“It’s not so much the journey that’s important; as is the way that we treat those we encounter and those around us, along the way” ―Jeremy Aldana
“When someone you love makes compassion, kindness, forgiveness, respect, and God an option, you can be sure they have made you an option, as well.” ―Shannon L. Alder
“Sometimes in life, we may have to experience solitude, the baseless accusations of people, the betrayal and misunderstanding of trusted and loyal ones, the great judgments and suggestions of ‘they that know better’, and a moment of a state of double mindedness. But those are also for good, for they are the very things that shape and prepare our mind, body and spirit to face the world and to accomplish our mission with great zeal, tenacity and distinctiveness.” ―Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
*In light of an accusation/thought, it feels appropriate to share this quote.
If I speak about someone with respect and enthusiasm, please know that it is because I am being respectful and enthusiastic, and am probably stunned that someone is actually treating me well in some capacity, but it is NOT because I have unprofessional or unrealistic feelings for them.
I’ve discussed relationships I’ve been in and am currently in, and I think my readers would know if I was A) Cheating on someone or B) Having an affair. We all have tells. I am proud to say I have done neither in my life. However, if you know me long enough, or well enough, to question such a thing, then I feel I have the right to turn around and say “Are you fucking kidding me?!” That isn’t something you laugh about with me; it’s a serious accusation. It’s one I will never respond kindly to. I may be single (as in, not married), but that does not mean I feel anyone else’s husband is “up for grabs”. I don’t. It doesn’t matter what the capacity is; if I know a man and he is in a relationship, he is 100% OFF LIMITS. He can be a great friend who I respect and trust, he can be anyone, really, but that does not mean I’m going to hit on him, or that I’d allow him to hit on me. That I even feel I have to clarify this means I am well and truly upset.
So to anyone who has every wondered; your boyfriends and husbands are 100% safe in my presence. In fact, they might as well be eunuchs as far as I’m concerned.*
“It’s okay to disagree with the thoughts or opinions expressed by other people. That doesn’t give you the right to deny any sense they might make. Nor does it give you a right to accuse someone of poorly expressing their beliefs just because you don’t like what they are saying. Learn to recognize good writing when you read it, even if it means overcoming your pride and opening your mind beyond what is comfortable.”
On the 26th of January, newly inaugurated “President Trump” (Which will remain in quotes because I cannot say it with a straight face.), gave a speech from Philadelphia. Living a handful of miles outside of Boston proper, this was “Breaking News”. I’m sure it was “Breaking News” all across this country, really.
I listened, but in truth, I felt like I was listening to someone’s lackluster phone conversation. You know, the kind you DO NOT want to hear while on line at the grocery store, but can’t help it because one person is yelling (usually because the owner of the phone has the sound up really high) and the other person is talking over them. It’s pure noise. Blah, blah, blah, blah. He talks for the sake of talking, because he likes the sound of his own voice.
My reaction to this was: “What in the hell did I just listen to?!” Yammering on and on about everything, but mostly nothing. Bragging about “winning Pennsylvania”, and winning in general. False claims, opinions, and ZERO facts. This from the current “Leader Of The Free World”. Oy gevalt!
Maybe you voted for him (Bless your heart.). Maybe you like him (You poor, deluded fool. Bless your heart.). Maybe you require your head to be examined or your dosage increased (I’m betting on both. G-d Bless you.). After all, you’re reading this and we don’t know each other. However, the man, and I use the term so loosely he should be able to hang himself with the rope I’ve given him, gives me a migraine. No wonder Melania wants to live in New York. Poor thing needs a break!
The next moment of “Breaking News” was one of the New England Patriots defensive captains, Dont’a Hightower, I believe, being interviewed in preparation for the Super Bowl on February 5th. Intelligent, poised, calm, well-spoken, educated, and eloquent young man. At that exact moment I said “Ladies & gentlemen; the NFL has their shit together and our “President” does not. What a buffoon! I’m not sure whether to emigrate out or put on my New England Patriots jacket!” (Which I’ve owned for over six years. The Patriots were always the second football team in my house growing up.)
