe that part of the reading might actually be for us, or more specifically, for Kat. John gave the row behind us names of people that were exact names of people in Kat’s family. Names the row behind us had difficulty placing. Then John kept asking the ladies behind us to place a reference to the game Candy Land and to teaching. This made sense for Kat because she teaches a music program to little kindergarten kids. John also mentioned that he needed to go to the the uniformed officer that was somehow part of what happened on 9-11. This reference made sense to both me and Kat. My upstairs neighbor was a fireman that day and was injured running for cover as The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. Kat’s brother is a New Jersey Patrolman and she also had a 9-11 connection.

John was intent on finding the person(s) that could validate the previous messages and could also validate a connection to a very close friend who had been sexually abused or raped. This was the clincher. Kat knew this message was for her. Since I didn’t know then who John was referring to, I wasn’t so sure yet, so I whispered to Kat, “I don’t think this is for us.” Upon my insistence and against her own certainty, Kat didn’t interrupt John.

After another minute of wrestling with the message and the women behind us, John Edward paused and looked directly at where Christine, Kat, Laura and I were sitting. He told the ladies behind us, “I think I need to come up a row from where you are... directly in front of you.” All of our hearts froze. That’s us, we’re directly in front of those ladies. Kat was right, the message was for her. The lady behind us handed over the microphone.

“You must have a teacher connection,” John said, looking at Kat.

“Yes. I’m a teacher,” Kat replied.

“You have the connection to a person who was sexually abused or raped?”

“Yes. A close friend” Kat offered up.

Feeling certain that he was now on the right track, John continued, “Who
connected to you is Laurie or Lauren or...”

“Laura... my sister,” Kat pointed out.

“I’m Laura.” Laura added for further confirmation.

“Ok. I’m definitely with you, then.”

Kat and Laura’s reading went on for about another couple of minutes. John
brought up a validation about Kat and Laura’s grandmother who, just this past week, was admitted into a nursing home. John mentioned details about problems related to getting the grandmother to eat, and Kat and Laura validated that just two days prior, the grandmother pulled out her oral feeding tube, and a feeding tube had to be put in her stomach.

I was pretty excited that Kat and Laura were getting read. When we arrived in Long Island, Laura had told me that she was hoping to connect with a family friend named Ryan who had been killed just months before in a boating accident. Ryan’s mother was still a wreck. Both Kat and Laura were hoping to deliver a message of hope to Ryan’s mother, and I was also praying for it up until the time we were being read.

Then as if a new spirit had come into the picture, John Edward paused and then asked, “Which one of you has the Tom who’s crossed over.”

Kat and Laura shook their heads ‘no’, so I raised my hand. John looked at me and asked if Kat, Laura and I had come together.

“Yes, we’re all friends,” I said.

“OK... Then Tom must be your Dad because that is how he his coming your Dad.”

“Yes. Tom was my Dad... my Step Dad... but my Dad, you know.”

Those of you familiar with John Edward know that he doesn’t use the term ‘Dad’ too often. He usually says ‘father’ or ‘father figure’ or ‘the male above you’. For John to say ‘Dad’ was an important validation. I only ever called Tom,‘Dad’, never ‘father’. My real father was always, my father.

“He’s also telling me that he became your Dad from when you were very young... like 5 years old or before.”

“He married my Mom when I was about a year and a half old.”

“It’s interesting because although he says that he was your Dad, and I know he was your Dad, it almost feels like there is a brother like bond there. Like you could sometimes be like brothers...”

“I can see that.”

At this point, I wasn’t really sure how to interpret this part of the message. In fact, I was a bit stunned. When John Edward is relaying a message to you, you almost start to have an out of body experience. You’re there, but your brain doesn’t function properly. I guess the Long Island ladies behind me must have experienced the same loss for thought. Now I think I know what John (or Tom) meant by the ‘brother’ comment.

