The All Boys Club

stadiumOn Friday, September 12, 2014, The New York Times ran a front page article entitled, “Ray Rice Is an Outlier: Most Suspects Play On.” Albeit a female, the reporter had to “stick to the script,” only giving an account of the facts as she had researched them; keeping any, and all opinions to herself. This makes me extremely happy I live in America where I – little old me – can make my voice heard. In this piece, she cited three different instances where professional athletics abused their wives/girlfriends. A pitcher from the Philadelphia Phillies assaulted his wife, witnesses saying he hit her in the face and pulled her hair; a goaltender with the Colorado Avalanche, a National Hockey team kicked his girlfriend to the floor, stomping her in the chest. Lastly, she mentioned a defensive lineman with the San Francisco 49ers who also abused his expectant fiancée.

Let me first of all say, there are women down the line in administration in these organizations, but I believe they do not, and will never have a say in what clearly are, “All Boys’ Clubs.” We are well aware, these associations are set a part from the court systems, and I’ve read that any one group will not hand out any strict punishment until a Judge has handed down his, or her decision. In this I completely disagree. As one is not contingent on the other, why wait for a judicial ruling? Without question, there has to be a “NO TOLERANCE” attitude taken on by any league, because otherwise, isn’t the meaning one of clear condoning? My simple message: Domestic violence of any sort is reason for dismissal – not only from the team, but from the alliance. I have also read somewhere along the way that coaches are willing to forgive and forget, because a particular player is such a value to his team. As always, I’m left reminding, and asking anyone if they would allow some guy to abuse their sister or daughter? Would you then, say – “Well, you know he is a good provider, and he loves her.” When does violence spell L – O – V – E?

Yes, every country is proud of their professional sports teams; this has been since Greek Olympic games, or what have you held at the Colosseum in Greece, or Italy. But, to allow a player to suit up, or even come into the stadium, because a verdict has not been made by any court system is, in my opinion, beyond shocking. It is my belief, if you mess up, you’re gone. And, don’t anyone try to explain why this person is such an asset to the team – he’s the best at whatever – if he abuses his wife, or girlfriend that moves him backward in development. You cannot put a price on a woman’s sanity, safety, and well being. I have read conflicting research, indicating that low self-esteem is not a reason why some women tolerate this type of behavior, and others that definitely link the disorder to accepting abuse. I have to say again, how can any one stable person describe this kind of mistreatment as love.

Have the women who ran along the streets of Baltimore in support of “their” team, stepped back for even a minute to remember the then girlfriend knocked unconscious, and dragged shamefully along the floor, while the world stood by as witness? We know this type of man is acting out what he has seen growing up through the years, and that he has absolutely no respect whatsoever for any female. But, shame on these #27 jersey wearing people, because they too have condoned this outrage. Ray Rice told the Entertainment & Sports Programming Network (ESPN), “We have a lot of people praying for us.” I say we all pray that this young woman’s eyes are opened, because if she’s been abused once, it’s only a matter of time before it’s revisited. Tell me what you think.

Information from Deadspin, NY Times, ESPN & CBS News

 

Another Celebrity Gone to Soon

micFor days now, we’ve been bombarded with news and information regarding Robin Williams. When the news broke last Monday evening, I, with hubby sat and watched FOX News, a real rarity for me. The next shocking thing to happen involved my welling up with tears. I do not want to be compared to the unstable Miley Cyrus who admitted that she couldn’t stop crying, but yes, I surprised myself. I think that definitely speaks of the person for whom the tears are shed. I gave it some thought and realized that yes, many of us grew up with this celebrity. With all the tears that have fallen, I’m left asking and wondering if this troubled soul even knew what an impact he made on a nation; on the world.

I have to go back to Mork & Mindy, or the early days of stand-up on Home Box Office. Then, he also had his hand in Comic Relief, also broadcast on HBO. Last Monday night I sent a tweet, naming my favorite movie/comic showcase. I listed those routines on HBO, and the movie, Moscow on the Hudson. Then, the next day I listened as his other works were mentioned: Popeye, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting, What Dreams May Come. At that point, I admitted, how can you choose? The list goes on and on making it, I believe for me, way to difficult for a solid decision. By the way, did anyone notice the movie, Moscow on the Hudson never received any mention by the media? Maybe the time we’re in, huh?

