Friday, November 10, 2017

Story of an "unknown" soldier.....

OK, now here’s the story about that headstone.

Back in late summer my kids, mother and I went to Resurrection Cemetery to pay respect to my grandfather.
Now mind you, he’s not my biological grandfather, but treated me and my brother like we were his biological grandkids. He and my non-biological grandmother loved us, doted on us (well, him more than her but…that’s ok, eh?) took care of us, was supportive of us, gave us gifts…you know what I mean; what a grandparent should do.

So along with us looking at the gravesites of him, our grandmother, some aunts and uncles from my step-father’s side of the family my mother attempted to find other family members from that side of the family that were buried along the “old part” of the cemetery.
We got all mixed up there, lost in a way.

Well, not lost where we wouldn’t be able to find our way out of the cemetery but we drove, and drove…and drove more according to mom’s orders: “Here! It’s by that huge statue! No wait! Turn left here NOW! Wait! Stop! No, wait…go straight! It’s near the tiny mausoleum! No, wait!” Oh, my….goodness! So here I am, in my car on a warm day with the ADHD kids, mother and dog, driving all over Resurrection Cemetery listening to “mi general” threatening to leave her here with her boyfriend the Cucuy because she’s making me waste gas driving for almost an hour in a cemetery looking for a grave!
After taking a deep breath and realizing how funny it would be me explaining to my tias why I left mom in a cemetery I started to notice in the “old side” of the cemetery there were headstones that had birthdates in the 1800s. I then had the kids and mom and the dog play a game to be distracted with the anxiety I had caused by Mrs Cucuy. I shouted, “HEY! Let’s play a game! Who can find the oldest headstone with the earliest birthdate!
I know, right? Some game for the whole family, eh? “Come on, everyone! We’re going to the cemetery to play momma’s favorite game, “FIND THE EARLIEST BIRTHDATE ON HEADSTONES!”

Yes, Halloween is our favorite holiday, we love the Munsters, Addams Family, Svengoolie and I have skulls all over the house. We may be slightly clinically macabre, but it was a pretty good idea because instead of the kids fighting over which side of the back seat was theirs and which side the dog could drool on, they shut the heck up and were hanging out the car windows looking for dates on headstones. We were shouting out dates “1901! 1843! 1871(which made my daughter excited because she studied about the Great Chicago Fire which occurred in 1871…read a book, y’all) and debating who had the earliest date with the person who finds that stone must point it out to us. After this went on for a bit we were near an area my mother “THOUGHT” was where this mysterious gravestone was as she suddenly shouted “STOP HERE!”


I stop the car; slowly turn my head to her and she, totally oblivious of my annoyance glibly asked me and my daughter to venture out to look for the name on the “brown” headstones.

I thought, ok; I’ll stretch my legs a bit and get the kid some exercise to chill her out as well….but then I wondered if my mother would drive away and leave me with the Cucuy as I threatened her repeatedly, so I took the keys, my daughter and trekked down a row of stones.
We were looking for the name mom told us, admiring the craftsmanship of these amazing monuments that were created to remind loved ones of their deceased family members. There were such amazing carvings of angels, saints, Jesus and Mary with gemstones tucked in some of the stones…I felt like I was in an outdoor art museum for masonry.

And the dates on these stones! 1849, 1877, 1861, 1865…I mean, we were looking at history! I was tempted to go to the local grocery store for parchment and crayons! Anyone else macabre like me will know why one would use crayons and parchment paper in a cemetery.

Then, as my daughter won the game with the earliest birth headstone (1843) I came across this very simple and old stone.

It reminded me of the headstones they use in both Arlington National Cemetery in DC and the fallen from D-Day in Normandy, France. It was very simple, plain, rectangle. It was a basic, white military headstone. Well, should have been white but was filthy with age. It was difficult to see the date as it was at the bottom of the stone with chunky dirt at the bottom that was so thick and caked on, it was like moving hardened cement. I genuinely tried to move some to see the date but just got my fingernails full of dirt.

I was so touched by the simplicity of this military stone and felt compelled to take a picture of it. It also made me sad that there was no one in this person’s family to visit and pray, to leave flowers or an American flag, or to even tend to the gravesite.

I forgot about that photo until today when I was cleaning out my phone and happened upon it, so with that in mind, I not only felt my history “boner” get on (yes, I’m vulgar…no apologies) to research this individual who lived a long time ago in our galaxy, but felt that it’s my small, patriotic duty to share the information I found out about that gravestone, as it does pertain to my Facebook profile picture.

His name was Joseph H. Chylewski/Chyleuski, PVT 355 INFANTRY, 89 DIVISION, COMPANY K.

