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If You Are Having a Bad Day Maybe You and Morgan Freeman Need to Have a Talk.

In Inspiration, Random on November 7, 2013 at 9:52 am

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Our kids are not just their test scores.

In Inspiration, Random on November 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm

 

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The following letter is to some students from their principle. It was sent home with their standardized tests scores. This, to me, is someone who really understands the education of our children. I found the letter on the blog of Mrs. Rycus, a third grade teacher.

The body of the letter:

“We are concerned that these tests do not always assess all of what it is that make each of you special and unique. The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you– the way your teachers do, the way I hope to, and certainly not the way your families do. They do not know that many of you speak two languages. They do not know that you can play a musical instrument or that you can dance or paint a picture. They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them or that your laughter can brighten the dreariest day. They do not know that you write poetry or songs, play or participate in sports, wonder about the future, or that sometimes you take care of your little brother or sister after school. They do not know that you have traveled to a really neat place or that you know how to tell a great story or that you really love spending time with special family members and friends. They do not know that you can be trustworthy, kind or thoughtful, and that you try, every day, to be your very best… the scores you get will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything. There are many ways of being smart.”

 

The picture belongs to Sanshoot on Flickr

Dumb Ways To Die

In Random on November 3, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Do You Really Understand How Many Kids Are Hungry?

In Inspiration, Random on November 1, 2013 at 7:05 am

 

Hunger should not be an issue in a country as prosperous as the United States. Now that the food stamp program has been cut but prices still rise it will be even more difficult. Think about how much food is thrown away each day. Can you look a child in the face and tell them they don’t deserve to eat? There are so many children in our country who rely on school lunches and the SNAP program. Do something, anything, to help feed them.

Places you can donate:

Local food banks

Feeding America.org

Ample Harvest.org

 

A Beautiful Love Story: NPR, StoryCorps, Danny and Annie

In Inspiration, Random on October 27, 2013 at 8:51 am

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‘Never Say Goodbye’: A Love And Life Kept Vivid

by NPR STAFF

October 25, 2013 3:28 AM

Annie Perasa on a recent visit to StoryCorps.

StoryCorps

When we first met Danny and Annie Perasa in 2004, we heard about how their first date unfolded into an on-the-spot marriage proposal. We got a sense of Danny’s big personality and his deep love for his wife. And we heard about his daily love notes to her.

To my princess, the weather out today is extremely rainy, I’ll call you at 11:20 in the morningAnd I love you, I love you, I love you.

“If I don’t have a note on the kitchen table, I think there’s something wrong,” Annie told StoryCorps then. “You write a love letter to me every morning.”

“When a guy is happily married, no matter what happens at work, no matter what happens in the rest of the day,” Danny said, “there’s a shelter when you get home, there’s a knowledge, knowing that you can hug somebody without them throwing you down the stairs and saying, ‘Get your hands off me.’ Being married is like having a color television set; you never want to go back to black and white.”

Two years later, we learned that Danny, a horse-betting clerk, stopped by the StoryCorps booth many times to talk about his love for Annie, a nurse. Danny had become something of a public face of StoryCorps, the 2004 interview touching so many. StoryCorps dedicated its recording booth in Grand Central Terminal to the couple.

We also learned that Danny had been diagnosed with a fast-spreading cancer.

Not long after his diagnosis, the Perasas recorded another StoryCorps interview, this time at their Brooklyn, N.Y., home. Danny again spoke of his love for Annie.

“I always said the only thing I have to give you was a poor gift, and it’s myself, and I always gave it, and if there’s a way to come back and give it, I’ll do that too,” Danny said.

And there was another love letter from Danny to Annie.

The Perasas' StoryCorps interview in 2006, not long after Danny was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

The Perasas’ StoryCorps interview in 2006, not long after Danny was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

StoryCorps

My dearest wife, this is a very special day. It is a day on which we share our love which still grows after all these years. Now that love is being used by us to sustain us through these hard times. All my love, all my days and more. Happy Valentine’s Day.

“I could write on and on about her. She lights up the room in the morning when she tells me to put both hands on her shoulders so that she can support me. She lights up my life when she says to me at night, ‘Wouldn’t you like a little ice cream? Or ‘Would you please drink more water?’ ” Danny said. “I mean, those aren’t very romantic things to say, but they stir my heart. In my mind and my heart there has never been, there is not now and never will be another Annie.”

Not long after the interview, Danny Perasa passed away in his sleep after his fight with pancreatic cancer.

Today, Annie, 71, still lives in the apartment where that 2006 interview was recorded.