There has been so much talk since this happened with regard to depression, suicide, and drug abuse. But, as we look back, and catch pictures of Mr. Williams with fans who were pure strangers, and although possibly struggling, he still took the time to say thank you for your support – never turning anyone away. That in itself is a true gift. Think of how you feel when and if you are depressed, or simply sad about something – talking to anyone, even going out of the house is sometimes a serious struggle. How then, can you put on a smile and meet your day. I would say that takes commitment and much practice. I’ve heard through the years, that you have to deliberately train yourself to do this. Doing it every day, day after day until it becomes habit. Also, when you do something usually for thirty (30) days (the magic number), it then sticks with you. And that, my friend, is the way to get it down in your soul.

One of my twitter followers sent a tweet last week from a site, “Care2.” This site commemorates Robin Williams’ life by asking their visitors to share their memories. There you can also sign your name to a card that will be used to thank suicide hotline volunteers. Personally, I believe this is a great way to bring attention to the devoted people who spend their time trying to help other distressed hearts. Please take a walk over and add your name. I’ve already done so.

Info provided by Wikipedia & IMDB

Most Sought After Job

hot-dog-free-vector-art-800x565Each year as colleges/universities send out the next batch of contributors to society, there is always a new profession on the hot plate. This has stood true through the ages, and straight up to today; with each decade. In the Forties this country had gone to war, meaning an abundance of jobs were available in factories. The Fifties and Sixties also secured work for the general public in manufacturing, construction work and women – moved out of the kitchens, and into the office. Granted this does not cover what a person’s favorite work would have been. My statistics only cover available positions. I can imagine, however, someone in town wanting to become President, or the local Physician. But, thinking back, with each group charging the work force, there has always been complaints of : “There isn’t anything in my field.” That phrase always crops up. So don’t let any numbers fool you – from the Sixties right up until yesterday. Now, can you recall what you wanted to do since the age of…..oh, I don’t know…..four?

With all that in mind, in 1936 the nephew of Oscar Mayer – Carl G. Mayer – created the very first version of what is known as the “Wienermobile.” If you live in America you are aware of this fun looking vehicle that’s driven from city to city. The reason for this hot dog mobile – to promote and advertise Oscar Mayer products, of course. I do understand, in 1969 it even made it all the way to Europe. Now, although that first model came off the line with just enough room for one driver, the new versions have voice activated GPS, an audio center with a wireless microphone, and a horn that plays the wiener jingle – remember that? It plays an array of genres from Cajun to Rap, and everything in between. By way of history, there are eight (8) vehicles in existence, but only six (6) full-sized.

To the fun stuff. In 1988 the company instituted the “Hotdogger Program.” That is what the driver of one of these icons is called, a Hotdogger. But, there are requirements. You must be a United States citizen, and a college senior ready to graduate. This, the most sought after job in the nation, is only for one year; applicants can expect their employment to run from June 1st of one year to the following June 1st. Imagine this on your resume? I’d liken the experience to traveling around Europe for one year, “finding myself,” right? I think somewhere, long ago, I may have caught sight of one of these mobiles around town. And, if you’ve ever run into one of stardom anywhere, this Wienermobile works the same; even though you’re right out of college, driving this vehicle catapults you to celebrity status. It produces frenzied waves, and squeals of delight like a small child, while jumping up and down. Even while trying to keep your own car in the road as you attempt to get the driver’s attention. Who would believe that, but it’s true. Again, we humans are strange animals, yes?

This odd, but delightful American icon has stood the test of time, even if it did have to be parked for a while in World War II – all because of fuel consumption. This, however, is one thing I’d like to go back in time to achieve. After all, doing so has to give a person the impression of contributing to the uplifting of this country’s citizens, don’t you think? Even if it is a mere hot dog. I’m sure nephew Carl had no idea how much ruckus his machine would cause throughout the years. Has all this talk of hot dogs made you hungry? It’s made me hungry. You know where I’m going, yes? And, I need it grilled with mustard and relish, or maybe chili, cheese and onions. Oh, yum. Okay, that’s all until next time.

