A Song That Sparks a Memory.

I am driving in the car and when a certain song comes on I am always taking back in time. I am sure I am not the only one that does this. There are three particular songs that brings me back to a time when my mother owned a bar. They are Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You”. Following by Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark”. And finally “Footloose” theme song. Among others.

Everytime I hear “Dancing in the Dark” I think about playing arcade games. My mother had 2 plus a pinball machine. There was usually Donkey Kong and Pac Man. My favorite was Pac Man but I played both. Always for “free”. I either got quarters from the cash register or they opened the coin compartment. I always had to stand on a stool to reach the buttons.

I took so many quarters that my mother always joked and said that I was going to run the bar dry. 🙂

We lived above the bar. It was a small apartment. I remember the kitchen being yellow. I recall, my sister and I were out with my grandfather and we came home to my mother sitting at the kitchen table, smoking a cigarette. Sitting in the dark. Then we heard the flapping of wings sound. There was a bat. She had the window open so it could fly out and it eventually did. I was impressed that she just sat there, patiently.

Another time, my sister was “playing pool”. And Frank joked around with her. They placed bets on who would win. It was a $1 bet. My sister lost and ended up paying. She handed him a $1 food stamp. 🙂

I would always go into the bar and sit at the counter (when I wasn’t playing video game) and do my homework. One day I went there though because mom was behind the bar. I have a thick, green, pus filled thumb. She suggested that I soak it in warm salt water. And I did. I sat there and whenever someone sat next to me, I was excited to show them my ill thumb. It probably occurred because I always bit my fingernails (still do).

We ended up losing the bar. My mother always gave away the beer to “friend’s”. The last day there was scary though. We were quietly in the bar, packing things up. She must have known they were coming eventually. All of a sudden we hear knocking. My mother tells me “be very quiet and go to the cellar.” And we did just that. I remember crouching. I remember her looking out the windows. Eventually whoever was knocking left. When we left the premise, I saw a large sign on the door. At this time, I didn’t know what it was. Looking back, of course I knew what it was.

