Temenos Journal II

October 25, 2014

Stranded in Reno

Filed under: Branding,Reno,Writing & Creativity — by Genie Webster @ 9:33 am
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Stranded in Reno

Sign from Genie’s show in front of Harold’s Club in downtown Reno circa 1995

Only one person that I know witnessed the short period of time in the mid-90s when I sang on the street in Reno, Nevada to make a few bucks so that my roommate and I could buy groceries. Now mind you, I was not a kid… I was a 40ish grown woman. We needed immediate cash and that’s what I knew how to do. Susan (my roommate and only witness) was my side kick, percussionist, and promoter.

Being the good citizen that I am, I sought out a policeman on the downtown Reno beat and checked to see if singing for tips on the street would be okay. He pointed me to a spot in front of Harold’s Casino, which had recently closed, but which still had a lot of foot traffic. “You won’t be blocking anyone’s business over there,” he said.

I treated this as any gig… put on my make-up and show costume and went out to give the passersby an entertaining show and hope they would throw tips into my open guitar case at my feet. Most of my songs are finger-picked ballads and at the time I only knew two or three up-beat songs that I could strum. Since there was no amplification, I had to sing songs that were lively, that I could belt out. Well, due to poor planning, I wound up singing the same couple of songs over and over again. It was a windy night, too, and somehow that made this outdoor unplugged gig very exhausting.

Reno attracts a lot of conventioneers and bachelor parties so there were groups of drunk horn-dogs who would gawk and heckle us as they walked by. One obnoxious guy touched my arm and said, “Hey honey, are you working tonight?” Aggravated, I pulled away and hollered at him, “Of course I’m working! What does it look like??” Being brand new to Reno, I didn’t know yet that this was lingo for hiring a hooker.

After three exhausting hours, I counted the change in my guitar case and it was about $30… enough to feed us for a couple of days. But I was utterly exhausted. “This has been the hardest thirty bucks I’ve ever earned,” I said to Susan, who was also exhausted herself from banging a tambourine for three hours in the wind.

The friendly policeman who had given me advice earlier must have seen us sitting on the sidewalk, leaning up against the wall exhausted. He walked up and said, “You’d probably do better if you weren’t dressed nicer than the tourists… You need to look more downtrodden, like him (and he pointed to an apparent bum sitting on a milk crate playing terrible harmonica across the street).

My roommate and I looked at each other and nodded.

We went home and that’s when I created the “Stranded in Reno” sign above. The next night I dressed in ragged jeans and a flannel shirt and I propped the sign up in my guitar case. At first Susan objected because she thought the sign was misleading because it wasn’t true… “false advertising,” she said. She felt better about it when I explained that “Stranded in Reno” was the name of our band.

The cop was right! People not only dropped in more money, but they offered us a place to stay, and we got invitations to get something to eat. One person even stopped by to offer the use of her phone to call long distance to anywhere we wanted (that was in the day before cell phones). About 30 minutes into our show, the harmonica-playing bum came across the street and set up his milk-crate about ten feet down the street from us. “Hey, quit trying to ride on our coattails,” Susan admonished him.

We made $30 again the second night, but it only took us a little over an hour. Which proves three things: 1.) you can’t always judge a book by its cover; 2.) the way you package your product determines your perceived value; and 3.) there will always be opportunistic imitators lurking in the wings.


The Susan in the above story (my best friend/biggest fan/partner in adventure Susan Cerny) inspired the song “Walk the Dream.” She died in 1997, but she was alive every day of her life. Sometimes I still feel her encouragement…..





June 19, 2011

On The Strategy of the Dolphin

Filed under: Business — by Genie Webster @ 5:58 pm
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When I was in business in the 1990s. I was a huge student of the book The Strategy of the Dolphin: Scoring a Win in a Chaotic World, by  Dudley Lynch and Dr. Paul L. Kordis.

The authors brilliantly described how most people approach problems in one of three ways. The “shark” believes that if you win, that means someone loses. And the shark is not going to lose at any cost.

The “carp” believes that he’s never going to win anyway, but he’s going to try to avoid losing. So he doesn’t risk anything, nor does he contribute much of anything either. These are the comfort addicts in our society, the lame ones. The authors believe that 80% of our society is composed of carps.

The third category is the dolphin. The dolphin always goes for the elegant solution. The dolphin believes everybody can win. It’s not too well-known that the dolphin can be deadly to a shark. The dolphin will warn the shark to go away, and then as a last resort, it will circle the shark until the shark becomes dizzy and confused. Then the dolphin will bludgeon the shark to death with its nose. The dolphin will always beat the shark with intelligence and strategy.