Info courtesy of Fox News, Hotdoggerblog.com & You Tube

No Man’s Land

Cheshire_Regiment_trench_Somme_1916

I read somewhere recently that you are to write what your readers want to read. Further, they noted that if you do not, then you might be the only one reading your blog. But, who out there knows that I love World War II history? I said all of that to say, because of this WWII thing, you have to know that if at any time I learn any new information, or find a new show on television I have to share. Well….did I ever find a new series. It’s on the History Channel entitled “World Wars,” have you seen it? Since I just found it, I have to play “catch up.” Last Sunday, I watched the first episode which began with WWI in 1914. Were you aware that although many countries were to blame for beginning this war, Germany too, played a part. What I learned in this show, and the fact I need to share set my head spinning. Of course, this is concerning the most infamous monster of the early twentieth century, Adolph Hitler. Unfortunately, I do believe this had to serve as the very first incident that proved providence in this fiend’s mind.

Have you heard the name Henry Tandey? I had not, because I’ve never watched, or read anything really with regard to WWI. I did read A Farewell to Arms, but that had nothing to do with history. This Ernest Hemingway story simply involved a love affair, with WWI as a backdrop. Moving on, Mr. Tandey served as a foot soldier in a British regiment, and received a Distinguished Conduct Medal, and a Victoria Cross for his service. I sat, mouth agape as I listened to the happening involving Hitler and Tandey. Hitler, in case you didn’t know served as a messenger during this war; having to run notes, and orders, or what have you to the different stations in an elaborate labyrinth of trenches. These ditches served as sleeping, and eating quarters for the soldiers – foreign as well as for the allies. The grounds up above, and between the two canals were called “No Man’s Land.” Hitler moving through No Man’s Land carrying a message, runs into Henry Tandey. Henry had his rifle aimed, and from what I understand, Hitler never raised his gun. After a few seconds, what did Henry do? He lowered his rifle, allowing every future event we know of, fruition. The historian explaining the event said, “Imagine how history would have been changed if he (Henry) had only pulled the trigger.

Then, my brain began running all of the different scenarios on just how everything would have been different, and wondering what he thought later on once the atrocities began. Think about it. I would love to know if there were any journals, or letters belonging to Henry putting his emotions to paper. I have to say, put yourself in his position. Would you get to a point where you couldn’t even turn your head to peek as you walked by the mirror? Would you have this conversation with yourself on a daily basis,

“Could I have prevented this? Why didn’t I pull that trigger? But, how could I have known? What made me spare his life? Could it have been divine providence? But, how could a direction of human affairs by God involve such violence?”

Unfortunately, none of us will ever know, and I must say – I am very happy I never had to live with something of this magnitude on my conscience. Can you imagine? But, as I think more about it, could Henry have not known? At first I thought there may have been the possibility he didn’t connect any of this. But, it had to be him that informed someone – yes? So, he had to have known. Which takes me back to my original observation. In some way, I would have almost experienced guilt as though I had a small part in all this, wouldn’t you think? Like the driver of the trains, almost. All I can add here is the old adage, “Sorry it was you Henry, but glad it wasn’t me.” Any thoughts?

Info courtesy of History Channel, Wikipedia & Amazon

Cursive Threatened to Become Hieroglyphic

12488847_sI heard this question asked of someone the other day, which made me shake my head back and forth. Then, when I did the research for this piece, I wagged my head even more. Back in 2011 there had been much talk of cutting cursive writing from the curriculum by many school districts. We older people may have the biggest problem with this, since we couldn’t pass from one class to another without the knowledge of said art. Although, in speaking to a sixteen year old, she also finds this ridiculous, since she mandatorily had to be able to write before she could be promoted. But, I’m left asking, will the absence of this teaching turn our young people into the new pioneers? Having to sign documents with a simple “X.” I still have that special note paper tucked away that I’d use on occasion to drop a friend a note; just to let them know I had them on my mind.

I read of two young people having difficulty reading a journal belonging to their deceased grandmother. One of them said, “It was kind of cryptic,” and they had to decipher it by reading the passages back and forth between each other. A Director from the University of Central Arkansas taught a class last summer. He asked the students in that particular class to raise their hands if they wrote in cursive. No one did. The two students with the deceased grandmother were a part of this class. Have we gone that far in the future where a simple found note to someone’s friend, has become like hieroglyphics on a stone wall? A few weeks ago, I asked a question in a tweet, and I also posted it to facebook. My question – Who kept a journal? Not surprising, most who responded in the affirmative, were my writing buddies. Yes, I know, when you’re driving, and you have a thought, you can speak it into your devices nowadays, but journaling my thoughts, fears, and aspirations by typing on some computer screen, is definitely unnatural for this writer.

