Oklahoma Sun

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Rokki James at the Clearwater Beach Sand Pearl Resort this morning. Rokki James, born Andres Archontakis, changed his name at the recommendation of his agent, Richard Heckenkamp. Richard told him “No one is going to remember that name!”. So, Rokki named himself after his mentor, Rocco Paskidlis, a senior in high school when Rokki was a freshman. Rokki said Rocco was the toughest guy he’d ever met. A boxer and kickboxer, Rocco was a legend in the  Underground fight scene in Tampa, Florida.

Rokki was a wrestler in high school, but an altercation at the beach, where he suffered 200 blows to the head, lead Rokki to take up boxing. He started training at the 4th St. Boxing Gym in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Growing up, Rokki admired 3 Martial Artists: Bruce Lee, Brandon Lee, and Don “The Dragon” Wilson, the 11-time world champion kickboxer who was also from Florida.

After graduating high school, Rokki moved to New York City, to work as a bouncer at CBGB’s, the undisputed birthplace of punk, and, according to Rokki, a “Dangerous place to work.” Rokki lived with a musician friend that he described as looking like Steven Segal by day (Hair slicked back in a ponytail, suit) and “Slash” by night.

In the early 1990’s, a job offer took Rokki to Chicago. For the next four years, Rokki worked in advertising, and modeling, while training at The Windy City Boxing Gym. At 152 pounds, Rokki modeled suits for Marc Jacobs on the runway. He was able to save enough money to move to LA, and not be broke.

When I asked Rokki what made him decide to become an actor, he said that he loved reading Shakespeare. He would practice reading scripts like “Swingers” and “Pulp Fiction” with his friends, and they encouraged him to move to LA to pursue a career in acting.

So, Rokki packed up his pick-up and headed for California. He first lived in Beachwood Canyon near the Hollywood sign, and while in a bar, recognized an actor, bought him a drink, and was introduced to a manager, who bought him dinner, and introduced him to his agent, Richard Heckenkamp. Rokki credits Richard for teaching him everything he knows about “the business”.

Richard asked for Rokki’s “headshots”, and immediately ripped them up and threw them in the garbage. He instructed Rokki to buy a certain book on acting, and when Rokki showed it to him, Richard took a black marker, and drew a line through each page. Rokki was in shock, as he’d paid good money for the book. Richard told him “I saved you thousands of dollars later”.

While working out at GOLD’s GYM, Rokki met Mark Walberg. Rokki had known a friend of Mark’s, Bobby Dee, while living in Chicago. Bobby told Rokki if he ever ran into Mark, to let him know he was OK, as Bobby had been in Desert Storm.

Mark also gave Rokki some good advice: Don’t go to nightclubs trying to make friends, the friends you meet in acting class will be your friends. Rokki says he stays in touch with them to this day.

Rokki said his biggest achievement to date was when he landed a role in “Paying Mr. McGetty”, and got to work with one of  his martial arts idols, Don “The Dragon” Wilson.











Crazy works…

I became a distributor for those body wrap things, because the interest generated so rapidly at the mere mention of it! I signed on around March 9th, I had my first “wrap” party 2 weeks later, and got 3 “Loyal Customers”. Then, the problems began…

Loyal customer number 1 got her full order right away. Loyal customer number 2 got a partial order, mailed to the wrong address. She wanted it mailed to her place of work, but oh, no, they couldn’t do that, it had to go to her “home” address. We still don’t know where the other portion of her order is. Loyal Customer number 3 STILL hasn’t gotten her order. Oh, whoops, my “up line” forgot to inform us that it was on “back order” until April 22nd. Oh, you don’t really MIND, do you? After all, you’ve already been charged, and gotten your bill, but no product. Don’t worry, it’ll come…

And then, there was MY order. Since I was a new distributor, and not really savvy about it all, I let my “up line” order for me. She said she’d put in my order as of the first of April, because I’d already fulfilled my obligation (order) for the month of March. OK, so I have this special event coming up on May 7th, and I was hoping I’d “drop a size” by then. So, I waited. And I waited. Finally, I called my “up line” and she said “WHOOPS! I forgot to put your order in!” (It was already April 8th by then).

In the meantime, she informed me that I had a “paycheck” waiting. I got an email instructing me how to get my “paycheck”. So, I could either have it deposited directly to my checking account (Me, being old, thought I’d have to send them a “voided” check or something) so I chose the “gift card” method. Now, they took out $4 from my “paycheck” for the gift card (Shipping?). In addition to that, they also charge you $1 per month for your paycheck or your account site, or whatever they call it…

You also get charged $20 per month for your “website”. Oh, and don’t forget your “Auto ship”, you must order a certain amount of volume per month! Usually about $120 worth of product, but if you pick and choose carefully, it’s only around $106! So, let’s figure $113 a month for “volume”, another $20 for your “esuite”, and $1 for your account site. $134 a month. You’d better figure on selling a lot of this product in order to even “break even”!!!

