Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Madonna and I have Changed!

"You Can Dance"


I hit the gym last night and brought up this album on my mp3 player, Madonna's You Can Dance. We are talking Old School Madonna! I love the album; had the cassette and still have the CD. (As you can gather, I'm Old School, LOL.) The album was released in November 1987, the Fall of my senior year of high school. I was seventeen at the time of its release. WOW, the album is 30 years old!

The difference between listening to the album in 1987 vs 2017 ... besides 30 years? Again, WOW. The difference is that in 1987, I would listen to it and dance around for an hour, not losing my breath. If I were at an under-age club, I'd be probably dancing for another 3-4 hours. Ahhh, the endurance of youth!

Now in the Fall of 2017, I would listen to it for an hour on the elliptical machine or treadmill. Oh how the times have changed. After an hour on the elliptical, I can tell you I am probably breathing pretty hard, sweating bullets, and checking how many calories I burned to see if I can have a beer OR several that night.

Listening to the album brought back a flood of high school memories. My good friends and family know how much I love Madonna. I've been to almost every concert and have pretty much everything musically that she's ever put out. I have always loved her as the ultimate 'entertainer'. She may not be the best singer but she can sure put on a fucking show and always has!

I remember the first time I saw her video "Open Your Heart" on MTV in 1986 (I was a geeky 16 year old). I was so excited I screamed for my Mom to come into the living room to show her who Madonna was. Mom took one look at her dancing around the TV screen with her bosoms bouncing all around and flatly exclaimed, "SHE'S A WHORE!" before marching back to the kitchen.

I crack up just thinking about that afternoon! It's actually one of my favorite memories of my Mom just 'saying it like it was.' Mom did eventually become a fan and absolutely loved Madonna's 'Dick Tracy' album "I'm Breathless" put out in 1990. She loved Madonna's throw back nod to the 1930's.

This also brings me back to memories of my high school days where I would drive into Philly with my best gal-pals Angie, Mandy, and Marguerite heading off to bars and clubs we could get into and drink. We were always trying to drive into Philly and as they say ... up to no good!

One time I was driving home, I drove over the concrete median between the slow and fast lanes on Route 295 in South Jersey. The girls screamed their collective heads off, the car bottomed out totally for about a tenth of a mile, and sparks were seen across the South Jersey skyline from Gloucester City to the Deptford Mall! That poor 1987 Nissan Sentra!

We all had a nervous good laugh about it and I dropped Marguerite and Mandy off in Wenonah, NJ and then drove Angie all the way south (about 20 minutes) to Mullica Hill and made sure she got home. I came back home to Wenonah, parked and went to bed .. lets just say LATE.

Well the next day, Dad asked me, "Can you come outside to the driveway for a minute and look at the car?" Oh FUCK.

Dad, always the peacemaker, God LOVE HIM, asked me if I knew how this may have happened, pointing to a completely shredded tire. I cannot believe I actually made it from the Deptford Mall to Angie's house in Mullica Hill and back again! I vaguely said I remember driving over something on 295 but it was SO dark, I couldn't be sure. I knew he didn't buy it. He told me I'd pay for the tire. LOL I did totally pay for that shredded tire and we BOTH knew I got off lucky!

On another evening, Mandy was driving Angie, Marguerite, and I into Philly on one of our adventures in her Dad's Audi. It was Marguerite in the front and Angie and I in the back. How do I remember this? Because Madonna's "Holiday" was on FULL BLAST on the radio (probably a cassette, remember them?) and we were singing it, all four of us at once.

Now out of the four of us, I certainly knew I did not have the voice to sing Madonna or anyone for that matter. LOL. I was usually quiet, in the background, singing "Holiday" really softly LOL. :)  The other gals each had vocal training with Angie belting it out, harmonizing. It was rather enjoyable.  Marguerite and Mandy were EACH trained in vocal song. I just enjoyed being there. LOL BUT someone was at that particular moment, off pitch. LOL Maybe it was ME? Maybe it was someone else. LOL I'll never tell NOR admit it but those rides were the BEST.

OK SO.... On THIS particular ride, we were driving across the Benjamin Franklin Bridge towards the great City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, singing OUR HEARTS OUT to Madonna's "Holiday"! One of us, not sure whom, looked up and realized MANDY was driving in the bridge lane towards Philly with red lights. She was driving into oncoming traffic!