I have one reader who homeschools her children; Marilla Zerbert of RillaWriter. Depending on which state you live, there is a part of the school program you are required to follow. However, there is also a rule exempting a family from this. I know of the law, because the attorney I now work with helped write it. I don’t want to be labeled as “old” because of my thinking, but aren’t there some things that are seriously mandatory? Uh…I don’t know…’reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic? How can a society believe there is no need for, or see cursive writing as archaic? I would also think the art would assist in the development of fine motor skills, wouldn’t you think?

I don’t have any young people around constantly, any longer. Therefore, all I know is basically, from what I catch on t.v. But, honestly, I might lose my mind if I had a youngster around, and they were always on their phone. Yes, that alone would probably label me as ancient. As a parent, I say you really need to draw a line. Now, throw texting in the mix, together with e-mailing, and all personal interactions have been removed. We all e-mail. I will honestly admit – it has made life so much easier. But, again, it’s about drawing a line. However, I don’t believe we should trade cursive for texting, or swap hand written signatures for electronic ones, making that the norm. Can a nation be in that big of a hurry? I’d like to think of it this way. The citizens of other countries speak their own native tongue, as well as English, which I believe gives them a bit of an edge. Once the art of cursive writing is removed from the school curriculum here, that will simply be another “minus” for our future leaders, don’t you think? Share your opinion, won’t you?

Information from PBS Newshour & The NY Times

Image courtesy of 123rf.com

Mr. Smith Goes to LaGuardia

22874302_sBefore I got married, like most of us, I dated men from varying professions: a paratrooper, stock broker, a musician. As a young person I had a voracious appetite for tennis. In fact a friend and I would, now I say this shamefully, but we’d play hooky from work just to spend time on the court. One day on the wall, as I practiced my serve, this extremely handsome young man walked over to offer his assistance. Of course, I allowed him to help. That is, I gave him the illusion I needed help, even though I truly did not. Also, if you’ve been reading along over these three years, you know me as a woman of discernment, and to have very little tolerance for pick-up lines. In any event, our morning at that wall turned into something that had to end sooner than not. Let me preface this story with a short admission. As a child, teenager, and young woman, I had a terrible – almost psychotic fear of the dead. So, when I say the relationship ended to soon – his profession as a funeral director certainly took care of that.

On one visit to my home, while on a break from work, he sat on the sofa in the living room, while I went to the kitchen to get him a beverage. When I reached the doorway of the next room, I stopped to answer a question he asked. As I turned, there he sat in his black suit, white shirt and black tie with his arms outstretched, appearing almost as some sort of dark character from a horror film. Personally, that particular gesture may have been the finger that set the brevity clock on this friendship. Not long after, is when it all fell apart. When this specific incident, of which I speak took place, I had been alone the entire week – my mother had taken time to visit her mother. I answered the door, and there he stood.

“I have to make a run to LaGuardia Airport. Would you like to go with me?” he asked.

“Sure, just let me get a jacket and my purse,” I responded.

Now, I never asked about a vehicle – I didn’t even lift my head to focus my view to the street where he parked. He waited on the porch as I gathered my things. I closed the door to the house, and took time to lock it.

Afterward, I made my way down the steps, while he walked a bit ahead of me. He then, opened the door to the vehicle. A low, dim light caught my attention, and made me suddenly aware. The light reminded me of a small, faint porch light. Once I focused, the entire picture came into view. There, parked right in front of my house; a station wagon – the one they use to transport bodies. The soft lighting adorned the side doors, the space under the dash and the back area of the car. Although the blinds were closed, Mr. Whomever flashed a corner of his covering, just enough to let me know he occupied that spot. What did I do? I didn’t have to think, my brain acted apart from my body. It involuntarily eased me backward. In my mind’s eye, the whole thing plays out as if it were yesterday.

“What’s the matter. I only have to take Mr. Smith to LaGuardia,” he said. “I was sure you’d want to take a ride with me.”