I found him in the database of the 89th Division web page which listed the 355th Infantry which was established 5 August 1917 in the National Army as the 355th Infantry and assigned to the 89th Division. It was organized 27 August 1917 at Camp Funston, Kansas and demobilized 1-3 June 1919 at Camp Funston, Kansas.

This division of the US Army had some of the original “Dough Boys” who were trained to fight in northeastern France in the Lorraine/Argonne Forest area where one of the most brutal battles of World War I occurred: The St. Mihiel Offensive and Battle at Meuse-Argonne. That was the biggest operation and victory of the US Army in WWI.

I was able to find quite a bit of information!

He was born in Chicago on March 16th, 1887 at 4841 South Paulina…in his house and according to his draft record he was a private firefighter for the Union Theater at 4658 South Ashland by Back of the Yards.

If anyone knows what the heck a “private firefighter” was during the early 1900s, leave me a comment please! Thanks!

His draft/enlistment record also showed that on June 5th, 1917 he was still living with his parents who immigrated from Germany in the late 1870s , was a natural citizen of the United States, was of tall and slender build, white race, light brown eyes, black hair…slightly balding….?

Hey, don’t give me guff about the balding bit and kill the messenger, eh? That’s what I read. I sound like Elaine from “Seinfeld” describing George Costanza.

His parents were Mary and Andrew and both immigrated from "Germany" after the Franco-Prussian War in the late 1870s, when a lot of Polish named immigrants left what should have been Poland but was actually part of Prussia.

He was discharged 1st of June 1919 and went into the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers which had a facility in Johnson City, TN in 1921. He was admitted for advanced tuberculosis; he died January 17th 1929 and is buried at Resurrection Cemetery.
Now you’re probably wondering what in the world made me write all this for you to read. Well, it IS Veteran’s Day, and by all means we should remember and honor our veteran’s in every branch of the military and every war that has been fought by them as if it weren’t for them…yes, and I’m sure some of you are tired of hearing “they fought for the freedoms of all Americans,” but they did.

I’m not tired of hearing what our vets and soldiers have done and continue to do. I try my best to honor them by doing as much as I can despite they seem little to some. I have a veteran neighbor down the block who needs occasional help with grocery shopping or cleaning his home. I buy poppies almost every Memorial Day and when I can, I donate to food banks and even to coat banks for our vets.

I did this little research project, for a brave former “Dough Boy” who too fought for our freedoms all the way across the pond, in a country whose language he had absolutely no knowledge of whatsoever. He was disconnected from everything he knew and was familiar with bunking with a bunch of fellow “Dough Boys” who were also scared. Him and the “Dough Boys” couldn’t help but feel terrified, horrified, displaced, lonely, homesick, hungry or thirsty, sickened by mustard gas exposure, surrounded by death, freezing, wet from rain and/or snow, sick with tuberculosis and trench foot. Some of them even had facial disfigurements from various shrapnel explosions….

…and all this without telephones, televisions, radios, the internet…..YES, everyone! This was 100 years ago. Snail mail was almost literally at a snail’s pace.

But they endured. They adapted and improvised. Some came back home; some didn’t and those who did make it back to what they called “home” were never the same again.

If this makes you think again about thanking a vet and you go do just that or you donate, or volunteer your services, then my little project isn’t so little, is it?

God bless our vets!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Juan's story 2

I was told by my cousins that I am a complete waste of space and oxygen for years.

I barely remember my father or my mother but do remember a tia of mine who was kind, generous and very affectionate. She put a lot of effort into me in so many ways as I recalled having ice skating lessons, trips to Old Chicago which was a huge indoor amusement park that was crazy fun! I just remember being in her arms as we rode scary rides and feeling the warmth of her bosom and her equally rapid heartbeat against my cheek which made me feel good, and special. The amount of junk food we'd eat, the night's staying up late even on a school night in the still warm evenings of September watching Johnny Carson and just being hugged, kissed and told "you ARE a gift, Juanito" from her. I remember her beautiful and long strawberry blond hair that had tight coils resembling tangled copper wire which she controlled either by ironing it on her ironing board or wrapping her hair in huge soup-can sized hair curlers that she bravely slept in several nights of the week. I never knew what she did for a living as, well; what would a little kid in kindergarten and first grade be thinking in regard to what their guardian/parent does, wouldn't you say? I just remember living in the moment without a care or wonder of what became of the parents I was supposed to have and why I just had my tia with me constantly. At times when I was picked up at school kids would ask, "is that your mother?" and I'd say "no, my tia" with replies of puzzled expressions, as I apparently were speaking to Anglo or Black kids who had no idea what a "tia" was at that time of our planet's orbit.

