Christ Lutheran Church in Valencia has long been blessed by a remarkable head pastor. "Joe the Pastor" is one of those scholar pastors whose sermons are nothing short of poetry - and appeal equally to the mind as well as the heart.
There I was, shaking my hips, waving my arms and grinning maniacally when it suddenly hit me: Ellen DeGeneres is dancing next to me and the cameras are on us!
Candidate Carole Lutness sat punctually at the table, waiting for Carrie and I to arrive for a lunch meeting. Carole had asked to get together to explain her candidacy for Assembly District 38.
With Obama's presidential victory, Democrats have taken the first step toward turning the economy around and launching us on a path to recovery. Although we are still facing some very trying times, we should soon be able to make the changes we so desperately need.
As I survey the wreckage of the last election, I am reminded of other great disasters: Hurricane Katrina, local wildfires, the Northridge earthquake, or Gary Horton's most recent column reporting on last Thursday's meeting of the Friends of Fidel Coffee Klatch at Starbucks.
It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone reading this "Right Here, Right Now" column to find out I am a faithful and proud Republican.
For me, gratitude comes in waves, and I was bowled over earlier by a simple gift. At the crossroads of my country flirting with socialism, with a helmet-headed Illinois governor flaunting his power like Caligula, with O.J. going to jail until his 90s, I noticed something.
I love the rainy, gloomy weather this weekend. It almost "feels" like the holidays, doesn't it?
Holiday Light Tour 15
In his epic historical novel "War and Peace," Leo Tolstoy likened Napoleon and other "leaders" of great historical movements to a jungle monkey that accidentally falls out of his tree perch onto the back of a rampaging elephant, and then through the ultimate act of hubris convinces himself that he controls the movement of the elephant crushing everything in its path even though he hangs on for dear life.
Out of the millions of women celebrating childbirth this week, one really takes the cake: 70-year-old Rajo Devi of India.
Be it his chicken-in-every-pot oration at the DNC or his refusal at the Ole Miss debate to be fiscally responsible by amending his 21st century "Great Society" to-do list - despite the $700 billion drain on the treasury that he may inherit - I have only one question for Barack Obama: How in the free world will he be able to fund the infinite throng of assurances that he has asked America to bank on?
Youth make a difference
During the upheaval of the 1960s, Republican Richard Nixon, the conservative of his day, liked to refer to the "silent majority."
Several weeks ago I attended a particularly sad funeral.
It's the season for pumpkins and ghosts and goblins, galore! It's also time to head out to Lombardi's up Bouquet Canyon in Saugus. Devastated by the Buckweed Fire last year, Lombardi's is back - and just as good as ever. Why not head out there this weekend and celebrate a Santa Clarita Valley institution?
You're familiar with the noise America has heard for a long time. It will continue, but it's easily unmasked.
The official arrival of summer is just weeks away. If you listen closely, you will soon be able to hear kids all over town chanting that classic phrase: "school's out for summer!"
Pulled out the paper this bright Monday morning and started reading. Of course, I have my bagel with strawberry cream cheese, oat bran cereal and tall glass of orange juice at the ready. I know how to start my holiday day.
While I was not yet living when it was fought, World War II has shaped so much of the world in which I have lived. It framed the whole idea of valor and courage and sacrificial service. And it wasn't only those who served in uniform who experienced the war, and felt that they played a vital part in bringing about a good and swift conclusion to it. In truth, we were a nation at war. Soldier and civilian were on the same team, working for a common goal, with mutual respect and honor.
I have watched helplessly in recent weeks and months with a growing sense of alarm, fearing that our generation is witnessing the death of one of the most vital pillars of liberty: the freedom of individual thought and the free exchange of ideas. While it's true that the First Amendment only protects people from government reprisals for speaking freely, social media and mass media lynch mobs are just as much a danger in a free society as any oppressive government.
Memorial Day is almost here and that means a three-day weekend for most Americans. The annual holiday in honor of the brave men and women who've died serving our country to keep us safe and free is also considered the unofficial start of summer! Flags will be raised in honor of those we've lost, while families and friends will gather for backyard barbeques, lawn games, and poolside fun.
Followers of this column know that five weeks ago my daughter Katie was struck by a motorcycle in India. Katie suffered severe traumatic brain injury; required emergency cranial surgery, was comatose two days, spent six days in the ICU, and subsequently required 16 further days of hospitalization to recover sufficiently well for the 24 hour jet trip back home. Landing at LAX, Katie immediately spent two days at UCLA for a thorough work up, followed by one month of outpatient cognitive and occupational rehab. Five days ago, virtually fully recovered,