I could not speak. I guess because my brain had been to pre-occupied with getting out of harm’s way. Before I knew it, I had made it all the way back to the porch.

“So what, you’re not going?” he asked, sounding irritated.

“Uh, no I’m not,” I answered, finally able to form a sentence.

“Fine,” he snipped. He slammed the door closed, and marched around to the driver’s side without another word.

I stood there in complete disbelief, unable to comprehend what had just happened, as he drove off. Did our involvement change after that? You bet your sweet petuddy. When my mother returned home, I told her of the evening. As insightful as all mothers are, mine explained, that little production had been purposeful. He wanted to get a glimpse of my reaction. This way I guess he’d know if he wanted to move this whatever we were in, to the next level. But, I’m left asking – who’d he ask for advice, the Grim Reaper himself? And, it’s the same old question all over again. How many frogs do you have to kiss before you get to the Prince, right?

Image courtesy of 123rf.com

In Sickness and in Health

2522105_sLast week I read an article, I don’t remember where, on the difficulty of caring for an ill spouse, which set my mind wandering as usual. Funny, because the very next day I noticed another article on the exact same issue. This second piece offered research information, which indicated it is more difficult to care for a spouse than a parent. Basically, because the spouse does what nurses usually do such as bathing, and administering medication. Nowadays, finances do not allow for these luxuries. Hubby thinks this piece is dark and depressing, and that may very well be, but in reality this is what happens. So, let’s begin at the beginning. You’re a young couple, 25 and 29 or 24 and 26 – that age where you believe you probably won’t even be around at the age of 50 – that’s just how far in the future you believe that number to be. The two of you are pretty familiar with the medical history of each family, but hey, at 26 you are both invincible.

Together you do everything needed to put on a wedding; paper work, blood tests, reception venues. When you stand beside each other, and repeat those vows – for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health – you understand them, the words come from the heart, you don’t even stutter when they come across your lips. However, again, that is the indestructibility of the age; the strength of you two as a couple. We would be labeled unstable if we stood there peering that far into the future, am I right? I don’t think there is anyone who has gotten married, and while standing before the minister/priest confess to thinking of gray hair, osteoporosis, and heart disease. Or, let’s just say, I don’t think anyone would admit to that. To paint a clearer picture, I remember being a young newlywed. I can’t recall what hubby and I were discussing, but he mentioned something to the effect, “You know, when I pass away. None of us are gonna live forever.” Well, can I just say how that comment upset me. But, we all grow up and mature in the process, yes?

I would liken it to a child who has been away from home for a while, or even at three-month clips. Each time he/she visits they notice the aging parent. As a couple, every once and again, when you walk by the mirror you’re halted in your steps. You wonder who that is gazing back. Your brain still thinks; continues to sum up scenarios the same as it did when you were 30, but in some shocking and accelerated means the body has not remained behind with that still young brain. Yes, most mornings, you go through the ritual – brush your teeth, shower, wash your hair, powder, lotion, what have you, and get on your way. However, every now and again, maybe once a month, that not so young person hiding behind the 30-year-old brain runs into, and has to acknowledge the seasoned body. And, can I just say, it’s like being smacked in the face by a three hundred pound Sumo wrestler.

With all of this in mind, no one is privy to which body will begin to fall apart first – you each just go about your day-to-day chores. My co-worker told me a heartbreaking story of a senior, in his eighties belonging to her church. One Sunday, after service, he broke down sobbing in a back room. He had a wife with dementia, and he had been the sole caregiver. Unfortunately, this poor gentlemen had reached his end, and just had to let it all out – for better, for worse…..in sickness and in health, remember? Where am I going with this story? Couples get married everyday. They begin their lives together, but no one is able or thinks or cares to peer that far into the future. Whatever life hands out, you have to take. Once the medical issues begin, no one gets divorced or runs away, because they’re afraid of what may happen next. You “buck up” and deal with it all, no matter how minuscule or how serious. Usually, by this time, you’ve been married so many years, one cannot think of life without the other. What made me want to expand on this topic? Because, like most of my friends, we are right around the corner from this situation, and I do not know if I’m ready. But, as I said before we all have to take what life hands out. What is it that I believe works best in all of this? An attitude of positivity.

Photo courtesy of 123rf.com