I recall the last time I saw my tia. I was getting ready for bed and she was having an argument with Jorge, her boyfriend. He was so angry about something she shouldn't have done, as he kept yelling "you shouldn't have done that" at my tia. After a lot of yelling and screaming and crying, Jorge finally left and my tia scooped me up...pj's and all, grabbed my shoes, my rucksack and my bear, her purse and took me to her sister's house. I remember the long drive to the northern suburbs of Chicago, passing all the expressway landmarks like the ominous buildings downtown, the Magikist lips sign that lit up the night and then the darkness that fell upon us as we left city limits. As I was carried out of the car at our destination I remember hearing the sharp clicking on the marble-esque pathway that led to my tia's sisters' house as she carried me hurriedly and told me as she rang the doorbell, "mira mijo; you have to stay with your Tia Mari for a day. I have something important to do and I'll be back tomorrow after school to bring you home, ok?" I recall numbly nodding at my tia as I looked around at the huge, imposing house and scary looking door that had a huge brass knocker that I always wanted to touch so badly. As I clutched my tia reaching for that knocker I heard harder clicking of heels from the other side of the door on marble floor that sounded like a woodpecker going to town on a redwood. The door flew open and there was my other "tia." My tia's sister who refused to allow me to call her "tia." I was to call her "Mari."

As I looked upon her scowling face, her jet black hair long and luscious like Cher from the "Sonny and Cher Show" she shifted her hip to the side and crossed her arms saying "so, I have to keep him overnight? I really don't want to nor have the time for a small child. I have enough kids to care for in this house!" She sounded very upset, angry. It scared me. I barely saw "Mari" and when I did it was just for family gatherings where I felt so tiny, unimportant and ignored by her side of the family ...which didn't bother me at that time as my main M.O. was to run around and play as long and as often as I could.

"Mari," my tia said firmly but in her usual calm manner. "It's just for one night. It's urgent. I'll be back tomorrow afternoon or evening, around 7PM latest. Please? Besides," she said, swaying with me in her arms and tilting her head to the side making her huge curly hair fall over her eyes. "You owe me, girl. You don't want me to let 'you know who' know about the truth, do you?"

Mari uncrossed her arms rapidly and stood up straight and had a wide-eyed expression and actually spoke so rapidly I almost didn't understand her as she sputtered, "you know you can't do that because me and the kids really need this house and our life style, and my car and..." She was interrupted by my tia who walked in the house right past Mari, still carrying me and laughing. "I knew it would take a threat to get you moving your lazy, fake queen butt. I'll lay him down, all you have to do is make sure he has breakfast, is dressed for school and taken there, ok?"

I heard the scary door slam hard and the loud clicking of Mari's heels on her marble floor sounding faster like she was running after my tia. "You be back by 5PM tomorrow as I have very important plans!" My tia made her way up a small spiral staircase and as I glanced back at Mari chasing us, I turned around to see us walk past several doors including a red one that I was forbidden to go through via warnings from Mari and my cousins. Tia picked a random door, went through it, flicked on the light and put me down on a bed that was fixed like a hotel room. I remember the hotel room we stayed in when tia took me to the Florida Keys after our adventures at Disney World and Cape Canaveral and this room reminded me of that hotel.

She started to tuck me into bed and Mari was at the open doorway with her arms crossed again and a very angry look on her face. Tia put my small rucksack on the floor at the foot of the bed, gave me my bear and sat at the edge of the bed caressing my head and looking at me saying "listen sweetie, I have some errands to run and I won't be done until tomorrow, so you be a good boy, listen to your Tia Mari, she's going to take you to school and pick you up and by the time you're finished with dinner, I'll be here to pick you up and we'll go home, ok?" I nodded glancing at Mari's angry, burrowed brow and scrunched up face then turned quickly to tia, hugging her.

"I'll be right back, mijo. Be good and we'll go for ice cream and a late night with Johnny, ok?" I looked up at her from my embrace and replied, "ok. I like Johnny." She laughed, hugged me hard and I smelled her hair which had a faint aroma of Chanel #5. I remember the bottle she always used to spray in the air with her walking into it. I always thought it was odd that she didn't spray herself with it but sprayed the air like the air smells bad.

She got up from the bed, crossed her arms at Mari and pointed at her and said, "remember, Mari. YOU owe me, so help me this one time and I'll never bug you again, yeah?" Mari rolled her eyes asking "do I have a choice?" My tia dropped her arms and replied, "no, especially since I never bug you with anything as you always need me to get you out of trouble." Mari sipped in

"I'll see you tomorrow," she said to both of us. She kissed me one more time before leaving. They both exited the room with Mari turning off the light angrily and slamming the door hard behind her, giving me a bit of a scare.