“I know that people have written to StoryCorps asking if I was still alive,” Annie says. “No, I’m still alive, and I live with the philosophy that Danny and I always had. It was: Never say goodbye.”

Danny and Annie Perasa on their wedding day on April 22, 1978.

Danny and Annie Perasa on their wedding day on April 22, 1978.

Courtesy of Annie Perasa

This year they would have celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. “And I miss my letters from Danny; I do,” Annie says. “But after Danny died, I had received 1,300 letters of condolences. I mean, I got letters as far away as Beijing, China, or Paris, France:

My English is not too well please excuse me, I wish to send my condolences.

“So I would read one a day because Danny wrote me a love letter every day,” Annie says.

“You know, like people say, ‘You must miss Danny terribly.’ No, it was an honor to be married to him, so it’s not terrible that I had the time to be with him,” Annie says. “You know, life is too short. You come, and you’re gone. But Danny didn’t go. He’s not gone because of StoryCorps.”

Produced for Morning Edition by Michael Garofalo with Sarah Kramer.

If you would like to hear the NPR broadcast please go to : http://www.npr.org/2013/10/25/240291885/never-say-goodbye-a-love-and-life-kept-vivid?utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=20131027&utm_source=mostemailed

I Can’t Believe Our Schools Do This To Kids. What Are We Becoming?

In Random on October 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm

 

I don’t think I have ever begged to have a post shared before but I am now. Please share this post. Please contact your local school board and government and get this stopped. If we respond to our children with violence in a school setting we are creating angrier and more violent kids. I am not exaggerating when I say this story made me cry. I just don’t understand the mentality that will allow someone to think that shocking a kid or putting them in a dark closet-like room for hours is healthy. What in the hell is wrong with our society that this type of treatment is being approved by schools.

I do realize that there are kids that are extremely difficult to deal with, I get that. But I don’t think that these responses to bad behavior are productive. It is barbaric.

Please let me know your thoughts on this and please SHARE.

 

Sing Along With Me…Ban Bags Made of Plastic

In Random on October 24, 2013 at 11:35 am

One of Many Reasons I am Proud of My Son and Why He Won’t Be Listening to Eminem Again

In Inspiration, Random on October 23, 2013 at 8:58 am

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Yesterday my almost 20 year old son and I were running errands and he asked me to listen to this new song by Eminem. He told me most of the rest of the album sucked but he liked the title song “Rap God”. As he started the song I told him that I had just read a headline that said that Eminem;s new song was controversial due to some anti-gay lyrics. Turns out he hadn’t picked up on that so he REALLY listened to the song. Here are the lyrics that we heard.

Rap God by Eminem

Look, I was gonna go easy on you and not to hurt your feeliAnnotatengs
But I’m only going to get this one chance
Something’s wrong, I can feel it (Six minutes, Slim Shady, you’re on)
Just a feeling I’ve got, like something’s about to happen, but I don’t know what
If that means, what I think it means, we’re in trouble, big trouble, and if he is as bananas as you say, I’m not taking any chances
You were just what the doctor ordered

[Hook 1]
I’m beginning to feel like a Rap God, Rap God
All my people from the front to the back nod, back nod
Now who thinks their arms are long enough to slapbox, slapbox?
They said I rap like a robot, so call me Rapbot

[Verse 1]
But for me to rap like a computer must be in my genes
I got a laptop in my back pocket
My pen’ll go off when I half-cock it
Got a fat knot from that rap profit
Made a living and a killing off it
Ever since Bill Clinton was still in office
With Monica Lewinsky feeling on his nut-sack
I’m an MC still as honest
But as rude and as indecent as all hell
Syllables, killaholic (Kill ’em all with)
This slickety, gibbedy, hibbedy hip-hop
You don’t really wanna get into a pissing match with this rappidy rap
Packing a Mac in the back of the Ac, backpack rap crap, yep, yep, yackity-yak
Now at the exact same time
I attempt these lyrical acrobat stunts while I’m practicing that
I’ll still be able to break a motherfuckin’ table
Over the back of a couple of faggots and crack it in half
Only realized it was ironic I was signed to Aftermath after the fact
How could I not blow? All I do is drop F-bombs, feel my wrath of attack
Rappers are having a rough time period, here’s a maxipad
It’s actually disastrously bad for the wack
While I’m masterfully constructing this masterpiece as

[Hook 2]
I’m beginning to feel like a Rap God, Rap God
All my people from the front to the back nod, back nod
Now who thinks their arms are long enough to slapbox, slapbox?
Let me show you maintaining this shit ain’t that hard, that hard