I think the screams of all four of use broke windows up and down Mainline Philly! Mandy quickly swerved her Dad's Audi from oncoming traffic into the correct lanes with .. Ahem... them CRAZY green lights (you know, the ones you're allowed to drive in) and we continued on our way across the Ben Franklin Bridge. It was quite an experience and one the four of us laugh and exclaim about 30 years later!!!

I reached out to Mandy and Angie about this memory. And pretty much each one of them were like "Oh God MARCUS!!!!!"  LOL

Mandy, God bless my dear friend, also reminded me of our Chinese fire drills at each stop light and also the time she got pulled over by the cop for not having her headlights on. (She didn't know how to put them on.) Ooops, sorry Mandy. You know I LOVE YOU. :)  In fact, these gals provided me were a lifetime of AWESOME high school memories. I love each of them.






Sigmund Freud Quote I Can Relate To



TIME SPENT WITH CATS IS NEVER WASTED.

Sigmund Freud



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Awesome Mark Twain Quote



Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.  - Mark Twain.



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Tiny Tales

"Tiny Tales" 

I've entered a writing contest called "Marvellous Tiny Tales" where you submit tiny expressive stories in three total sentences. The prize? Bragging rights and a small animated movie being made to go along with your story. Criteria? Be odd, bold, and unusual. That sounds like me. LOL.

My tiny stories "Dream Traveler" and "Feed Us!" are what I will be entering. Putting out my writing can be nerve wracking but why would one write if not to be read? (Private journals not included.) Anyway, here are the tiny tales and others I wrote during this project.


"Dream Traveler"

One steamy late summer evening in Philadelphia, Baxter fell into a deep slumber and found himself wandering down a long hallway filled with a thousand doors. Choosing one, he entered a noisy boisterous bar filled with energy and excitement as far as the eye could see. He was feeling suddenly thirsty when a bartender sporting the curliest mustache he had ever seen exclaimed, "Welcome to Chicago, what's your poison?"

*********************************************************************************

"Feed Us!"

Drinking his morning coffee, Fletcher gazed out from the kitchen onto the overgrown yard.  A rogue hummingbird, then another, buzzed the window while hovering within inches from his face. "Feed us," they demanded, "for we must begin our long journey south for the Winter!"

*********************************************************************************

I dragged a tangled mass of branches around the house to dump over the hillside into an even more tangled pile. Focused on task, I was startled by two feeding does, each one more startled than me. And with a flash of a large white tail, they bound off across the yard!

*********************************************************************************

Waking up from a good night's sleep, I hear pouring rain and a distant thunder through the open window. The bedroom air smells good from the rains: sweet, grass-like, and dewy. I snuggle in for another hour covered from head to toe against the morning chill in my comfy quilt.

*********************************************************************************

The crackling Fall fire-pit warms my feet even through my hiking boots. A swig of bourbon is tempered with a toasted roasted marshmallow and the whiff of a good cigar. I'm heady from all the scents and will sleep well tonight.

*********************************************************************************

Summer tomatoes burst in my mouth, juices overflowing. Give me some basil and wet mozzarella and that'll be the way to start dinner! Unfortunately dinner didn't measure up to those wonderful summer tomatoes.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Tip for Reporters Covering Disasters

Hurricane Harvey (Nasa.gov)

A video interview occurred last week with a reporter sticking her microphone in a poor woman's face at one of the Houston evacuee shelters in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. It was an extremely uncomfortable moment which showed the raw emotions and pain of a woman and her family pushed to the edge by the tumultuous events surrounding the hurricane.

Link to the interview: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2Cw-J0s_-c

The reporter initially did not get the obvious hint that we the viewers picked up on, other than just saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." The woman kept stating, "And you are STILL putting that mic in my face." The reporter finally embarrassingly withdrew it, shaken up herself. I'm sure she regretted continuing the questioning.

I also feel that it wasn't her intent to set the woman off, but it happened and hopefully she will learn from it when interviewing in the future. And by the way, the news organization which the reporter is from has nothing to do with the reporter's questioning. I've seen various levels of incompetence on all three of the major cable news networks: CNN, MSNBC, and FOX.


