American Values & Respect

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

Silver Linings

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At this particular point in time, I am having difficulties seeing the silver linings. Life has its ups and downs. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it sucks. We’ve all experienced this. I’m not quite certain what to do when it’s predominantly sucky.

I work hard, but there is always a problem that arises and it’s always something I have to fix. It makes almost all aspects of life, outside of a handful of things, completely miserable, moving straight into unbearable. When does it end? 😦

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At a severe low point, I called a suicide prevention hotline. I feel absolutely no shame in admitting that. I do, however, feel incredible outrage by how I was treated by this hotline that will willingly accept my donations, and yours, but refused to so much as help me when I wasn’t very far away from my personal ledge.

The person who took my call was already on the phone with someone “in a more severe crisis”. I have no idea how she knew this other person was in a more severe situation than I was because the first thing she did was put me on hold for about 30 minutes. Let me reiterate that she never even bothered to ask me if I was all right and in a safe place before she did that. She finally comes back on the line and says that the other call is more important and I should try calling back later. She didn’t ask where my head space was, NOTHING. She spewed the call back later crap and hung up. Even if you’re short-handed, even if you’re a volunteer, that isn’t the way to treat anyone who is calling a suicide prevention line. Clearly, they’re not calling for shits and giggles, it takes courage to make that call. I hung up with my jaw wide open, feeling even more betrayed by the world. It was a gut punch. “Wow! Even the suicide prevention hotline can’t prioritize me for half a second before hanging up!” If I wanted to be treated that way, I have family for that.

Earlier this year a now former friend asked me via text message if I “needed professional help”. Instead of understanding that I was in a bad place and needed support, she ended up blowing me off and later “broke up” with me via e-mail. I thought we’d be friends a very long time, so I was understandably blown away by the dramatic behavior and inability to show compassion to another human-being. I will never name names, but I am also at that point where forgiveness is not an option. You only get one chance with me. (Other things did occur towards the end, but I will never discuss any of that because it’s private. If the other person chooses to say something, they would be wrong.)

Telling me you’re worried about me via text message doesn’t convey care or concern. It’s just words. Picking up the fucking phone and saying “I know you’re not okay. I’m here for you.” is a better way to let anyone know that you’re truly there for them.

One of the biggest issues with cell phones and tablets is that no one talks to each other or communicates properly. The other day a woman took a call in front of me from her mother. Her mother wanted to argue and she said “Lets discuss this in person. There is no need to have this conversation over the phone. I will see you in a few hours.” She repeated the same statement several times because apparently she was dealing with a stubborn parent. When she hung up she said she HATED how people misconstrue things via text, e-mail, and sometimes even over the phone. She was totally on my level, saying how she’d rather be face-to-face with certain people because that way, there’s no misunderstanding whatsoever. It was incredibly refreshing.

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I cannot speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself. If I sense that someone is going through a rough time, whether they voice it or not, they don’t have to ask me to be a good friend or family member, because I do not lack common sense. I am not the world’s most compassionate soul (I openly admit that.), and I will never win awards for my niceness (The niceness gene died at age 12.), but I am emotionally present. That’s more than I can say for a great many people in my life and those I’ve chosen to get rid of.

If you love your friends, you fight for them. Their well-being is important to you and you don’t need to be insulting in order to get your point across. The same is true for family. I come from a very large extended family, but at the end of the day, they are almost exclusively people I happen to be related to (Who are banned from future book signings and appearances. LOL.). They’re not my everyday “I’ve got your back”, “Don’t worry about it.”, “No problem, I’ll help you.” family. There’s an immense difference. I have friends and family I’d do anything for, but with the rest… I’d break out the marshmallows if they were on fire.

Ultimately, not everyone you know is a good person down to roots of their soul. If you find those that are good, don’t let them go over petty idiocy. Learn how to say “I’m sorry” when you’re wrong or when you’ve hurt someone. Learn how to admit you don’t know it all. Be yourself, be real, GROW.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us. So, I employ a “live and let live” policy. If you’re good to me, I will appreciate that and I will say so. If you’re a piece of shit to me, eventually I will make sure you know what I think of you. Or I won’t be so bothered as to waste the oxygen, that all depends on my mood.

If you’re a part of my life, I am grateful to have you in it. I keep my circle of friends close because of the value I place upon the element of friendship. I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t have true friends, and I really don’t trust women who don’t have at least 1-3 close female friends. It’s a red flag. Kind of like a man at a bar that still has a tan line where his wedding band should be, but tells you he’s single or how horrible his “soon-to-be” ex-wife is. Unless you see divorce papers, he’s full of crap and is a married man who hasn’t stopped dating.

I’m eternally appreciative that I am one of those rare people who truly doesn’t care if people like me or not. I spend no time at all wondering what others think of me as a person. Those that take the time to get to know me on a deeper level are the ones that benefit from my fierce loyalty and “ride or die” friendship. Those that burn me clearly don’t know that, like the Phoenix, I will always rise again.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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