Overall, it was a good experience. Granted probably not a place you’d want a child but in the mid 1980s; it wasn’t uncommon.

~~~~~

At the beginning of the year, I’m volunteering on a medical mission trip. Click this link >HERE< if you wish to donate any money. It’s completely volunteer and will cost me at least $3600 (not including the money that I will not be earning for those two months). Any amount is appreciated.

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One Thing Most People Are Surprised To Learn About Me

I am currently a nurse. I carry myself in an educated manor (though I act younger than my age). People are taken back to learn that I am a high school drop out.

There were many things that factor into why I dropped out of high school. First, and foremost, I was not a part of the “in crowd” growing up. I was physically different until I was about 14. I had a speech impediment. I was an easy target for stares, teasing, even physical abuse from peers. I was bullied. That always leads a distaste in someone’s thought process.

My mother was also a self-described gypsy. She moved a lot. She could not stay in one place. That lead to 4 different elementary schools from K-part of 3rd. In 3rd grade we stayed in one place but then moved between home and my step-fathers reservation. I was held back in the 3rd grade, twice (as in the SAME year). We moved back and forth about 4-5 times in one school year. The school at home said that I was missing too much, though I wasn’t-I went on my step-father reservation. And the teacher on the reservation said that she could not understand me. I stayed in the same elementary school for the 2nd year of 3rd grade until 5th grade.

Sixth grade, I went onto Middle School and stayed there all three years. Though in the 6th and 7th grade, I was barely there. I often skipped school because I did not want to deal with the teasing. I mean, I was physically assaulted in class, while the teacher was in the room. This is why I didn’t and don’t have too much faith in school, teachers, authorities within schools. They did nothing to protect me.

In the city that I grew up in, we have about 7 public high schools. I went to one for a week, then transferred to another and remained for the year. This is where I interacted with my English teacher. He was the first one to suggest to me that I should write about my life.

Tenth grade..eh, I just was not feeling it. We ended up moving to the burbs. Then we moved to the country. Then we moved back to the burbs (all within a couple of months). Coming back to the burbs, I just was not feeling it. I felt that I would do better than public school life. So I literally stopped going.

Eventually, a school counselor came knocking on the door and we chatted. Of course, I had to “remain” in school until I was ?16? So I was “forced” to go back. But in reality, I did not. I mean, I missed more than I was there.

When it was official, I dropped out. Soon after I took the GED.

I knew I wanted to go to college when I dropped out. At that time, I wasn’t sure for what but I wanted college.

I eventually moved away from my home state. Eventually I entered college and though it took me awhile, I finally graduated Nursing School.
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For anyone that cares to donate to help fund me- I am going on a two month medical mission trip to Africa with Mercy Ships. I will serve as an Adult Ward Nurse. It is completely volunteer and will cost me about $1400 for room/board/3 meals a day, plus about $2000 for the round trip flight. Anything that you’re able to part with will be greatly appreciated. You can send it directly to Mercy Ships. My direct link is :http://mercyships-us.donorpages.com/crewmates/PaulaAdams/

Social Media’s Downfall

Do you find that social media is making the world worse? Or better? It seems like we are more divided than ever and I wonder if social media has something to do with it? We are able to connect to like minded people and thus we share like minded statements, beliefs, and most of all propaganda. It makes me question whether or not it’s helping or hindering us as humans?

More and more I see people just continuing to spout off at what they believe is right without indicating that no one is really right?

It seems like it’s always one sided. As in an “us” vs “them” attitude. When it’s not one sided. This could be blacks vs whites, whites vs blacks, Christians vs Muslims, Muslims vs Christians. Legals vs illegal, illegal vs legal. The list goes on and on.

The more I think about social media, the more I’m leaning towards it dividing us.

When I first came onto the WWW, back when AOL was mainstream, when you were only able to use the telephone line and no one else can use it, when you hear the funny dial up tone-that sometimes kicks you off.

When I first came onto the WWW-my sole purpose was to connect with other Michael Jackson fans. This was back in the 1990s. Everyone around me, knew I loved MJ (knew I was a happier person listening to MJ) but no one had that same bond. I went on to find that same connection. This particular connection was of understanding, spreading love, and just connecting with like minded people that went far beyond his music. I found a place where I fit. But it was for GOOD, it was not for hate (and even now, that’s become muted–with statements like “those kids are not his”, “I liked him back when he was black.”, “I like him by why did he have to have so much plastic surgery?”.)

Now on facebook, on Twitter, maybe even on random blogs-it seems like people want to connect to separate-if that makes sense? That people feel the need to have an us vs them attitude when it should be about WE, US, TOGETHER, UNITED.

We have to remember that hatefulness walks in ALL forms of human life…Christian, Muslim, black, white, non immigrant, immigrant, rich, poor, democrat, republican. There are extremists. There will always be extremists. But they do not have to conquer the social media. They do not have to rule the airwaves. We do not have to BOOST but “how come it’s ruled as a hate crime when it’s against blacks but not Christians, etc.” When in the end, does it REALLY matter? It’s all the same. Hatefulness is hatefulness. Love is Love. We can only bring tolerance to others when we want to open up and learn about others and yes you can have a happy balance.

I am not religious, but I have religious friends & patients who I respect and admirer. I’m going on a religious medical mission (almost all medical missions seem to have a religious feel to it-I’m okay with it as long as it accomplishes what I want to accomplish) because I want to HELP others. Who are like me. Who are not like me. I do not care.

We can all be different, we do not have to continue to spread the hatefulness though. We should mend. It’s not a perfect world. It’s not going to be a perfect world. There will always be extremist. There will always be mental illness. There will always be murder. There will always be mass killings. How do we use these times to CONNECT and not separate ourselves?

I just don’t know. I just don’t understand it. I will never be able to wrap my head around it.

