It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt….

I don’t even want to post a picture about this subject.  I don’t even really want to post about this subject.  I don’t even want to THINK about this subject.  However, this has really been bothering me for a long time, and writing about it is what I do to express those feelings.

Today was the second time in the past few days I have the seen the previews for Fast and Furious 7.  Starring Paul Walker.  At least in the first part of the film.  Paul Walker was killed during a break in filming, in a horrific fiery car crash in a Porsche driven by his friend and partner.  They went for a spin, a joyride, at a high rate of speed.  They ended up wrapped around a tree.  Paul was 40 years old.

So why does this bother me so much?  A couple of reasons.  First, the way he died.  Fast and furious.  Live fast, die young, right?  Tell that to his family, his daughter.  My great niece lost her father in a car crash too.  It was very tragic too, had some similarities.  He was only 25.  So I guess I am more sensitive.

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What I am going to say next might not sit well with some people, so you can stop reading here if you want.

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Someone posted a video online that they had taken of the scene.  They were in car across the street and saw everything.  The video is very disturbing.  The car exploded into a huge fireball after it hit the tree.  They were filming the whole thing, and they started to exclaim that they could see someone from the passenger side flailing and trying to escape the flames.  I swear to God that I re-watched that video many times and saw the same thing.  I saw it before they even said they saw it, so it was not the power of suggestion.  I could hardly breathe, watching it.  I kept thinking he was going to get away.  But of course he didn’t.  It most likely wasn’t him.  Investigative reports have claimed it was a piece of the hood, not a person.  Autopsy reports say the driver died immediately, and Paul seconds later.  Traumatic and “thermal” injuries.  What a horrible way to die.

So ok, Paul Walker died in a fiery car crash.  We all know that.  So why am I still bothered by it?

I think because of the movie.  These Fast and Furious movies are fun entertainment, the stunts are incredible, they drive fast and live hard.  Of course there are a lot of car crashes etc.

But it’s a movie.  People get killed in movies all the time.  It’s not real.  Do we even give a second thought to all the carnage left behind in some movies?  No, not really.  At least I don’t.  Unless it is specifically a movie about someone dying that pulls at our heart strings, like The Fault in our Stars, Terms of Endearment, that kind of stuff.  Or a dog.  Please don’t kill the dog.  Just ask anyone.

However, in this case it is life imitating art.  The real person dies, just like people in the movies, driving fast and furious.  So my question is……do we go on?  Continue with the movie?  Release the movie, which is the kind of movie that might encourage young people to….oh I don’t know….drive fast and furious?  Which may endanger their own lives?  Their REAL lives?

I know people will say, it’s just a movie.  But what are we saying by showing this movie, after his death?  Every time I see his face on screen, driving fast and furious, I can only think of how he died..  It has ruined every Fast and Furious movie for me.

What do YOU think?  I would love to hear your opinion on this.

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I’m NOT leaving on a jet plane….

air

At least not in Asia.

But at least they found THIS plane.  I find it very disturbing when they can’t find a trace of a plane full of people, like the Malaysian flight.  Or when a plane goes down for no apparent reason.  And they weren’t even over the Bermuda Triangle!

Which leaves me to wonder what is happening.  Before they found the remains of Air Asia, I was seriously contemplating a mini-rapture, or aliens, or terrorists, or some conspiracy at the very least.  I think I watch too much TV!

I’m sure we’ll see some of these theories on some TV eventually.  Could just be plain old bad luck.  I know we can be killed in any number of ways during our regular routines every day.

Seriously though, it is stressful enough to fly nowadays, without having to worry whether or not your plane will just disappear.  Or crash into an ocean, never to be seen or heard from again.

I REALLY would like to hear YOUR ideas on what has been happening.

Lost, anyone?

Could YOU live in a tiny house?

tiny house1Quite truthfully, I am DONE with living with STUFF.  Stuff, stuff, everywhere.  Stuff I don’t want, stuff I don’t need.  Stuff that just needs dusting, washing, cleaning, storing, rinse and repeat.