As I burrowed into the bed I felt scared, clutching my bear and pulling the blankets up to my nose and knowing I was probably not going to get any sleep that night. The room was quite dark with a tiny window at the top of the wall that was equally dark. No moonlight or city street lights to make me feel better about sleeping in strange and horribly different bed that even smelled strange. Not at all like the hotel I stayed in.

But nothing scared me more than what was about to happen in my life the next day.....

Juan's story, part 1

Yes, I am Juan. John in the "queen's English," Ian or Iain in Scottish, Evan in Welsh, and Sean or Eoin in Irish. The meaning of my name is "God's gracious gift."

Well, I really never felt precious, or a gift to anyone for a long time. And you're probably wondering why all the WASPy references to my given name, "Juan."

I'll get to that part later.

My story isn't to garner sympathy, pity or sadness but to help others learn of the evil that can be in human beings...

...and hamsters!

It's not something I usually share with everyone but as I mentioned I am determined to help as many individuals that may succeed in any of their endeavors as they go about on this big, blue marble that spins out in the middle of the Milky Way and holds some of the most heinous things on it.

But it also has good on it, as it rotates every single day every 24 hours 1,000 miles per hour and orbiting every year around our closest star the mighty sun at a speed of 18.5 miles a second. This blue marble holds the love, joys, hatred, evil, and just plain old disgusting vile scum that any living being can but shouldn't encounter.

But as I mentioned, there is good.

And it took me a time to find that good.

Let me start at the beginning if I may....

Friday, September 29, 2017

Football and autism mom's UNITE!

How do you other football moms do it?

I mean, just like the memes say, my fridge is empty, garbage is overflowing(why? We're never home!), my yard has been overtaken by weird alien-like weeds that I've never seen in my entire life on earth where I'm about to call Neil deGrasse Tyson to ask him if I may email pics of these...things and see if he knows what planet they may have landed from as yes; I've NEVER seen killer weeds like these... and I'm near AARP age! My floor needs mopping, my laundry is multiplying(dear God make our money multiply like that safely with lots of zeros at the end...amen!) at such a frightening rate but fortunately I don't need to wear my bathing suit as underwear...yet. My car trunk is a locker room, my car smells of man sweat, dog and fart, I need milk and bread constantly, I have coupons for bottled water and fast food all over my car, and I'm almost always a hair from an empty tank of gas. Plus, with all that doing it's "thing," if anyone talks smack about my son's teammates, I shall hurt them because they're my boys too.

Yes, I'm in momma bear mode constantly.

My fridge is sticky with maraschino cherry juice and ketchup that someone spilled as that's what they wanted for dinner...with a side of saltines....oh yeah! Forget that mom made garlic mashed potatoes from scratch and BBQ rib tips in the slow cooker....fake cherries and fake tomato paste with dry saltines? Very nutritious! Trust me, I've done the "meals that freeze beautifully" meal planner that's in old Women's Day magazines to plan a months worth of meals...but the kids? They don't want what comes out of the freezer because for some reason they get skeezed out with leftovers. They wanna be like the Heck family from the show "The Middle," eating nothing but sandwiches, no prob! Easy peasy to make a sammie with bread, or those there sun dried tomato wraps from Aldi, which are....fabulous! But hey, ya'll can make momma's life easier than usual. Eat that ketchup/cherry sandwich on that wrap. Just take your vitamins in the morning.

OK, then.

Then after all the ketchup dinner/football/homework scene is done, I have MY paperwork for my patients to finish, doctors to call to verify tests, blood results, RX's are filled....THEN....shower time for everyone...but me, so until everyone is in bed I too smell like man sweat, dog, fart and my own sweat. And there are so many TV shows I want to indulge in, like Ken Burns "Vietnam War" which is on PBS in a ten part series, and you KNOW with a Ken Burns documentary you have to clear out about 20 hours on your DVR to save it and have a binge fest to watch it, eh?

I'm physically, mentally and emotionally drained! And I need a Coca-Cola, STAT!

I'm just saying, eh?

Or in this case asking....rhetorically....ok, maybe not rhetorically.

How DO you football moms do it? Especially if your kids have special needs?

I do love watching my autistic son participate in what will be his senior year of high school football, which is a bit bittersweet....and coach IS playing him more often....but didn't at homecoming....and with it being hell hot outside that day, the game started when the sun is at it's peak....12 felt my son was a bit too delicate to play as it was too hot. coach knew I had my son's team there, IE, former grade school teachers, classmates, family members, friends, etc....and boy did they want to chew coach a NEW you-know-what, eh?

Alas...I do it for love....and I'm sure that's how you football moms "get 'er done."

