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

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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

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

Memorial Day 2014

f02b5943e8bd6bf0b0ae8cb01dfbf543[1]It’s the unofficial beginning of the summer season. We will all make our way to our back yards this weekend to fire up the grill that has been waiting for our attention since, at least, October or November of last year. However, as we do, let’s all take a moment to remember the deceased Americans who fought in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marines. Over these three days, we attend memorials, parades, and some volunteer to place flags on graves in cemeteries, even at Arlington National; all as a way of saying, we didn’t forget. We mourn the loss of these great men and women, but let us pray for the left behind loved ones. Let us follow the proclamation of our President who has asked every American to use May 26, 2014, as a day of prayer for permanent peace. He has also asked that we observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time today.

If you have a flag, begin it at half-mast until Noon, then raise it to full post and fly it high, proclaiming you are a proud American. By way of history, Memorial Day began as Decoration Day, and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. But, since that time, there have been many wars and many more lives lost. I do believe that as long as the earth stands there will unfortunately be wars, even the bible speaks of this: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars…” Matthew 24:6. Yes, it is a regrettable fact. Therefore, it is up to those of us left to continue speaking the names of the ones lost, and memorialize them. Let us also keep in mind our President’s suggestion, and pray for peace in this land. Wishing you all a safe, and enjoyable holiday.

Information from Wikipedia

 

New Tech Gadget

18876137_sA few weeks ago, I posted a blog entitled Give Caesar His Due. Since that time, I heard a very interesting tidbit in the news, and thought it definitely fit as a follow-up to that post. What did I hear? Talk of a new tech gadget called a Business Microscope. Whenever I hear that phrase, in my head I’m imagining a huge microscope with a tiny human splattered between two slides and shoved under the stage clips. What do you think this microscope does? For one thing, it keeps track of those work place wanderers, drifting from desk to desk socializing, which if you remember is something I mentioned I have done on occasion. This new little gadget is made by Hitachi, and comes in the form of a badge. Someone, in that company thought this piece of equipment would boost productivity. Really?

Of course, from what I understand it does need a second badge with which to communicate – they sort of talk to each other. However, there are no consequences at the moment. If you are caught doing something wrong as in meandering, it simply gets reported. I’ve heard some say harsher penalties, like receiving some sort of shock should be put in place. Of course, the mention of tasing someone, I hope, had been mentioned as a joke. Now, the correspondent reporting this story had his own list of places and types of people he thought should receive punishment for their deeds. Namely:

Toilet Talkers – People who take their phones in the bathroom with them, and never stop conversing;

Microwave Marauders – Someone who brings in a smelly lunch dish everyday, and heats it in the microwave with absolutely no regard for their co-worker; and lastly,

Elevator Crowder – Actually he had two types in this instance. The young person discussing their weekend, and the older one talking about objects, like their yacht, while in a crowded elevator.

I gave some thought to this doohickey, and my employer. I wondered if it could be set up to monitor how long a person spends in the bathroom – not talking on the phone, but taking care of nature, or how many times they go throughout the day. Here I’d like to inject a funny story. A law firm I worked for some years ago took on a new secretary. The poor thing had such a hard time adapting, she made many trips to the restroom, and would spend long minutes hiding out in there, I’m sure. Moving on; how about those trips, morning and afternoon to the coffee maker. Then, there is the employee returning late from lunch. Does that person get a device to monitor when they left and what time they return? I don’t know, but for use in this country – I’m peering in my crystal ball, and perceiving yet another unconstitutional contraption. Just one other thing to provide more job stability for that Supreme Court Judge.

I haven’t conducted any surveys, but I can pretty much say with confidence there are so many people who hate their jobs. Then, there are the ones who chose their careers at the end of high school with their heads, and are now wondering how they ever did that. I remember an attorney I worked with who used to ask himself everyday why he picked that profession. After awhile, just getting up in the morning to go to that place of employment is a job in itself. How then, can an employer possibly think tracking a person’s movements during the day to increase productivity, will seriously do just that?  Personally, I think that would push a person out the door faster than a bolt of lightning. I want to work for a company because they are fair, they accept me as an adult, and show me that I’m respected. Does something like this, speak appreciation? I don’t think so. What do you think? Would laying under a microscope make you want to work harder? One last thing, if you think my image for this post is disturbing, isn’t this entire idea?