I would be happy with a comfy chair, my laptop, my tablet to read books on, my king size sleep number air bed, a small kitchen, and bathroom with a soaking tub and stackable washer/dryer.  That’s it.  I don’t need china, crystal, dining room sets, living rooms, extra bedrooms and bathrooms.  And stairs.  I don’t need stairs.

tiny house2This bedroom would be perfect.  No stairs.  But most tiny house do have a loft bedroom, which can be quite stunning!

tiny house7

They can also have nice bathtubs!

tiny house3The best part is that you can live wherever you want!  Just hook up your house to your truck, and off you go!

tiny house5I think I could be very happy living in a tiny house.  Especially one like this.  Very cottage like, very homey, very low maintenance.

tiny house6I love this tiny house!

I could love this one too….

tiny house8

 

 

What if

interview

What if Sony releases the movie The Interview, and theatres are bombed?

What if people are killed, maimed, injured?

What if we knew in advance there was a threat to the Boston Marathon?

What if we knew in advance there was a threat to the Colorado theatre?

What if we knew in advance that planes were going to take down the Twin Towers?

What if we knew ISIS was going to behead journalists?

What if we negotiated with terrorists?

What if the Rules of Engagement were changed and Lone Survivor could have been Multiple Survivors?

A lot of “what ifs”.  In the business world, what if scenarios are used all the time, to see the end result of changing certain parameters.  It gives management a tool to choose what path they want to go.

The United States has a very strict policy of not negotiating with terrorists.

“In a speech today (sic Nov 17, 2014) defending the U.S. war against the Islamic State, Secretary of State John Kerry warned that paying ransoms could endanger more Americans.

“And as for kidnapping, the United States has set a heart-rending but absolutely necessary example by refusing to pay ransom for captured Americans. Last year the U.N. Security Council and the G8 firmly endorsed an identical policy, and all of the evidence shows that where and if a country is paid a ransom, there are many more people who are taken hostage,” Kerry said.”

I was surprised today to hear that George Clooney has taken a hard stand against North Korea, and all that it foretells.  He attempted to have high level executive sign a petition to stand behind Sony and release the picture.  Not one person would sign it.  Clooney was upset by that, and stated “I don’t know what the answer is, but what happened here is part of a much larger deal,” Clooney said. “A huge deal. And people are still talking about dumb emails.  Understand what is going on right now, because the world just changed on your watch, and you weren’t even paying attention.”  The actor added, “We cannot be told we can’t see something by Kim Jong-un, of all f—king people.”

I have to say that personally, when I saw the trailers for The Interview, and watched Rogen and Franco on the talk shows, my first thought was “wow, that’s really going to piss off North Korea.”  But I never thought they would take it this far.

So.  What would YOU do, if you knew in advance a set of circumstances?  Would you change the policies of the country?  Would you just hide in your homes?  Would you try to effect change?

Or would you watch Homeland on Showtime and wonder if all this kind of shit happens EVERY STINKING DAY in this world.  And be afraid.  Be very afraid.

I would love to hear your opinions on this.  This is a big deal, in my book.

Be nice. Just be nice.

grinch1

Ok, I’m not going to get all sappy here about it being the holiday season and all that stuff and how we should all be better people blah blah blah.

But.  We should all learn to nice.  Nicer.  Treat people better.

I’m trying really hard to be nicer, and “let it go”.  Don’t let little things get to you.  Look at the big picture.  Be happy for what you have, don’t be sad for what you don’t have.

Sometimes, we are nicer to strangers than our own family.  It’s weird that way.  It’s like we have to put our best face forward and be nice and polite so people will like us, but then we treat our spouse/sister/brother/best friend like shit or take them for granted.  We drop the façade of good manners.

I think it is important to still be nice.  Especially to the people who are most important to us.  I notice myself I start to be more critical of people I love the best.  I tell myself it is because I want them to be the best people they can be.  But I should just let them be the people they want to be.

This holiday season, this CHRISTMAS season, I am going to be nice.  It is so much easier to be happy and nice, and then grumpy and persnickety.  Don’t be a Grinch.

I must be feeling better.  Yes, as a matter of fact, I am.  It makes be feel better to be a happy person, and to make others happy.

Here’s why John Lennon was not my favorite Beatle…

lennon1Everybody loved the Beatles.  Everybody had their favorite Beatle, usually John or Paul, it seems.