Take for example, recently a facebook friend posting a degrading comment about President Obama voters. My response was “I’m a very educated registered nurse who voted for Obama…so what’s your point?” His comment was “there are always exceptions.”

YES-so why continue with the blanket statement that wants to paint everyone the same color?

After Obama won 2nd term. A handful of my friends posted “how can people be so ignorant and stupid and uneducated….” Umm-excuse you? If this is how you feel about me, why are you my friend? I question your integrity to be honest. To which the response is always “well I don’t mean YOU…directly.” Ummm-your statement says you do, I proudly voted for Obama and thus I must be 1) stupid 2) ignorant 3) uneducated. I am, none of the above. I may not hold the same views as you-but that does not make you more right and I, more wrong. Nor does it make me more right and you more wrong. We have differences.

When people are heated, they certainly do not choose their words very wisely and they end up hurting the common thread of humans, than helping. We are all different, we do not all have to be hateful and degrading.

It’s all for L.O.V.E.!

Book Review-A Strange and Bitter Fruit

51VBPPEhVRL__SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Title: A Strange and Bitter Fruit (the side pic is a new updated pic)
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Author: Davis, Barry
Year Published: 2010
Author tweaked it in 2013 to update editorial issues and update accuracy of simple historical mistakes.

*Spoiler Alert*

I actually read and reviewed this awhile ago (2013) but it has still stayed with me, so I wanted to share it on the blog.

My review from goodreads:
This is not a book that I would normally pick up to read due to the time setting (1880s). Along with the language. However, after reading the description via email for free kindle books, I decided to try it. I am glad that I did.

This book catches you off the bat. It opens with the death of a boy’s family. By the usual southern tactic (trashy) hanging of a black family. The boy, name Tee, was a very memorable character. Initially his mission was to retaliate against the men that killed his family. As time passes, the retaliation became a retaliation against Tee. At what point does the retaliation stop? Tee was successful in retaliation of a main point man but, still, at what point does it end? It ended for Tee when he met Sara and when they had a family.

Unfortunately the men that hung Tee’s family still was out to get him and unfortunately, Tee’s daughter was caught in the crossfire. Does Tee now begin to retaliate again?!? Tee’s decision was clear and he said and stuck to “no more killing”. Tee’s son Robert witnessed the killing of his sister Harriet and felt guilt. Robert picked up the retaliation theory after Robert became a man, which was not a good outcome.

In the end, one asks who really win’s in the game of retaliation? No one really does.

The author Davis puts forth his thoughts on the storyline of the book. Davis states that his book was not picked up by a big named publisher because, according to them, Tee would not have been memorable. I completely disagree. Tee’s character is what kept me connected to the book. A man that faced uncertainty throughout his life after the death of his entire family. Him being able to triumph in a successful life and trying to do “right” only to die a senseless death in the end. This book leaves you with a serious thought process…when does the death spree end?

The author also makes a point at the end of the book, in author notes, about terrorism. What is the difference between what Osama Bin Laden did on 9-11 to what the white man did to the Native Americans as well as the African Americans? Did the white man not terrorize Native Americans and African Americans back in the day? If not by an airplane into a building but by psychological abuse by being made to feel inferior?! I whole heartily agree and always did and this is coming from a white female. We, as humans, will be our own demise in this world. White on black, black on black, Bin Laden on America, America on Iraq, Hitler on Jews, Crips vs Bloods, etc-the list goes on and on and on…it is a never ending cycle of death. Unfortunate but truthfully…brutal death is a sad outcome in many lives. It is unnecessary but will probably always be a continued cycle.

I Would Like Some Input

So I am torn. I just received pamphlets for the medical mission trip to raise funds for me. I am not sure how to go about this. I am not very comfortable asking for money/donations. But the cost for my two month medical mission trip is going to be expensive. Just off the top of my head, the round trip flight is about $2200. The two months on the ship is going to be $700/month. Thus about $3600. Not including Yellow Fever vaccination, insurance, etc.

That’s a lot of money but this is something that I really want to do. I wouldn’t mind having some help but I just don’t know how to go about presenting and asking for it? I mean most people donate online now don’t they?

Here is the brochure (the link below the image is the website directly to my funds page):

I would like to get some donations to ease the cost. I’ve always wanted to do a volunteer trip and now that I am a registered nurse, I can. Has anyone done something like this? If so, how did you go about asking?

Photos from SuperBloodMoon

Here are a couple of photos from #SuperBloodMoon. Taken by me, no tripod (I should buy one). Camera was NikonP510.

DSCN7649 DSCN7654 DSCN7659 DSCN7668 DSCN7693 DSCN7699

Review of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

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I recently finished Tartt’s ” The Goldfinch” from a friend’s recommendation. I am normally put off by size but decided to give it a shot.

It is about a young teen, Theo, losing his mother in a museum blast in NYC. From there he is lost-looking for placement and purpose. Traveling from NY to Nevada, to NY to Europe.

Midway thru, I read reviewed for the book. I was somewhat hesitant in finishing based on the mixed reviews. Most did not like it because of the length. Well, I can understand but I tried not to let that determine whether or not to finish it.

Some complained that a lot of it could have been edited but at the same time made praise of the detailed expressions of the written word. I don’t know, I think that’s somewhat an oxymoron comment.

Some stated that they disliked Theo, the main character but liked Boris. I didn’t dislike Boris but I liked Theo more. I though Boris was somewhat of a user scumbag. I was confused as to why he was preferred over Theo.

Overall, if you like general fiction with great details-I say go for it. If you dislike length-you should just skip it and save the author a low star review.

My favorite passage from the book: “That life – whatever else it is – is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch.”~ Donna Tartt in The Goldfinch

I gave it a 4 out of 5 star review on Goodreads. (mind you, I rarely ever give 5 stars. I don’t bother much with 1-2 star books. Most of my ratings fall to 3 or 4 stars).

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