Because we love our rugratis maximus.

And my heart is full.

It runneth over, actually.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Random guy encounter story #1....

I was going through old photos looking for a photo I had of my cousin who died this past spring of Cirrhosis of the liver. Apparently this is an issue in my family as a few members suffered from liver issues including the "C" word.

Anyway, I found a photo from back in the day...the late 1980s ala "Goldbergs" era...1980 something.

This is a photo taken of two guys stuffed in an old school photo booth, one sitting back acting like he lives the "thug" life and the other young man actually showing the "thug" life by displaying his middle or as I like to say displaying his "DRIVING FINGER."

You know; the FU finger....which is funny as I never see anyone using their "DRIVING FINGER" as they just yell "HEY FAT 'B' WORD; MOVE YOUR DANG CAR!" Or they honk the heck outta me....

So, as I looked at the picture my younger sister asked about it and was laughing because....well, come on! Two dudes stuffed in a photo booth? and "Flip them the bird" from "Good Morning Vietnam" style? It's funny...because it's so tacky to "flip someone off." It's also so ten minutes ago, y'know?


I met this guy as I was leaving a night club on a Tuesday night.

Don't judge me...I was 21, single, an RN, no kids or husband or dog. I worked my butt off in the ER and at times aside from my crazy early morning workouts I worked part time at a night club as a bartender but I liked punker, new wave, metal, grunge and alternative as it's known now.

I hung out at the club for a bit but there was absolutely almost no one there accept for a couple of guys, a server and a bartender.

After hearing "Panic" by The Smiths and singing "hang the DJ, hang the DJ," I decided to split and just wanted to go home.
As I was leaving this dude came up to me saying "doesn't it suck when there's no one at the club?"

I gave him a bit of the "stink eye" but being a nice person yet cautious of any "random guy" coming up to me as; well, come one, yo! I'm a single girl, eh?

"Yeah, it's weird how empty it is, but it IS a Tuesday, a weird day to hit the clubs anyway, eh?"

He nods, agrees then as I walk away saying "good night" he asks "where are you going?"

"Home, dude," I reply, walking south on Clark to go home.

"Where's your car?"

"I don't have a car, I"m walking."

He looked a bit surprised and asked, "how far do you live?"

I replied, "LaSalle and Maple."



Now dig this; back in the day when I was a spring chicken I WALKED everywhere...I mean it! I was in awesome shape, a size 5 in clothes, so, it was not a big deal to walk to Lake and State from Water Tower Place, or Northwestern where I worked later but worked at Illinois Masonic Hospital and have walked home from Wellington to Lasalle and Maple....and when I moved to Berwyn I would take the Blue Line to Oak Park and walk down Oak Park Avenue all the way to walking for half an hour which is how long it took me to walk from this club which I've done many times. You see; everyone is afraid of Chicago thinking it's completely full of thugs that just come up to random guys or girls and shoot them. I love my city, I love to walk especially when it's nice; I can just pop my headphones on and play my CD Walkman listening to my tunes.

I was not afraid to walk down Clark or Sedgewick to go home to my apartment on LaSalle.

"Look guy," I do this all the time when it's nice outside...I have protection(mace and a knife), I know the area well, I'm not a tourist or an idiot. So...there."

He gives me a thoughtful look and says "well, I may be a punker according to straights like you, but I'm a gentleman. I'd like to walk you home if I may."

I was taken aback as...well, this dude with spiked hair and wearing a black biker jacket, a "SMITHS" T- torn jeans with safety pins place strategically in various areas of ripped material, Sharpee writings of "SEX PISTOLS, NAKED RAYGUN, SKINNY PUPPY" all written on one jean leg and "SID FOREVER" on the other in HUGE letters. Plus, his facial expression did show genuine concern, which really touched me. It's like when you see some big old tough Butch guy cuddling a puppy.

THAT'S what his face looked like....yes; like he was about to cuddle a puppy stuck in a cage at the Anti-Cruelty Society.

I relented, then started walking Clark and motioning to him and saying "well, come on then."

He followed me, walking south on Clark street talking about his life. He had it hard; his parents were never around, he was a "latch key kid" which is the expression they used to use back in the day for kids like us who are the product of single moms, dads or two working parents trying to make ends meet and can't be home when the kids get out of we wore our keys for the house around our necks....usually. I cannot count how many times I've lost my key which was on a string.

Yes, a string! That often, dang I've had so many kids in my class help me when I lived in Logan Square. Southies weren't as helpful when we relocated...but that's a different story.