Images courtesy of 123rf.com

CNN.com

Hitachi

My Fab Four Story

9007130_sI can’t believe it’s been almost a week since I watched the 50th Anniversary Beatle special on Sunday, February 9th. As I write this, the numbers have probably just been tallied as to how many of us did watch. The local radio stations in this area, as well as many across the country, I’m certain, dedicated this week to them. Although yes, I grew up with these guys, I am a bit on the young side. My parents would have had to accompany me to any of the early appearances, and that would have happened like we need an asteroid striking the earth. During my time, as well as into the eighties and nineties, parents were screaming up the stairs –

“Turn that music down!”

Today, however, everyone has a headset.

Last week and this, there have been many, many articles written about this particular era, and these four musicians who brought us something they didn’t even know they possessed. Because of which, I’m still not certain I want inclusion in the hoopla. But, since I have my own stories, I am almost obligated to share.

To add to the above, I kicked and complained about watching other musicians like Maroon Five, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, and John Legend perform any of the time-honored classics belonging to the Fab Four. I have always had this thing (can’t explain it) with shows of this sort, and other artists doing someone else’s songs. Yes, I know it’s honorary, but the guitar licks, timing, voices – everything is off for me – which, in turn, spoils the tune. I must say, however, Keith Urban and John Mayer did not disappoint. I do believe Keith Urban has magic fingers. So, there I sat on my sofa with hubby watching, and singing along, yet again. What makes me say this? Because, once more I had not been able to attend, just as when they first arrived. But, in singing along I still shared a memory, just as many in the theatre, young and old alike.

I listened as some of the women who made it to the Ed Sullivan Show were interviewed. They talked about how they couldn’t believe they were actually in the building. Others talked about their families sitting around the television, taking in that first performance. I’d like to add, the Fab Four invasion took all of America – not just the white neighborhoods – they took all of Brooklyn, all of Queens as well as the little town in the southern corner of the country. Yes, as a black person, I too began an unrequited love affair – became swept up in Beatlemania, if you will. All the time, however, too young and immature to realize time doesn’t wait around for a person. Yet, I too wanted to grow up and marry Paul McCartney. I too screamed like a lunatic every time John and Paul opened their mouths. I too, fell in love with John’s swaggered bounce as he played. In fact, on December 9, 1980, when I pulled in to the parking lot at work, an attorney I worked with asked –

“Gee, Ronnie, I was certain you’d have your car draped in black this morning.”

For a very long time, probably as recent as ten years ago, I could still touch that excitement that would come over me when these guys came onto a stage. So, here is my personal Beatle story that, yes, adds me to that historical timeline.

The harmonizing quartet had a show happening at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York. Oh, I would have given my right arm, leg, eye, you name it, in order to join my screaming cohorts. But, as usual, mother knew best; she knew that each time I came close, and we’re talking as near as a television screen, I’d get that dreaded nose bleed. I think she put it something like this –

“Yeah, missy. I’m gonna let you go to Shea Stadium where you’ll have to be carried off like one of those other girls.”

What happened? She swung a dining room chair in front of the television.

“You’ll sit right here, and watch. This is as close as you need to be.”

As always, ten minutes in to the concert I had to have medical attention from mother for that daggone – you guessed it – nose bleed. It worked right on time, almost like sticking your finger in an electrical socket, knowing you’d get that immediate jolt. I laugh, but I completely get the young girls screaming while listening to Justin Beiber or Bruno Mars. Let me also add, my obsession didn’t happen by following the masses. The Beatles swept us away one at a time; plucked each one of us up like picking ripe peaches from a tree. Okay, right here – I need to stop myself. For someone who didn’t want to write about John, Paul, George, and Ringo, I can’t seem to bring this piece to an end. What else can I say – mother’s lock up your daughters? No, I’d like to end by acknowledging a great group of musicians, and to honor a time in history that can never be replicated. Lastly, I think I can speak for all of my generation when I say “Thank you” for making such an impact on our lives (my  life), and for opening the door to all the British musicians that followed. We were left with such great memories.

CBS News

Image courtesy of 123rf.com