Any representative of the United States should be poised, calm, and ready to speak with some semblance of intelligence, or at the very least, a damn good speech in hand. Stick to the facts, stick to the topic(s) at hand. Do not veer off course like you’re Hulk Hogan or The Rock. (Let’s face it, that analogy isn’t far off.)
People still make fun of George W. Bush for not being the best public speaker we’ve ever had as a President (He openly admits to this.), but post 9/11, the man had his shit together and was a rock for this country. He made me proud to be an American (I’m a registered Independent.). My brother & I drove around with “God Bless The U.S.A.” blaring from the car speakers for weeks (I will likely never listen to Lee Greenwood again, not intentionally, any way.). We were proud of how he handled a difficult time in this nation’s history. Say what you will about him; he did his best.
I didn’t care for Barack Obama, and it had nothing to do with race or anything petty. It was simply me not caring for another person, President or not. I didn’t wish horrible things on him, but I did feel he was too green to take on the role of President at the time. I simply let the eight years of him in office “float”, so to speak. I didn’t agree with a lot of his choices or decisions, and I don’t particularly like his wife either, but when push comes to shove, I feel he did his best. I feel they both did, despite disagreeing with a lot of their thoughts and beliefs, which is my right to do.
This Cheeto-colored buffoon, who is shades of Hitler, is an absolute embarrassment to us as a nation. I do not know how long his “Presidency” will last. I don’t foresee “President Pence” anytime soon, either. If he can screw up the entire state of Indiana, how could we allow him to step forward and screw up America more than Donald Trump plans to?!
So I sit here struck with the fact, and clear knowledge, that my current local professional football team has more class and poise than the “President”. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
The New England Patriots represent Boston, but technically, they represent all of New England within the National Football League. I applaud them for holding a press conference in which no bragging occurred, respect for all involved was evident, responses given to questions were polite, well thought out, and ego was taken out of the equation. I was thoroughly impressed, and that’s saying something.
We are a country born of immigrants (On my Dad’s side, I am second generation American.), and now there is a ban on Muslims entering the United States from a select list of countries, yet none of the countries Trump has business dealings with are on that list. This has nothing to do with terrorism, and everything to do with Hitleresque behavior. Who will this psycho come after next? We should all be concerned.
Here’s a fact; none of us are safe. I know people who can’t come and go from Canada now simply because of their faith and the origin of their passport. People who are here legally as students are being punished by a tyrant. Why do you think they go to school here? To escape tyranny in their birth countries and aim for a better life here, which is a dream for so many people from all over the world. Universities will be adversely affected by visiting professors and lecturers not being permitted into this country, people who pose NO THREAT to us, or they’d all be on watch lists!
At this moment, American values and basic respect have been tossed out the window. However, we do not have to be silent. We, as a country, do not have to become animals. We do not have to allow a “President” to make us fear for our lives.
I didn’t live in fear post 9/11, and I’m certainly not going to let this asshole make me fearful either. Yes, it’s easy for me to say that. I am not his current target, but I could be. We all could. So please, contact your local representatives and demand that they put their foot down on every political level known to man. Follow them on social media and let them know how you feel.
We can either band together, regardless of our political stances, or we can watch a nation be destroyed. Truly, it is up to us what happens, what we allow. I can neither confirm nor deny what I’d like to happen, but I will say that this country deserves better.
What kind of world will our children wake up to a week from now, or a year, with a reality television personality/businessman as “President”? What next? The Real Housewives franchise is going to take over Congressional hearings?! It’s ridiculous and silly, and I openly admit I watch a few of those shows. Are we going to have the Kardashians wrestle in Jello for his entertainment? I’d honestly like to know.
Ultimately, I think one needs to be completely sane in order to run the country. He has already proven himself unfit and deranged, not to mention dangerous. Is this who we want preaching “Make American Great Again”? I’d rather give the job to a well-trained monkey.