Anyway, we walked. talked about we did for a living...he worked a forklift at a warehouse, he was impressed that this "HOT" punk aficionado of the fine music of "Screeching Weasel, The Smiths, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Front 242, Siouxie and the Banchees, the Pretenders," and other "alternative" bands had a genuine career with a college degree. "I usually meet strippers, bouncers, mechanics, brick layers...people like that. Working class folks who are real...and for being a college girl with a degree, working to save're very real. You're not fake, phoney, stuck up. You are real, nice."

I laughed and told him thanks and turned down Lincoln to Wells, and walked...and talked. We then meandered onto Menomonee Street, then down to Sedgwick and just enjoyed the view as well as the conversation. We "oohed" and "aaah" as we walked through the "Foo-Foo" area and the majestic brick homes and talked about brick laying and how we should have walked down Clark to see where the St. Valentine's murder occurred but just walked on.o

The conversation turned to girlfriend who was not as attentive as he'd like as she blew him off often using excuses that he knew weren't true. So, he was thinking of breaking up with her as it aggravating and he was getting sick of it.

We finally arrived at LaSalle and Maple, near my apartment. We bid farewell and I thanked him for being such a gentleman. He reluctantly said good-bye and I had a feeling he wanted to ask me out; but I had a boyfriend which came up during our walk He let out a big sigh grabbed me, hugged and picked me up saying "bear hug from Bear! Thank you for your time...and if I ever see you again will you promise not to say anything about my love for Simon and Garfunkel, especially if I have friends with me?"

I laughed against his shoulder and said, "yes dude. I promise not to mention how the song "The Boxer" almost always makes you want to cry." He cracked up, then handed me a photo of him with some guy. It was one of those tiny photo booth pics of Bear with his Puerto Rican and Polish friend whom he referred to as "Skee."

"Just a little something small and funny to remember me by....and know that random weird guys like other music, like Simon and Garfunkel, and Frankie Valli, and Cyndi Lauper."

I laughed, feeling the exhaustion I tried to forget after working ten hours in the ER creep up on me which I usually ignored; but for some reason it was hitting me hard. Maybe it was having that long walk with a nice random guy and just talking about a whole bunch of nothing or a lot of something. I hope I made his evening as he actually made mine and reaffirmed my belief about judging a book by it's cover. You never know who's under that Mohawk, wearing those combat boots with Tattoos all over their body get judged..and judged badly.

And that really bothers me.

I know its different as I'm different and really hate the labels everyone puts on anyone who deviates from normality. This is not "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" or "Stepford Wives." It's incredible to see different individuals express themselves with their hair, body, what they wear...etc....

So Bear leaves, and I turn the photo over to see if he wrote anything on the back and...he did!

His name, his buddy "Skee's" name....and

Oh, yes...a few "F" bombs.

The picture also had him flipping the bird. Flashing the "Driving Finger."

I sighed, shook my head and laughed watching Bear leave. I didn't judge him at all.

And I'm STILL not judging....just laughing and remember how much fun I had just walking and talking.

Bringing a bit of peace and quiet due to a natural catastrophy...

It's a funny thing that I was mentioning to my husband in regard to the idiotic and unreasonable racial tension in our country...yes! It IS idiotic and unreasonable as the ones mainly arguing about racial inequality that I've encountered and see on the news are non-working (as they're out protesting all the time so they're work....?) privileged WHITE college students, mixed race individuals who happen to be darker skinned than myself who think they have more rights than I, or my special needs son. Yes, the "honky/cracker looking Latino/Black people" who are to have the same unalienable constitution rights as those making all sorts of crackling annoying loud noises of "RACIAL INJUSTICE ONLY TO DARK SKINNED PEOPLE" and "TRUMP HATES ALL DARK SKINNED PEOPLE" do NOT have the same rights. In fact, our WASPY looking, "honky/cracker" light-skinned arsed human beings need to STFU, obey and listen to the idiotic and unreasonable nonsensical fascist dreck that oozes out of their mouths, like some thick, hot sticky smelly vomitous lava that penetrates every sense you have, and sticks there like arsenic bubble gum in your brain.

You won't see us Latinos getting involved with that mess as we're busy getting our hustle on to work and pay bills and save to take the family to the Dells!

Then as if THAT wasn't enough, in Chicago a minister wants to campaign for the removal of the George Washington and Thomas Jefferson statues that stand in various parks in our city as they apparently scream "RACISM" and "SLAVERY." Oh, ok...the first president of the United States doesn't remind you of the Revolutionary War, the fight against the British and their tyrannical rule over us back in the 1700s ...nor does it remind you of the show on AMC "TURN: Washington's Spies," a US quarter or a single dollar bill...? FYI, Washington inherited slaves from his wife's "dowry," and he freed his slaves in 1799.