Today is the anniversary of John’s death, and for that I am very sorry.  However, he was NOT my favorite Beatle, and I don’t think he was a very good person either.

The truth is…..John Lennon was a violent abuser of women, a drug addict, a cheater, a horrid father to Julian, and the main reason why the Beatles broke up.

Yes.  All this is true.  He admitted to it freely numerous times, and some of his songs are about it.  He was forced to marry his first wife Cynthia because she was pregnant, and was mostly absent or too drugged up to care about his son Julian.  The Beatles had just gotten on fire, and he was supposed to hide his marriage so he would more appealing to the hordes of fans that screamed his name.

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I never did like the later Beatle’s music.  I didn’t get it.  Too psychedelic for my tastes.  I guess a lot of it had to do with John’s LSD and heroin addictions, although I never knew about it at the time.  Did you?

Then after the Beatles broke up, John got too weird for me with all the Yoko Ono stuff and their music, and I dropped him off my radar for good.  Until he was murdered.

lennon2I was not a fan of Yoko at all, and never will be.

I know there are a lot of John Lennon fans out there, and even though I will think kindly of him today, due to the fact that he life was snuffed out too early, I did not like him.

Many of you will not believe that John was not just the icon of his age, and that these things are not really true about him.  I grew up thinking the Beatles were the greatest thing ever.  And they were, for their turn in history.

But in this day and age of information overload and high technology, there are no more dirty little secrets and lies that you can hide.  I heard something the other week about Lennon when watching something about Bill Cosby and his alleged drugging and raping victims, and started digging around about John Lennon.  If you don’t believe it, just google John Lennon abused women or something like that, and your screen will be filled with all sorts of goodies.

But, with all that being said, a man’s life was cut short on this day in 1980, and who knows what other wonderful things he could have done with his life.   Here’s hoping you are enjoying your afterlife, whatever it may be.

 

Lucky Lady

gaga1In case you can’t tell, that is Lady Gaga.  One of her more tame looks, I might add.

I have always been a Gaga fan.  Now, even more.  She has some powerful pipes, and now she is singing with the great Tony Bennett, and they are making the old jazz standards new again.

gaga6They are certainly not a combo you would think of putting together off the top of your head.  But her voice is totally suited for singing jazz, and she admires Tony so much, and he her.  They play off each other so well.

gaga3I am seeing more and more of these types of collaboration, and I for one am happy for it.  Lady Gaga wears many hats (and wigs and costumes and meat, lol) and I think I like this hat the best.  I have known for a long time that underneath all the exterior fluff is a real live normal person.  I have seen and heard many interviews with her where she comes off as a girl you would love to be besties with.  Oh, and don’t forget her hot boyfriend, who she met as her love interest on a video shoot:

gaga4Yeah.  Pretty hot, right?  In fact, he is now her REAL boyfriend, and has been for over 3 years.  Just a normal guy, with a normal girl.

gaga5That’s right.  Severide from Chicago Fire.  Taylor Kelly.  Whew, blow the flames out!

Lucky lady indeed.

 

Unbroken

unbroken1Unbroken is the story of Louis Zamperini, who started life out as a young troublemaker, and ended up as a war hero.

The book, which I just finished, and the movie, which I can’t wait to see, is a story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption according to the author, Laura Hillenbrand.  It is non-fiction.  A true story.  One that will make you laugh, cry and renew your American pride and spirit.

It is amazing.  A page burner.  I ate up every word, and was never full.  I always wanted more.  I fell asleep to this book every night for the past week, as it is almost 500 pages long, and not a word skipper, as some easier reads are.

He was an Olympic athlete, a long distance runner.  If it hadn’t been for the war, he probably would have broken the 4 minute mile.

unbroken2Just one more thing the war took from him.  But his training probably kept him alive.  That and luck.

unbroken3

While in his POW camps, he was brutually beaten, in both body and mind, by a sadistic man, who I think caused him more pain after the war than during it.

unbroken4 bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could go on and on about the book, and Louis Zamperini, but the biggest thing I got out of this book was a new appreciation for all that our soldiers have gone through for us.  World War II was a brutal war.  About half way through the book, I started thinking of my father, and almost replaced Louis with my dad in my mind.