Someone please take away his unsecured phone (After his accusations against Hillary Clinton, he should be using a government-issued BlackBerry.) and block him from Twitter. No self-respecting President spends that much time tweeting like a thirteen year old girl! And for G-d’s sake, please hire a speech writer (and get him on medication for his obvious ADD.)!
Good luck to the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons at Super Bowl LI. I have no doubt you’re going to give people their money’s worth, respectfully.
copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Where The Hell Does The Year Go?
Every year I’m semi-amazed I’ve survived and gotten this far: Both in life and in the day-to-day struggle. I have a lot to be grateful for.
I’ve had an incredibly rough two years. The years before that were not perfect, some were horrific in their lack of kindness, many had their battles, but this past year has humbled me in ways I never thought possible. It is very easy to lose sight of what we have in life, basic things we should all have. It’s a little too easy to take those basics for granted, until they’re taken away for long periods of time.
I read so many things where people are going through difficult shit. I choose not to advertise my problems because I do have some semblance of privacy and dignity. I also don’t feel that’s what people come here for. I know I can bitch and be myself, but do I really want to dwell on that crap? No. I want things to get better, I want to be positive, and I want to move forward. By whining, you drown in your own crap. On top of being a disgusting visual, it’s also very negative and I don’t want that, for myself or for anyone else.
I am eternally grateful for being blessed with the ability to project my voice through the written and spoken word. As I watch so many people struggle with something that comes so easy to me, I can’t help but see the differences between art and mere words. I openly admit it leaves me frustrated with a lot of people at times.
The very small group of people that matter in my life: THANK YOU. You all know who you are. I am blessed with people who talk me down from my various ledges, entertain my insanity, listen to me, commiserate with me, support me, and are loyal with kind, caring, generous hearts. I respect and appreciate the lack of drama. I respect and appreciate your love, friendship, humor, and the things so many of you go out of your way to do to make me laugh, smile, and/or cheer me up. The thoughtfulness knows no boundaries. It is amazing to know that there are people who have my back, as opposed to those who would prefer to stab me in it. Please know how appreciated you all are. I have an outrageous amount of love in my heart for all of you.
It gives me an endless amount of professional pleasure and pride to be able to bring you “Poison In Lethal Doses”. Tomorrow marks 20 years of both my experience as an editor and the amount of time I have spent writing “Poison” pieces. It feels like it all just started yesterday. I’ve grown so much as a writer that I know time has passed, yet it feels surreal to me. What I used to do and what I do today are two very different beasts. The evolution is amazing for me to see.
2015 will challenge me in my personal and professional lives. I pray it is not quite as challenging for all of you because I would not wish aspects of my life on anyone, but I do hope it challenges you in positive ways that brings an abundance of happiness into your lives.
Ultimately, my vow is to be here and be present for all of you, and for myself. I vow to finish the unfinished and move forward with things that are of the utmost importance. On a smaller note, I am going to attempt to be 98% caffeine free by February. I would prefer to use it just when I have a migraine, as opposed to using it as a stress crutch.
Big things, little things, good things, bad things. No matter what, let us be grateful for it all and what it teaches us. Life is short. It’s not always easy, and it’s a very lonely place without someone in life to turn to that understands. Tonight, no matter what it is you’re doing or believe in, stop and say a little prayer for everyone that matters to you in life. It’s not about religion or belief systems, it’s about humanity. Once you lose sight of that, it’s all downhill, so I think it’s important to remain in touch with what makes you a human-being. While not the most friendly person on the planet, I still have compassion and empathy for others. I still make an effort. I am always present for those I care about, no excuses. Practice a random act of kindness, you’ll see how good it makes you feel as well, thus serving a dual purpose. That which you send out into the world comes back to you threefold. Make it count.
Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and safe New Year!
copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” ―Harper Lee
My brother’s best friend came home from Afghanistan having been shot on duty that wasn’t supposed to be dangerous. He was awarded a Purple Heart prior to being discharged. He was adamant that the “heroes came home in boxes draped in American flags”, but that they didn’t come home like he did. I disagree.
No matter when you served or how you served this country, you have done something heroic and deserve to be honored today, and every day.