And Thomas Jefferson reminds him and others of slavery and not of the writing of the Declaration of Independence, being the 3rd president, the $2 bill which is pretty cool IMO, nor a nickle...nor the fact that despite he did have slaves, his love affair with one particular his "Dusky" Sally Hemings who had children by Jefferson and is responsible for many generations of Jefferson's descendants. Why doesn't Bishop James Dukes try telling the descendants of Thomas Jefferson that they're crappy horrible white people because Jefferson owned slaves and that the black descendants are a bunch of deluded, unfortunate "Uncle Tom's" who "happen" to share the gene pool of a former slave owner, giving no recognition to the accomplishments Jefferson has made to our country.

Hey, this is what I got from hearing Bishop Dukes.

I'd love to be there when it happens to see their reaction when he tells Jefferson's family how horrible they are....oooooh!

Get over it, y'all! Slavery was abolished over a 100 years ago! Most of US states had abolished slavery in the 18th century but south of the Mason Dixon line...yes, I'm very sorry, kiddies; slavery was alive and kicking for a while, thus the creation of the "Underground Railroad" plans and the assistance from a lot of WHITE PEOPLE who helped free slaves that ran away from southern owners.

Should Bishop Dukes campaign for statues of those individuals to replace the Jefferson and Washington statues? Me thinks Bishop Dukes needs to focus on the needs of his community which is Greater Grand Crossing. Greater Grand Crossing rates #6 out of 77 neighborhoods with violent crime rates. the top ten of being one of the most violent neighborhoods in the city of Chicago....and he's putting this much needed energy for his community for the removal of presidential statues? Really, Bishop Duke!

Now this isn't a discussion about's a discussion of hate, unreasonable idiocy and using your energy into something more worthwhile and important. I'm not going to argue with you if you think I'm wrong and that the statues of former Confederate Generals shouldn't be removed because they trigger thoughts of slavery in those unreasonable idiots, and that all presidents who happened to own slaves need to have their statues removed in the same manner that the Saddam Hussein statues were removed when we helped liberate Iraq. Saddam was a dictator. Washington, General Lee and Jefferson were not dictators.

Then what about making a Robert Lee, ESPN announcer who was to work the University of Virginia's first football game but was pulled because of his name which triggered THOUGHTS OF SLAVERY. SERIOUSLY? The Asian, you unreasonable idiots! What does that man have to do slavery? And THAT...IS unreasonable idiocy, y'all. I hope Asian Robert Lee sues the hell out of ESPN. These are fascist and racist actions and dictator like methods along the lines of Nazi's and the Taliban and ISIS, who have been getting rid of ancient statues for years! Changing history to suit their needs with destroying families and lives and ancient ruins and statues that predate Jesus.

What will be next? Rioting into a coup with pitchforks and torches into the National Archives calling for the removal of the original Declaration of Independence by unreasonable and idiotic force and burning it in front of the whole world to see what heinous people we've become because Thomas Jefferson wrote it? Then what would the world ESPECIALLY Great Britain think of us as Americans? They'd take the mickey out on us and probably try to invade us as we've turned into a bunch of unreasonable idiots and are easy prey. And those protesting against fascism, isn't this a fascist way of thinking that you're rooting for? This is turning into a form of radical authoritarian nationalism that is bordering on dictatorship where dissent and opposing opinions don't matter because you'll get your arse kicked if you don't agree with what the ANTIFA says. To me they sound like the Nazi's did who shoved their agenda down the throats of it's people in Germany in the 1930s, then marched all over Europe with force, vengeance, violence, unreasonable idiocy...and hate.

Do you think this light-skinned Democratic thinking slightly left Latina is going to be told what to do by a bunch of hate mongers from either side?


Anyway, yes, I'm reminded of the movie "The Crow," where near the beginning of the movie Sarah was skateboarding up to the hot dog stand where Ernie Hudson's character (Sergeant Albrecht) is sitting and talking with Mickey, the hot dog guy who said "What this place needs is a good natural catastrophe. Earthquake, tornado..."

He was of course speaking of Fun Boys horrible gang and the havoc they wreak every Devil's/Hell's night in Detroit.

If you've seen the movie, you'll know what I speak of. If not, add it to your list of must see movies, especially since it was Brandon Lee's last movie as he was killed on set and had to be CGIed into the movie. It's a sad yet great story of love and how it endures even after death.

Mickey was mentioning the need for a natural catastrophe as that town was riddled with evil, selfishness, anger, unreasonable idiocy, and hate.

And that's what I was seeing as well in our world, until Hurricane Harvey.