Oh, did I mention it was $114 to sign up (Of course, you get 4 of these body wrap things with your “kit”, which includes 2 catalogs, 1 “inspirational” magazine, a rubber wrist band, and some cards.)

Today I got my order of the powdered “greens” (4.5 ounces for $33) and some more body wrap things. Never mind that I had to cancel the order I really wanted, because I was not going to be here in time to do any good for my May 7th event…

I’m already “In the hole” for about $241, minus the $40 profit I have made. How much more will I have to spend, before I “break even”? I’m sorry I ever signed up for this MLM (Multi-level Marketing).

I’m not saying it’s a bad product, but if I could do it all over again, I’d become a “loyal customer” and NOT a distributor!!!! As a “loyal customer” you’re only hooked in for 3 months, and you don’t have to order a certain amount of “volume”.

Oh, and by the way, I haven’t lost an ounce, or an inch, so far….


Handing out Poison for Halloween

Big news of the day is the woman in North Dakota who intended to pass out letters (instead of candy) to children she deemed “moderately obese”. I can’t think of a meaner way to harm a child on Halloween, except for passing out real poison, rather than just “poison pen”.
I was one of those chubby children, who, between the ages of 10-12, got rather “obese”. I’ve seen this happen with lots of children. It’s called “puberty”. It’s hormonal, not the overeating of candy, or lack of exercise. A few years ago, I was taking dance lessons at a studio where 2 of the children that performed one year (short and chubby) at the recital, came back tall and lean the next. I hardly recognized them! The boy went from being shorter than me, to towering over my head! The girl not only “leaned out”, she was even prettier!
I was “Mind F*cked” as a child by other children, relatives, and random adults who made unkind remarks about my weight. I was compared to my female cousins (Who I later found out, weren’t even blood related to me, so my genes weren’t even the same as theirs), while adult relatives had no qualms about saying things in front of me like “I’m only going to let MY daughter have about 1 candy bar a week, so she won’t get FAT, like you!” or “I hope (Female Cousin’s name here) doesn’t get FAT, like Debbie!”.
Remarks like this were so scarring, I can’t help but wonder if it is part of the reason I didn’t turn out to be more successful in life. No husband, no children, a less than successful career, an under-achiever. Perhaps I never felt “good enough”?
In spite of the fact that I “leaned out” in Junior High, and was even below the normal weight for my height, I was always trying to “lose weight”. Of course, back in those days, the only way we knew how to lose weight was to either starve ourselves, or drink TAB (The diet soda of the times) all day, and nothing else.
During my 20’s, I fluctuated 10 pounds. In fact, I could drop 10 pounds in 2 weeks. Not good for one’s metabolism, I’ve since learned.
Even Doctors are guilty of “mind f*cking” me. A few years ago, I was going to a woman doctor, thinking she would be sympathetic to my weight issue, but she just told me (Condescendingly, no less) “Now Debbie….START exercising!”. I SCREAMED at her over the phone: “I have 2 gym memberships! When I’m not at 1, I’m at the other! I’m a tap dancer, bike racer, race walker, equestrienne, martial artist….what kind of exercise would you like for me to START doing?!!!”.
Another woman doctor, refused my request for the “saliva test” to determine if I had a hormonal imbalance. She was one of the few doctors in my City that does Bioidentical Hormonal Replacement Therapy. She told me to cut back on my eating. She didn’t even know what I was eating…or not eating. She couldn’t tell me what I should be eating, just that “healthy foods are fattening, too”. Brilliant.
I’m still flogging the dead horse that happened to me just a couple years ago, when my roommate’s friend stayed at my house for a few days. She went on and on about an old photo of me on the wall, and how it was “A shame you don’t look like that anymore!”. People have no manners.
Back to this horrid woman in ND that intends to hand out poison pen letters to children she deems obese….she needs a psychiatric evaluation, in my opinion. I’d be willing to bet she has had a weight problem in the past. Like a reformed smoker, they are the worst about judging others who have the same problem they had. All I can say to this poor (evil) woman is: GET A LIFE and leave other people’s children alone! If you don’t want to pass out candy, DON’T! And if you insist on giving out treats, give out something healthy, like apples.

Picking up Strays

A few years ago, while I was on a walk through the park with an old friend I’d known since I was 20, she told me “You’ve got to stop picking up strays”. She wasn’t talking about dogs or cats, she was talking about people. People who had no friends (I would always find out later why they had no friends…usually due to some psychosis).