Tom was a jokester and a flirt. When you were with him and he was flirting with the world (men or women), you weren’t just his son, you were his sidekick. Tom elevated you to his level. Also, my older brother Alex and I served as brotherly counsel to Tom during his fights with my mother. Their fights were horrible. My brother and I were more than just mediators. When we spoke to Tom we were like brethren trying to help each other get through a difficult time. Finally, when I was 18, my Mom and Dad divorced, and the relationship between Tom and myself evolved even further along this brotherly road.

I also thought this message could also be a reference to Tom’s oldest son Jim, my older step brother, who was also like a father figure to me growing up. Just weeks before this reading Jim and I resumed our communication and relationship as brothers.

John Edward’s reading continued...

“Now, I don’t know exactly what Tom means by this, but was there was some kind of issue with a name change?

“Yes. He legally adopted me. I had his last name for awhile.”

“Actually, it’s a little bit more than just that. Did you not know that he adopted you? He’s telling me that there was an issue about you not knowing that you had his name or that he adopted you.”

Oh my God! This morning at the Office of Vital Records getting my birth certificate. I had told them my real father’s last name instead of Tom’s. Here was Tom joking with me because I forgot for a moment that he had legally adopted me.

“This morning I went to get my birth certificate because I’m getting married, and I had given them my real father’s last name instead of Tom’s. I forgot that they changed the name on my birth certificate to his instead of my real father’s.”

Then John looked at me rather quizzically, “Did you just have a baby? Or are you going to have a baby?”

“uh... not that I know of, not yet.” I said rather confused. The audience started to laugh and go “Ohhh Ohhh!”

A sudden smile came over John’s face. “Tom says that there is a new baby... if it’s not here yet, then it’s coming.”

I wasn’t sure how to respond to this. Just one week earlier Leigh and I had adopted a one year old puppy, Havana, who we call our little baby, and we’ve been actively trying to have a baby for years, so Tom could have been going either way. I decided it would be too weird to mention the dog.

“My fiancée and I are actively trying to have a baby.”

“Well, guess what. There’s a baby coming. Tom says he’s going to be grandfather. And he also says that he is going to be at your wedding.”

[SIde Note: Leigh and I became pregnant exactly 4 months after this reading and were married 8 months after the reading].

Then, John’s attention drifted away from me for a moment. He looked over at Kat.

“You must be a musician because they are showing me you playing a guitar.”

“Yes. I play guitar.” Kat acknowledged.

“But that must not be the only artistic thing that you do, because they also tell me that you have a second creative passion... like painting.”

“Yes. I am a painter also.”

“They want to tell you thank you for the private music concerts that you give in your room.”

What you need to know here is that 3 years ago, Kat took up the guitar and with some help, taught herself to play. Now she takes her guitar to different schools throughout New Jersey playing musical concerts for little kids. Right before we caught the train out to Long Island, Kat, Laura and I had been talking about just this thing. Laura had been joking that before Kat moved out of the house, Kat drove her nuts practicing her kiddie songs in her room really loudly.

John Edward then switched gears...

“I also have a contemporary here who crosses over real quick, just like that (snapping his fingers). This person could have been a childhood friend.”

At this moment, Kat, Laura and I are thinking, Ok, this is going to be from Ryan who had drowned after a freak boating accident. Laura either did not make the connection at the time, or what John Edward said next did not resonate with her interpretation that it could be Ryan coming through.

John Edward began to elaborate some more, telling a personal story from his own life. He said, “I feel as if the way one found out about this person’s passing was the way that I found out about my friend Nancy’s passing. I had had a reading with a psychic and they told me that my friend Nancy was sending greetings I was dumbfounded because I didn’t have any dead friends named Nancy. My friend Nancy was alive. Then a few days later I went to a sweet sixteen party, and someone at the party came up to me and said, ‘did you hear about Nancy... she died last week.’ So the psychic was right.”

As I sat there listening to John Edward, I was flooded with a familiar feeling. I felt somehow that he was talking to me about my friend Ellie. Ellie was a friend I made my last year in college. We became super close friends in a short amount of time, as if we were lifelong friends. Her friend Nancy was the one who called me when Ellie died. It wasn’t just the name ‘Nancy’, though, that provoked this familiarity within me. It was also the mention of the sweet sixteen party. The connection to death and party resonated strongly with me in regards to Ellie. Ellie died at a wedding. Instantly, just like in the way John snapped his fingers. She had been battling cancer for five years.