[Verse 2]
Everybody want the key and the secret to rap immortality like I have got
Well, to be truthful the blueprint’s simply rage and youthful exuberance
Everybody loves to root for a nuisance
Hit the earth like an asteroid, did nothing but shoot for the moon since
MC’s get taken to school with this music
Cause I use it as a vehicle to bust a rhyme
Now I lead a new school full of students
Me? I’m a product of Rakim, Lakim Shabazz, 2Pac N-
-W.A, Cube, Hey Doc, Ren, Yella, Eazy, thank you, they got Slim
Inspired enough to one day grow up, blow up and be in a position
To meet Run DMC, induct them, into the motherfuckin’ Rock n’
Roll Hall of Fame
Even though I walk in the church and burst in a ball of flames
Only Hall of Fame I be inducted in is the alcohol of fame
On the wall of shame
You fags think it’s all a game ’til I walk a flock of flames
Off a plank, and tell me what in the fuck are you thinking?
Little gay looking boy
So gay I can barely say it with a straight face looking boy
You witnessing a massacre
Like you watching a church gathering take place looking boy
Oy vey, that boy’s gay, that’s all they say looking boy
You get a thumbs up, pat on the back
And a way to go from your label everyday looking boy
Hey, looking boy, what you say looking boy?
I get a “hell yeah” from Dre looking boy
I’mma work for everything I have
Never ask nobody for shit, get outta my face looking boy
Basically boy you’re never gonna be capable
To keeping up with the same pace looking boy

[Hook 3]
I’m beginning to feel like a Rap God, Rap God
All my people from the front to the back nod, back nod
The way I’m racing around the track, call me Nascar, Nascar
Dale Earnhardt of the trailer park, the White Trash God
Kneel before General Zod this planet’s Krypton, no Asgard, Asgard

[Verse 3]
So you be Thor and I’ll be Odin, you rodent, I’m omnipotent
Let off then I’m reloading immediately with these bombs I’m totin’
And I should not be woken
I’m the walking dead, but I’m just a talking head, a zombie floating
But I got your mom deep throating
I’m out my ramen noodle, we have nothing in common, poodle
I’m a doberman, pinch yourself in the arm and pay homage, pupil
It’s me, my honesty’s brutal
But it’s honestly futile if I don’t utilize what I do though
For good at least once in a while
So I wanna make sure somewhere in this chicken scratch I scribble and doodle
Enough rhymes to maybe try to help get some people through tough times
But I gotta keep a few punchlines just in case cause even you unsigned
Rappers are hungry looking at me like it’s lunchtime
I know there was a time where once I
Was king of the underground, but I still rap like I’m on my Pharoahe Monch grind
So I crunch rhymes, but sometimes when you combine
Appeal with the skin color of mine
You get too big and here they come trying to censor you
Like that one line I said on “I’m Back” from the Mathers LP1
Where I tried to say I take seven kids from Columbine
Put ’em all in a line, add an AK-47, a revolver and a nine
See if I get away with it now that I ain’t as big as I was
But I’ve morphed into an immortal coming through the portal
You’re stuck in a timewarp from 2004 though
And I don’t know what the fuck that you rhyme for
You’re pointless as Rapunzel with fucking cornrows
You’re like normal, fuck being normal
And I just bought a new Raygun from the future
To just come and shoot ya like when Fabolous made Ray J mad
Cause Fab said he looked like a fag at Mayweather’s pad
Singin’ to a man while they played piano
Man, oh man, that was a 24/7 special on the cable channel
So Ray J went straight to the radio station the very next day
”Hey, Fab, I’mma kill you”
Lyrics coming at you at supersonic speed, (JJ Fad)
Uh, sama lamaa duma lamaa you assuming I’m a human
What I gotta do to get it through to you I’m superhuman
Innovative and I’m made of rubber
So that anything you say is ricocheting off of me and it’ll glue to you
I’m devastating, more than ever demonstrating
How to give a motherfuckin’ audience a feeling like it’s levitating
Never fading, and I know the haters are forever waiting
For the day that they can say I fell off, they’d be celebrating
Cause I know the way to get ’em motivated
I make elevating music, you make elevator music
Oh, he’s too mainstream
Well, that’s what they do when they get jealous, they confuse it
It’s not hip hop, it’s pop, cause I found a hella way to fuse it
With rock, shock rap with Doc
Throw on Lose Yourself and make ’em lose it
I don’t know how to make songs like that
I don’t know what words to use
Let me know when it occurs to you
While I’m ripping any one of these verses, that versus you
It’s curtains, I’m inadvertently hurtin’ you
How many verses I gotta murder to prove
That if you were half as nice at songs, you can sacrifice virgins too (ughhh)
School flunkie, pill junky
But look at the accolades the skills brung me
Full of myself, but still hungry
I bully myself cause I make me do what I put my mind to
And I’m a million leagues above you, ill when I speak in tongues
But it’s still tongue in cheek, fuck you
I’m drunk so Satan take the fucking wheel, I’m asleep in the front seat
Bumping Heavy D and the Boys, still chunky, but funky
But in my head there’s something I can feel tugging and struggling
Angels fight with devils and here’s what they want from me
They’re asking me to eliminate some of the women hate
But if you take into consideration the bitter hatred I had
Then you may be a little patient and more sympathetic to the situation
And understand the discrimination
But fuck it, life’s handing you lemons, make lemonade then
But if I can’t batter the women how the fuck am I supposed to bake them a cake then?
Don’t mistake it for Satan
It’s a fatal mistake if you think I need to be overseas
And take a vacation to trip abroad
And make her fall on her face and don’t be a retard
Be a king? Think not – why be a king when you can be a God?