The dolphin is an infinite player*, whose primary motive is to stay in the game, but who also wants to keep the game going. The shark is a finite player, who only wants to win the game, even if it means that might mean the end of the game.

The carp watches the game from the sidelines.

*Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility

Related: https://temenos2.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/leap-how-to-think-like-a-dolphin/


October 14, 2016

Why Trump’s accusers didn’t come forward sooner

Filed under: Feminism,Politics,Spiritual Activism — by Genie Webster @ 3:35 pm
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I’m an average middle-aged woman… average looks, average build, above-average intelligence, talent, and competence. I don’t know what the national average is for women who have been degraded and inappropriately toyed with in the workplace, but I can speak from my own experience. It’s happened to me at least three times that I can clearly remember.

Yes, I’ve been fired from a job I loved because I spoke out about inappropriate behavior towards me by the president of a company for which I worked. What he did would not be considered harassment and it was not illegal, but it made me uncomfortable. It made me not want to be in a room alone with him. In retrospect, I regret explaining to my immediate supervisor why I stopped having one-on-one meetings with the boss. The company offered me two months salary when they let me go, but only if I would sign an agreement not to say anything negative about the company. Of course I signed the agreement. I was losing my job and I needed the money.

That’s why we don’t speak up. We know that if it’s our word against his, we will never win. Men in power know that working women can’t usually afford to lose their jobs, so we rarely speak up. We just shake our heads and walk away disgusted, while we look for another job or a way to get out of the situation. Not everyone has the luxury of just walking away from a paycheck.

I’m proud of Trump’s victims coming forward. I understand why they waited. There is strength in numbers. Women’s stories are being validated and perhaps our collective self esteem will be healed from talking about what we’ve had to endure.

Donald Trump, your attitude towards women and the way you’ve treated them is not okay. You are a lousy role model for our sons and brothers. Instead of taking responsibility for your actions and apologizing, you accuse your victims of lying. Just  sit down and shut the fuck up. Or change.


January 1, 2015

Prayer at the (Truckee) River (lyrics)

Filed under: Temenos Journal — by Genie Webster @ 2:53 pm


by Genie Webster

I go down to the river just to find peace of mind.
I hear her in the distance, like wind.
I know that I can trust her, and I know she’ll steal me blind,

And I know I’ll be comin’ back again,
Yes I know I’ll be comin’ back again.

Carry my troubles far away… to the Pyramid*, and
Bring me a clean mountain breeze.
And show me how to move like you with graceful motion
Now that I’m down on my knees,
Now that I’m down on my knees.

*Pyramid Lake

I was standing on that bridge in downtown Reno, by the park,
Where people throw their wedding rings away…
I toss a few regrets in and some memories from the dark
And I watch the river carry them away.
Yes I watch the river carry them away.

Carry my troubles far away… to the Pyramid*, and
Bring me a clean mountain breeze.
And show me how to move like you with graceful motion
Now that I’m down on my knees,
Now that I’m down on my knees.
Sometimes she’s raging fast and sometimes she’s slowin’,
Sometimes she’s high and then she’s low.
But one thing for certain is, she knows just where she’s goin’…
And she’ll tell you anything you want to know,
Yeah, she’ll tell you anything you want to know.

Carry my troubles far away… to the Pyramid*, and
Bring me a clean mountain breeze.
And show me how to move like you with graceful motion
Now that I’m down on my knees,
Now that I’m down on my knees.

Hear the song and/or download: Prayer at the River.


(c) Copyright 1999 Genie Webster. All rights reserved.


Room For You lyrics

Filed under: Temenos Journal — by Genie Webster @ 2:42 pm


by Genie Webster

I’m traveling much lighter these days.
I used to carry my stuff all over the place.
But I made a clean sweep and I didn’t even keep much at all.

Because I want to be able to go
At the drop of a hat… and I already know…
I don’t need a whole lot so whatever I’ve got packs up small.

And when I leave, I won’t make a sound
‘Cause the bags that I carry don’t weigh me down.
And that stone in my shoe, well I’ve let that go too…

Now I have room for you.
I have room for you.
I’m living much simpler these days.
I don’t need cosmetics to put on my face
And I’m down to one pair of boots and you know that suits me just fine.

See I’ve stripped my life down to bare bone.
What you see’s what you get, and you see I’m alone.
But I’ve got a clean slate and that means I create what I like.