All I saw on the news was riots, hate, gun violence and unreasonable idiocy...and I'm disgusted by it. I'm disgusted with the hate from these white nationalists who claim to be for all Americans but they're actually selective with which Americans deserve their positive attention. I'm disgusted by the counter-protesters who are just as hateful, violent, unreasonable and idiotic letting them bring them down to their level.

I'm exhausted by it, I'm sick of it...SICK! It's turning into the Geraldo Rivera show where black people were on his show with Neo Nazi's and that whole fight onstage broke out with Geraldo getting a chair flung onto his face. Shoot, even the Detroit Tigers and NY Yankees can't work out the unreasonable idiocy! The first time in weeks I turn on the news for the sports highlights and instead of baseball scores I see a hockey game break out at a Tigers/Yankees game.

I just...I don't even want to turn the news on anymore, and as I'm so busy with life anyway and I can't keep dossing about on my phone to see what the heck the weather is or how the White Sox did. I didn't even know the Bear's played their first game! I don't even go on social media outlets as that's all I'm seeing...everyone fighting over race...being unreasonably idiotic and not reading what's being posted and taking bits and pieces to suffice what's already in their thought process, having proverbial fingers pointed out being called a Nazi because of a little dissent as these "Keyboard warriors" have no social skills, thus turn to social media to expend their unreasonable and idiotic hate onto someone who just inquires about why they're angry or if a poster has a different opinion of the current events that caused this unreasonable idiocy. Try being like that to my face and see what happens, eh? I have friends who are taking a break from social media because of too much unreasonable idiotic hate. I don't blame them.

Alas, I digress....

But we got exactly what Mickey said we needed; a "good" natural disaster. Now mind you I am NOT saying this disaster is a good thing! What the hell kind of person do you think I am? Don't go twisting what I write to what YOU think you want to read! Don't turn into one of those "Keyboard warriors" and try to make me out as some sort of disgusting human being who relishes in the misery of others and thinks everyone deserves a disaster like this to bring people together. That is an unreasonable and idiotic way to think, IMO on your part if that's the message you got from this post.

I think Mickey the hot dog guy meant was they need a big distraction to take Detroit out of the hands of the unreasonable idiocy and evil doings that plagued that part of the city and bring everyone back to earth as it were. This country was losing sight of what really matters. This country was being too unreasonable, idiotic, hateful of each other because of skin color and way too frivolous with everything from belief systems to morals, scruples, material goods and just the value of a human being.

That has been lost for a long time, IMO.

Now is the time to stop being so unreasonable, idiotic, hateful and frivolous with everything and be a lot more giving, loving, and peaceful. Our fellow American's down by the Gulf need us and America needs us to be great we were during WW1, WW2, December 7th-1941 and 9/11. Your senior citizen neighbor may need you too with something, like getting groceries, taking time to see if they'd like to share your BBQ this weekend.

We can't wait for a "good" natural disaster or catastrophe to bring us together, and it SHOULDN'T take a "good" natural disaster or catastrophe to do so. We're Americans! Born here or not as I have immigrants in my family but I'm American first and foremost! I will be one of the first to jump up and help when it's needed. I will be the first to defend injustice whether you're white, black, Asian, Latino, Martian, Venutian...I don't care what you are! If there's injustice in your life and you need help, I'll be there! I will be the first to help void our country of unreasonable idiocy and hate.

I've actually had the news on recently as I've not seen the ugliness that was all over our beautiful country. Gun violence seems to be down, San Francisco, Charlottesville and DC are quiet, the rioting is down but fires are raging all over the western seaboard and flooding is still a problem down south.

I'm praying for help for Texas and Louisiana and California and for their families to be safe. I'm praying that God listens to our prayers of hope and
that this frivolous rioting/protesting, unreasonable idiotic energy gets transferred to loving and philanthropic energy from those individuals to help those in the "good" disaster areas who need that kind of energy. You need to express yourself via protesting and screaming at the current presidential administration? Hell, forget about it for now and go use that energy to drive down to the Gulf area in a pickup truck laden with bottled water, baby formula, diapers, can openers, books, magazines, radios, batteries, canned food, donuts, cookies, tampons, ANYTHING! This is a great time and way to expend that frustration, unreasonable idiocy and hate and turn it around on itself and do something good for someone else and for something that is much bigger than all of us.

Right now let's put the torches, pitchforks, signs, hate and guns less frivolous, unreasonable and idiotic and pick up the phone to donate to the Red Cross and give good energy, time, love and a bit of help to our brothers and sisters down by the Bayou and California.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

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And like Gus Portokolis from "BFGW" says..."and there you go."

Thank you,
the management.

Story of an "unknown" soldier.....

OK, now here’s the story about that headstone. Back in late summer my kids, mother and I went to Resurrection Cemetery to pay respect to ...