In college, I had a friend named “Kym”, who I met through the other horse enthusiasts at the local University. We were actually “thrown” together by other girls who didn’t want to hang out with us, because we wore make-up, curled our hair, and dressed up to go to functions while the other girls wore their old jeans, cowboy boots, and basically had hay in their back pockets. God forbid the guys pay attention to us and not them!

Kym was a pretty girl, 5’8″, blonde hair, and blue eyes. She looked like she had the world at her feet. Kym didn’t come from a family with money, in fact, she came from a broken home (Which was a little more unusual back then), and she talked about her Mother being so tight, she’d turn down the hot water heater temperature to save money (I do this now!).

Kym always managed to get kicked out of her apartment about 3 weeks before the end of the semester (Not paying her rent?) and she’d move in with me, lock, stock, and barrel. It drove my Mom crazy, with all of Kym’s stuff in the living room. Looking back, my Mom never should have allowed it.

Kym was always criticizing me, as though she was trying to “help” me by pointing out my faults. According to her, I didn’t dress right, wear the right color of lipstick, etc. Kym had the power of manipulation. She knew how to work her way in.

After she’d moved home (A small town in Northern California), she got a job at a Credit Union, and was doing pretty well, until they found out she hadn’t gotten her Bachelor’s Degree. So, back to the local University here to finish up. She got a roommate, who happened to have a cat. The roommate insisted on leaving the Air Conditioning on all day, for the cat. Kym told her she could pay 2/3rds of the Electric bill, then. The roommate didn’t like that idea, and told Kym to leave.

This time, my Mother put her foot down, and said Kym was not going to stay at our home. It wasn’t the “Lock, stock and barrel” that bothered my Mom, it was the way Kym tried to manipulate me.

Kym called me one day, and was saying that a certain department store’s models in the TV commercials were “Ugly”. I was a model for that store, and in the commercials. Then, she had the nerve to ask if she could move in with me the last few weeks of the semester. I didn’t say a word. She went on talking about how she didn’t have a place to live, and couldn’t afford a hotel room. I remained silent. She finally said “I’M HOMELESS!”. I didn’t say a word. I also never heard from her again.

When my roommate first moved in, it was a temporary situation where the apartment complex she lived in was being upgraded, and she didn’t want to stay in the complex everyone had been moved into. The second night she was here, one of her “strays” came calling. The “stray” is sort of a Hippie-mountain-chick who works a seasonal (State) job in the mountains, and collects unemployment the rest of the year.

Ms. Hippie-mountain-chick offered to give me a massage in exchange for letting her stay on my couch. While giving me the massage (She is a licensed massage therapist, otherwise, I would not have agreed to it), she spotted an old photo of me on the wall at my “fighting weight” (That’s after a woman has had a bad break up, be it a divorce, or other relationship, and basically starves herself thin), and said “You were in such good shape in that picture, it’s a SHAME you don’t look like THAT anymore!”.

I should have asked her to leave right then and there, but not wanting to make my new roommate uncomfortable, I just let it go. Ms. Hippie-mountain-chick ended up crashing on my couch for SEVEN nights! After three nights, I should have either asked her to leave, or started charging her rent! On the last night Ms. Hippie-mountain-chick was here, she repeated her insult to me about how it’s a shame I don’t look like I used to (In a 15-some-odd-years-old photo), only this time, my roommate heard her say it, too. I went down to my room, and the next thing I knew, Ms. Hippie-mountain-chick came right into my room, uninvited, and wrapped her arms around me from behind. I ignored her. She left the next day. I let my roommate know, in no uncertain terms, that her “friend” is not welcome here, anymore.

Recently, I ran into an old school chum I’d known since the 7th grade. She was one of the “popular” girls, a cheerleader, swimmer, dancer, etc. I was at a coffee house trying to have a conversation with a friend, when she came walking up and invited herself to sit with us. She dominated the conversation, and finally, my other friend left. The old school chum turned to me with tears in her eyes, and said she was “Homeless”.

I got that “Uh Oh” feeling, and explained that I didn’t have any room, as I have a small house, and a roommate. That didn’t phase her, she said “If I could just sleep on your couch, if I could just put my head on a pillow for the night…”. I could see she was desperate, and wasn’t going to give up. I felt trapped.

So, she followed me home. Then, she unloaded her suitcase from her car, and proceeded to use my laundry room to wash everything in her suitcase. As we sat and talked (until 11:00pm, and I had to get up early and go to work the next morning) she talked about her church. I asked her why she couldn’t go to her church for help. She said she couldn’t let them see her like that. ???? Isn’t that what churches are for?