In 1990, a month before I moved to New York, Ellie decided to quit chemotherapy. It was destroying her strength. She wanted to enjoy and live life outside of the hospital. A couple of weeks after I arrived in New York, Ellie and I spoke on the phone. She asked me to come back to Texas to be her date at a wedding she was to attend in Austin. I didn’t have the money to return. The night of the wedding, Ellie came to me in a dream. In the dream, I apologizing to her profusely that I couldn’t go with her to the wedding. She told me that it didn’t matter because she had so much fun. At the end of the dream Ellie said, ‘Goodbye. I have to go now.’ The next day, I received a call from Nancy. Ellie was dead. She collapsed right there on the wedding dance floor, swirling around in the hands of my stand-in, a blind date she had met only hours before the wedding.

After telling John Edward about Ellie, John said, “Just know that your Dad is bringing her through.” Then John added...

“There must have been a change of religions associated with your Dad, Tom. He’s saying that there was a major moving away from a religion, but then there was a return back to it .”

“Yes. My Dad belonged to the Christian Science church. He left the religion for many many years, and before he died, he rediscovered his faith.”

I didn’t elaborate in front of the 300 people in that room that night, but I knew what this message meant. My mother was a doctor. In the Christian Science faith, doctors are not looked upon too favorably. When Tom married my Mother he was essentially banished by his own mother. This was always a huge pain in Tom’s heart. Although he spoke to his mother briefly before her death, they never really mended that break. I knew with the message that John was telling me, Tom was letting me know that not only did he reunite with his faith, he reunited with his own mother.

John goes on...

“Tom’s also saying that you share some similar experience with religion. That although you are spiritualist in nature, you have been meandering and searching in and out of different faiths...

It’s true. In more ways than one. My family is 100% Jewish, but other than a brief stint in my youth, I have been a mixed bag of beliefs. Technically, I have been a member of the Spiritualist church for over 20 years, but as of late, I have been checking out other churches because I get frustrated with some of the antiquated ways in which the Spiritualist Church conducts its business. A few weeks before this reading, I finally had recommitted to getting more involved with the Spiritualist Church.

Then dear old Dad had to throw in a joke...

“This is a bit strange, but your Dad is telling me that you are more like a Buddhist.”

I started to laugh. “Uh huh.” What else could I say? No way was I going to try and explain to 300 people how this was Tom joking around with me about those Buddhist classes I took at The Read Cafe back in 1998. I only wish John Edward had said “Buddhist Bystander,” then I could have explained the joke to everyone.

“Your Dad is also letting me know that there are a total of four Toms in the family. ”

“Yes. I think that’s right.”

There was Tom, my Dad, his son, Tommy Lee and his son Tomasito. I figured the fourth Tom must be my Mom’s brother, Thomas.

“How is Sabrina connected to you?”

Sabrina was a mutual friend that Kat and I shared. I acknowledged that we knew who Sabrina was. John didn't have much to add to that name other than to say they wanted to recognize her. Later, after we left the auditorium, Kat let me know that Sabrina had been sexually violated, and that when John had mentioned all those clues at the beginning when he was trying to find out where he needed to go with the messages, the mention of the friend who was sexually violated had made Kat certain that those messages were meant for her, and not the ladies behind us.

“Just know that this is your Dad’s way of letting you know that he’s here and he wants you to make sure to let his family know that he’s there with them as well.”

Then John Edward felt his energy being pulled to the opposite side of the hall. He turned away from our row and searched out another person.

“Somebody has to have a connection to October 10th, or the 10th of a month...”

October 10th is Tom’s birthday, the date my parents filed my birth certificate and the day Leigh and I may just get married. It was Tom’s final way of signing his name to the messages I just had received. No one where John Edward had moved to could place that date in relation to his family. Instead of jumping up and hogging more time from other people hoping to hear from their loved one, I said...

“Thank you, Dad. Thank you for being here for me.”