There was a tip that I read for reporters from the comments section of an online article on Hurricane Harvey from The Washington Post in response to the video. With Hurricane Irma almost upon the Caribbean and then possibly Florida, I think it can be applied to that impending event as well.


"Do not ask how someone feels after a disaster. Ask them if there is something that they would like to share so that the people outside of the area can understand what is going on in there. That gives them the chance to say they cannot talk right now (due to emotions), vent all about all of the reporters in their faces, or tell what happened to them."

I don't profess to even know what the job of a reporter during a catastrophe is like but ...

FOOD FOR THOUGHT.



Thursday, August 31, 2017

Pets and Hurricane Harvey





Pic by Scott Olson (Getty Images)


This picture really got to me. This poor swimming cat, with a look of desperation on his face, just trying to make it to higher ground. I was crushed when I saw this. People are not the only ones who have been suffering during Hurricane Harvey. People's pets and other animals are also fighting to survive. The photos of these animals all have the same look of fright, anxiety, and apprehension you see on the faces of their human companions.




Cowboys saving their cattle (from Houston Chronicle)

From the cowboy trying to get his horse to higher ground. To the farmer searching for his herd of cattle of 90, only to be able to find 30. The others presumed dead, including many calves. To the countless dogs and cats being passed from arm to arm or from carrier to boat, all to safety. To the farmer leading a stray long horn steer who is not fighting him because he wants to get to higher ground and safety. To still another herd of cattle, all 25 crowded around the last stand of high ground around the ranch house. Everyone and every animal, trying to survive.



"Frankie and Bear" Picture by Ed Lavandara CNN (off his Instagram page)

Frankie and Bear )above) had to be left behind by their human family who were unable to take the dogs with them into the rescue boat. Heartbroken, their only option was to leave them in their smaller boat, hoping someone would find them. Luckily, people did, are caring for the pooches, and will reunite them with their family at some point.


 Otis www.facebook.com/TieleDockens


And then we have Otis, a German Shepherd mix in Sinton, Texas, wandering around town with a bag of his favorite dog food after getting out from an enclosed porch. Apparently he knew exactly where to go for it at a local food store. He has since been reunited with his owner. Otis was just hungry and is now an internet celebrity! (picture by Sinton, Texas resident Tiele Dockens)

There are countless stories of heartache and tragedy but also ones of rescue and hope. People are still are struggling down in Texas and will continue to do so for months to come. Water pumps are breaking down, people still need to be rescued, and shelters are still being opened up.

For more information on the plight of the animals and pets during Hurricane Harvey, CNN has published an informative article: 

What can we do for our fellow man? There are a myriad of organizations collecting for those people that have lost everything to Hurricane Harvey. You can donate to the Red Cross, the Houston Food Bank, the Salvation Army, and Save the Children funds to name a few. The New York Times has published an excellent article and links for many charities in an effort to prevent people from getting scammed:

What can we do for the pets?  Another excellent article detailing pet relief efforts was published by Today.com: https://www.today.com/pets/hurricane-harvey-flooding-how-help-save-animals-pets-t115618 .

Specific relief organizations include the www.ASPCA.com, https://www.petcofoundation.org/, and www.humanesociety.org . Do your research and determine whether you want to donate locally, or donate nationally. Either way, make sure it's a bonafide organization. I will be donating to help those pets in need. No judgment calls during times like this either. If you wish to donate just for your fellow man, that's awesome. Everyone down there, people and pets, needs our help.



Sunday, August 27, 2017

Scaling Back Yet Again...


My social media contacts on Facebook have grown tremendously in the past several years, partly because of me wanting to promote the blog. But I don't think it has 'helped' the blog as I've thought or hoped it would. 

I'm torn somewhat but I've decided to scale back for my own sanity. I think I'm done with the acquaintance friend. I have more acquaintance friends on here from my local community which have caused me more stress than someone from Indiana who wants to be my friend just to read my blog! And guess who will ultimately remain, the housewife from Indiana who supports my writing. I'm done feeling like I have to have an online phone book called Facebook. I will go through and see who supports the blog. That will be a big decision. Keeping family, Philly friends, high school/college friends and fraternity bros are at the top of my list too. 

Time to evaluate again where this path called life is leading me! And remember, nothing in life is permanent. People come and go in our our lives and their is nothing wrong with that. Making someone feel guilty for these types of decisions is wrong though.