And now I’m walking down this brand new road…
And traveling is easy ’cause I’ve lightened my load.
And I’ve got a free hand and time to share too…

Now I have room for you.
I have room for you.


Read the story: On Decluttering

Listen to and/or download: Room For You

Related: Strategy of the Dolphin

(c) Copyright 1999 Genie Webster

October 4, 2014

Surrendering Judgment


Surrendering Judgment

by Paul Ferrini

One of the most important spiritual practices
is to let things be as they are without interpretation,
without embellishment, without judgment.
That immediately gives the ego a coronary.

Imagine telling the ego it cannot judge, compare, interpret?
What then is it going to do?
It doesn’t really know how to do anything else.

As soon as we try to tell the ego not to judge
a whole new layer of judgment comes up.
But that’s why the process is so rich.

From Everyday Wisdom by Paul Ferrini

Surrendering Judgment

Surrendering Judgment

by Paul Ferrini

One of the most important spiritual practices
is to let things be as they are without interpretation,
without embellishment, without judgment.
That immediately gives the ego a coronary.

Imagine telling the ego it cannot judge, compare, interpret?
What then is it going to do?
It doesn’t really know how to do anything else.

As soon as we try to tell the ego not to judge
a whole new layer of judgment comes up.
But that’s why the process is so rich.

From Everyday Wisdom by Paul Ferrini

June 10, 2014

Strawberry Swirled Cheesecake Recipe

Filed under: Recipes,Temenos Journal — by Genie Webster @ 12:46 pm
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This cheesecake is creamy and not too sweet. The recipe was inspired by a quart of overly ripe strawberries which needed to be used up. You can make your own strawberry sauce, like I did, or substitute any flavor of jam.

Strawberry Sauce

  • 1 quart very ripe strawberries, cleaned and hulled
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • sweetener to taste (I used about 1/4 cup agave syrup)
  • 1 T cornstarch for thickening
  • 1/2 cup water

Bring all ingredients (except cornstarch) to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook while stirring often with a fakanál. When berries become soft, mash berries with a potato masher, and add corn starch to thicken. Put aside to cool while cheesecake is prepared (the sauce can be made ahead of time).

Strawberry Swirled Cheesecake

  • (3) 8 oz. packages of cream cheese (softened)
  • (1) 8 oz container sour cream
  • (1) cup sugar
  • (3) eggs
  • (1) Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • (1) graham cracker crust (large)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together softened cream cheese and sugar. Beat eggs with a fork and add to mixture, along with vanilla, then add in sour cream. Pour cheesecake mixture into prepared pie crust. Plop large dollops of strawberry sauce on top of cheese cake. Take a butter knife and swirl the strawberry sauce through cheesecake. Bake for 60-75 minutes… until middle is golden brown. Cool and refrigerate at least six hours before serving.

June 8, 2014

How a cheater cheats

Filed under: Temenos Journal — by Genie Webster @ 9:16 pm
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You know he’s cheating. You want to catch him. A talented womanizer (or manizer) has figured out how to cover their (deceptive) tracks.

First of all, you can bet he has two cell phones. At least one is kept hidden from you at all times. He keeps it in the glove compartment of his vehicle. Or in a box in the spare bedroom. He charges the phones when you are not home, then he takes the batteries out when he is hiding them… just in case you find one.

You know he is still in contact with that other woman, even though he has shown you how he has blocked her from his cell phone. Ha! There are so many ways for the other woman (women?) to reach him via random anonymous phone numbers. Check out the smartphone app “Burner,” for example. You think he’s getting an incoming call from a local number, and it’s really her, calling from another state, disguised behind a phony phone number. They’ve got sneaky ways!

A similar app is called “Hushed.” This one works like Burner, but texts and voice mail messages can be left. It is easy to get a number for, say, Garland, Texas, or from Reno or from any city in the United States. This number works in both directions and can be easily destroyed and replaced with another at any time. The numbers are temporary. This app surely contributes to plenty of shenanigans, all well-known to wo/manizers.

For even more tricks available to cheaters, check out SpoofCard (disguises caller ID) and Slydial (which allows the caller to bypass a phone call and leave a direct voice mail message). Smart cheaters know how to combine these apps so that messages and texts can be left even though the number has been blocked!

Cheaters use secret codes, too, while they sneak around. For example, if you walk in and catch him talking to his secret lover, he will give her the predetermined  code phrase that means “I’ve got to go, she’s here.” He might say something like, “I’ll send you a link to my video” and that will be a secret code.