My dad was not a POW, but he was on a ship, the U.S.S. Boston.  He never spoke to us kids about his war experience, and now I know why.  Even though he was not a POW, being in WW II was no picnic.  He did talk a bit about his experience during Typhoon Cobra to my older cousins.  It sounded very frightening, and he said he was lucky enough to have the top bunk (6 high) so he didn’t get vomited on.  There is a book about the U.S.S. Boston called Baked Beans that I might get that details many of the ship’s experiences.  I do know my dad talked about being anchored in Tokyo Harbor after the atomic bombs for the signing of the Japanese surrender.  In fact my grandma always said his lung cancer was caused by the radiation he was most likely exposed to.  A marine commander and his men from the ship were on the ground hours after the bombs were dropped.

So I did feel there was an affinity between the two men, who were in the same war, in the same area of the world, at the same time.  They were both in typhoons, and both witnessed the end of the war.

Louis Zamperini had many demons to deal with after the war.  I’m sure my dad did too, in his own way . I wish I could talk to my dad now, after understanding a bit more about the atrocities of war.

Tonight I’ll have to star gaze, and find his.

 

 

No Thanks

I went to Wal-mart today to get a few items.  I was in line behind an older woman.  She was trying to stretch over the cart to reach things, so I stepped up to help her.

I smiled at her and said, “Boy it’s really hard to reach this stuff sometimes!”  She gave me an ice cold smile back and said “Thanks, I’ll get it myself”.  I was in the process of handing her some stuff, and when I looked up after hearing that, and saw her ice cold eyes, I immediately dropped the item back in her cart, and walked back to my own cart.  She never looked back at me once.  The cashier gave me a quick look like geez, what’s up with that?

I was just trying to help her.  I help people at the Wal-mart all the time.  Heck, I even loaded up all my ex in-laws groceries for them one time.  Even though I have problems with my hip myself, as long as I can walk, I will help people.  If I see an elderly person emptying their cart into their trunk, I help.  I take their cart back.  I try to smile at the store clerks working there, many of whom are elderly people just trying to make it with their minimum wage job.  Heck, we’re all in this together, right?

I don’t know why that lady didn’t want me to help her.  For a minute I thought maybe she had something embarrassing in her cart, but she didn’t.  She didn’t look like a mean old lady.  Maybe she just doesn’t like people touching her stuff.  But wow, did she have a look!

Next time I guess I will ask first!

Awww I wanna pet a baby lion cub!

cub1Sorry for the alignment of the photo, can’t seem to fix it.  But no matter.

What DOES matter is something SICKENING I saw on 60 minutes last night.  See that cute little baby tiger cub I am feeding?  Well, guess what happens to these cubs when they get too big to “pet”.

Thanks to “60 Minutes” last night, I found out.  Most of all petting cubs are sold to canned hunt clubs when they mature.  So that cute baby tiger you petted?  Most likely shot and killed.  They put these lions/tiger in an area where rich assholes can drive in, wait for the animal to approach them, because they have no fear of humans, and then they shoot and kill them.  Sometimes they need to shoot them multiple times, because they aren’t good shooters that take an animal down humanely with one kill shot.  The footage I saw on 60 Minutes last night will give me nightmares for the rest of my life.

The picture above was taken some years ago, when they had tents set up in a Wal-Mart parking lot.  It was Great Cats of the World, sponsored by Bridgeport Nature Center.  You paid $10 to sit with a cub for about 30 seconds and get your picture taken.  They tell you that your donation fed a tiger today!  What they don’t tell you is what happens behind the scenes.  Adult lions eat a lot of meat.  They are expensive.  So they sell them to these hunt clubs, who then charge the rich assholes to come in and basically slaughter them and take them home as trophies.

I tried to go on the website to get more information.  The website is now down, the business in no longer in operation.  I saw several lawsuits against the company on Google.  Lawsuits regarding animal bites, abuse etc.  Thank God they shut them down.  But how many more are out there?  Lots and lots.

Next time I see an exhibit like that, I’m going to do my best to shut it down.  I had no idea stuff like this was going on.  Now I do.  I swear, I cannot watch TV anymore or even my Facebook feed and not see some kind of animal abuse that sickens me.  I am MAD and I am SAD.

Sometimes I am ashamed to be part of the human race, and this is one of those times.