Needless to say, I was not happy. My son sat there for a minute and then said, “Mom, I really didn’t hear that. I just liked the beat.” Then I said something about spreading hate and he turned to me and said, “Well, I guess that’s the last Eminem song I’ll listen to.” The reason that I was impressed is that as a parent we hope that we communicate good values and sometimes its hard considering the outside influences that our kids are exposed to and it made me very happy to know that my son also believes that everyone deserves to be loved.

Here is a song that expresses how we feel.

Here are the lyrics:

Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

[Verse 1: Macklemore]
When I was in the 3rd grade
I thought that I was gay
Cause I could draw, my uncle was
And I kept my room straight
I told my mom, tears rushing down my face
She’s like, “Ben, you’ve loved girls since before Pre-K!”
Tripping, yeah, I guess she had a point, didn’t she?
A bunch of stereotypes all in my head
I remember doing the math, like
“Yeah, I’m good at little league”
A pre-conceived idea of what it all meant
For those that like the same sex had the characteristics
The right-wing conservatives think it’s a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made, rewiring of a pre-disposition, playing God
Ahh, nah, here we go
America the brave still fears what we don’t know
And “God loves all his children” is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five hundred years ago
I don’t know

[Hook: Mary Lambert]
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm [x4]

[Verse 2: Macklemore]
If I was gay I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately?
“Man, that’s gay” gets dropped on the daily
We’ve become so numb to what we’re saying
Our culture founded from oppression
Yet we don’t have acceptance for ’em
Call each other faggots
Behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate
Yet our genre still ignores it
“Gay” is synonymous with the lesser
It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk-outs and sit-ins
It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference
Live on! And be yourself!
When I was in church they taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service, those words aren’t anointed
That Holy Water that you soak in has been poisoned
When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same but that’s not important
No freedom til we’re equal
Damn right I support it

[Trombone Interlude]
I don’t know

[Hook]

[Verse 3: Macklemore]
We press play, don’t press pause
Progress, march on!
With a veil over our eyes, we turn our back on the cause
‘Til the day that my uncles can be united by law
Kids are walking around the hallway
Plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful
Some would rather die
Than be who they are
And a certificate on paper
Isn’t gonna solve it all
But it’s a damn good place to start
No law’s gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever god you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear, underneath, it’s all the same love
About time that we raised up!

[Hook]

[Outro: Mary Lambert]
Love is patient, love is kind
Love is patient (not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind (not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient (not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind (not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient (not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind (not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient (not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind (not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient (not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind (not crying on Sundays)

 

 

HEAR THIS!!! You ARE good enough just the way you are and EVERYONE deserves to be loved. EVERYONE.

In Inspiration, Random on October 21, 2013 at 2:52 pm

 

 

I am so very fortunate to have many, many friends of every ethnic and economic background both heterosexual and homosexual.  They are wonderful people. It makes my head spin when I hear racist comments…when I see children shunned because their clothes are from a discount store….when parents, teachers, neighbors, bosses, religious leaders and all manners of judgmental people tell another human being they need to be something they are not.

I watched this video and it broke my heart that so many young people would be put through such a program at an age when they are trying to figure themselves out. Shame on this man. Shame on a society that thrives on hating others. Shame. Shame. Shame.

reparativeInfographic

 

The graphic was borrowed from:

The Lies and Dangers of Efforts to Change Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

An article from The Human Rights Campaign that is very thought-provoking.

You Can’t Handle the Truth… or how cute this kid is

In Random on October 20, 2013 at 5:27 pm

 

4 Year old Sruli does Colonel Jessup’s (Jack Nicholson) entire courtroom monologue from A Few Good Men.

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