He might tell you “She means nothing to me,” “She’s crazy,” “She’s stalking me,” etc. In the meantime, he’s telling the other woman that he loves her and he wants to be with her. Yes, really.

What kind of a woman tolerates this?


May 20, 2014

You can’t judge a book by its cover

Filed under: Branding,Business,Reno,Sales,Spiritual Activism — by Genie Webster @ 1:35 pm
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Every time I hear the expression “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” I’m reminded of the smart aleck guy in high school who said, “Well then take your cover off!”

You really can’t judge a book by its cover. I learned that when I was selling motorized scooters to handicapped people in their homes. They would see the “Free Scooter” commercial on TV and they would call the 800 number to see if they qualified. Sometimes they got talked into agreeing to see an in-home salesperson who would try to sell them a scooter (hardly anyone qualifies for a free scooter).

I would get my assignments by email every morning and I would load up my van and go. One morning I got an assignment to visit a woman way up in the hills of Northern California… north of Grass Valley in a very rural area (off Jackass Flats Road — I’m not kidding). I could not find my customer’s address. This area was so remote that I did not get any cell phone coverage… so I had to drive until I could pick up a signal.

When I finally got ahold of my customer, she said that she would meet me at a certain juncture in her pick-up truck, and that I should follow her up the mountain, which I did.

As we were driving up the winding mountain road, I was wondering what on earth I was doing driving a van full of power scooters up the mountain to who-knows-where. After what seemed like 20 minutes or so, my customer finally pulled off the road and parked at what looked like a hippie camp. There were piles of lumber and tents and what looked like a construction trailer.

“We’re living in the trailer while we build our home,” explained the customer, who walked with a cane towards the trailer. “We can meet in here.” She had to make room for me to sit down. Her partner (another woman) joined us and I said to myself “Oh dear lord these poor people will never be able to afford this $3000 scooter.”

The woman had been injured in an accident and wanted the scooter to help her get around the property so that she can build their home. I did my job… I showed her the sales pitch… I gave her a demo ride… and I asked for the order, even though I did not have high expectations of a sale.

The woman excused herself, while she and her partner went to the back of the trailer for a private conference. I started packing up my stuff to head back down the mountain. When the woman returned, she had an envelope with $3000 cash.

You can’t judge a book by its cover!

The next day, I received an assignment to visit a woman who lived south of Reno, in Palamino Valley. My GPS sent me up into the mountains, climbing and climbing up Whiskey Springs Road. I could see a huge house up the mountain. “Eureka!” I thought to myself. “People with money,” I assumed.

The closer I got to the house, the more I saw how huge and well-built it was. The property was more like an estate, with multiple buildings and horses and barns.

When I met my prospect, she was a 60ish woman, who walked with a cane. An elderly woman was sitting in a recliner in the living room. “That’s my mother, who lives here with me. I care for her.”

The further I got into the house, the more I saw how things were a wreck… crayon marks on the walls… debris and junk everywhere. I could hear kids running and playing in the background. “Those are my grandchildren,” the woman explained. “My 40-year old daughter and her children live here with me too.”

Her husband was in a nursing home, recovering from a stroke and she was trying to take care of a household of six people while crippled. She wanted to buy a scooter desperately.

When she was turned down for financing, she cried.

You can’t judge a book by its cover!

Whether it’s in sales or any area in life… Do not impose limitations by jumping to the wrong conclusions too soon.





May 1, 2014

Rock Hall of Fame & my big little brother John

Filed under: Cleveland — by Genie Webster @ 1:03 pm
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My brother John Fudella and I at the Rock Hall of Fame in 2007

My brother John Fudella and I at the Rock Hall of Fame in 2007

My big little brother John and I never really traveled in the same circles growing up. John was always at some kind of sports practice or workout or event and I was always at a rehearsal or a meeting or a pep rally. But John always had a protective attitude towards me and towards all three of his sisters… and we always understood one another at a certain level. Maybe because we were both Scorpios.

One thing we always had in common though was rock & roll music. No matter what we disagreed on… we shared an appreciation for the music of the era.

I moved 2000 miles away to Reno, Nevada in 1995. But I would try to get back to Ohio to visit every year or so. Whenever I visited John, he would secretly slip me a twenty. And when we went to the Rock Hall in 2007, he insisted on paying. That was a fun day.

My brother John remains protective towards me to this day :). And I’m still a big fan of the Rock Hall of Fame… worth the trip to Cleveland!

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