I finally went to bed, and she slept on the couch. The next morning, I gave her $10 to get some gas in her car, a cup of coffee (for the road) and she told me “I’ll leave at 10:30”. I explained that she would have to leave at 7:00am, the same time I did.

That night, she came back, just like the stray cat you make the mistake of feeding. So, I let her in, and this time, she walked right down the hall to my roommate’s room and flopped on the bed. I told her she would have to sleep on the couch again, in case my roommate came home (my “roommate” was actually living at her boyfriend’s house, she just kept her stuff here).

The old school chum refused, and said “If she comes home, I’ll go back on the couch”. Now, who argues when being offered a couch when they have no place else to go?! This woman was starting to scare me.

The next morning, she was talking about how I had a “fortune” in old record albums. She had been going through my stuff in the middle of the night! And….I noticed that a $20 from my wallet was missing.

I got really scared, and talked to a friend about it. My friend informed me that I was a “prisoner in my own home”, and not to let the woman back in. I had to call the police the next night when she came knocking. I told them that she was homeless, and I feared needed medication, but couldn’t afford it.

They showed up and told her to leave as she was banging on my door. She sent me a furious text. I deleted it before reading all of it.

I don’t think I’ll be “picking up strays” ever again!

Adult Bounce Houses

My Chiropractor once said to me “Any time you fence in an area, and pour alcohol down the middle, you have an adult bounce house”. He was referring to the events that occur around here every Spring and Fall, sometimes known as “Springtini” or “Falltini”. You buy a ticket for $20 (or $30 if you wait until the day of the event) and the event usually starts around 5:00PM. It’s held in a large shopping area parking lot, and is fenced in by hurricane fence. Local vendors set up booths, some serving alcohol, some serving food, some giving out free samples of their wares, such as shampoo or earrings.

I’ve gone to some of these events, usually on a “comp” ticket, because I’m not really into alcohol, nor am I into bumping into (or should I say “being bumped into”) by a bunch of barely turned 21-year-olds, who either yell at me for being in their way, or try to start a fight, or puke in front of me because they’ve had too much to drink.

While standing in line waiting for the gate to open at one of these events, I started talking to a group of youngsters (big mistake) about why people in this town think they need to ride around in stretch limos. In LA, most people take Town Cars, not STRETCH limos. One of the smart-assed b*tches with the group (without looking at me) said “Well….this isn’t LA!!!”. No Sh*t, Sherlock. I had that figured out before you were born!

One of the local restaurants has a limo service from the restaurant, so that you’ll have some place to park your car (as most of the parking lot, where the event is taking place, is taken up by the fenced-in area). I was fortunate to have the limo all to myself on the way over, but when I called for the driver to come and pick me up, a couple of women (older than me) jumped in ahead of me.

The bleached blonde old broad grabbed the door handle on the passenger side for the front seat, and then made some slurred remark to me. I told her “That’s OK, the important people always ride in the back, anyway!”. She slurred (loudly) all the way back to where our cars were parked. I hurried and got out of there, before she had a chance to get into her vehicle and cause danger on the road.

I’m at the “age” where I like to go to lounges, early in the evening, for one drink, while talking with friends. I think I’ll leave the “Adult Bounce Houses” to the kids….

Doctor Damages

If you run into someone else’s car, you’re expected to pay for damages. Does the same go for a Dermatologist that leaves a deep scar on the side of your face from a totally unnecessary “surgery”?

A few years ago, I went to a Dermatologist for a routine skin check. He noticed some plugged sebaceous glands on my face, and asked if I wanted them removed.  These are the little “doughnut” shaped bumps that sometimes appear on your face from build up in your sebaceous glands. Not knowing what was going to happen, I let him take one. Thank God I didn’t let him do more.

Thinking that I heal very quickly and have rarely had a scar from anything, I figured the little “hole” left by the removal would eventually “fill in”. Not so. Here I am, with a disfiguring scar on my face, which not only causes me to be self-conscious, it has had a negative affect on my social life. (What guy wants to be seen with a woman that looks like she’s had an ice pick taken to the side of her face?).

I really noticed the scar when I started making my TV show, and the HD cameras made the scar look like the Grand Canyon. I can’t sit on the guest’s left, where I should be sitting, so that I can see the clock and tell when it’s time to wrap it up. My left is also my “good side”, or at least it was, before the hideous scar.

What would you do if you were in my situation? Would you go back to the Dermatologist and ask if he can-or is willing to-do something about it? Would you let him try to do something, or insist that you be sent to a plastic surgeon? What can you do if he’s not willing to attempt to do anything about it?

If he doesn’t at least try to “make good” on it, should I just blast him all over the Internet, so that it doesn’t happen to some young woman, ruining her chances for marriage and children? What is my responsibility here?