This quote immediately came to mind when I opened this page to write this post. Today it has been confirmed that music legend Prince has died at the age 0f 57. Children of the 80s all over the world are in shock and reliving their fondest memories of the musical genius. I’m one of them.
Today “this is what it sounds like, when Doves Cry.” Now we know the sound. It’s deafening.
Celebrities pass away all the time. In fact, 2 more this week alone. However, when losing one feels so personal and heavy in your heart as Prince does, you truly realize the impact he has had on a generation, an entire industry and the world. Maybe the word genius is overused in some capacity but there really are very few deserving of that adjective. Prince is absolutely one of them.
Today marks the second time I’ve felt deep sadness and emotion in reaction to the loss of a celebrity. The first was when we lost Robin Williams. Today is the second. Today is extremely heartbreaking.
There isn’t much I can say that hasn’t been said already about Prince. His music evokes memories for all who grew up living it while it was being created. I explained to my kids today what he meant to me. I described my walkman and how music was on cassettes when I listened to Prince over and over again. I wore out my cassettes so when CDs came out, I upgraded my Prince collection. I remember how badly I wanted to see Purple Rain as a teen. I wasn’t allowed to watch it at first and when it finally came out on network TV (you know, edited for all audiences) I was finally allowed to watch it. I watched it so often after that, I’ve lost count on how much. From that first view, the color purple became meaningful for me. Even my kids know that is my favorite color and now they understand how Prince is the reason why. Purple Rain.
I spent most of my teenage years hanging out with musicians and writing music with many of them. I wrote so much poetry growing up and the next logical step was lyrics. Prince was such an inspiration for those of us who loved to create with words and song. He was just…wow. Really if you are a creative brain and grew up in the 80s, Prince just blew your mind. Purple Rain directly inspired a song I wrote in the early 90s. His lyrical and musical genius has forever impacted countless artists and opened the floodgates of imagination and other great works.
I’m actually in tears writing this because his influence on my world is so deep, personal, emotional, inspirational and unforgettable. I really can’t describe it any better so I’ll let Prince take it from here.
Purple Rain in the rain decades later.
1999 seemed so far away when this song was released. “Party like it’s 1999” has become a catchphrase that still hasn’t gone out of style. In fact, ironically today, I saw a commercial that used this very phrase. Prince coined the phrase of a century that will continue live on.
Love everything about this solo guitar set. Everything.
And because he made another song I love even better by covering it, I have to share this. Radiohead can always hold an honor not many other artists can…being covered by a legend.
I watched the interview with Robert DeNiro on the Today Show as it aired LIVE. Within about 2 minutes, they asked him about Vaxxed, the documentary that he originally allowed into the Tribeca Film Festival and defended, then subsequently pulled from the festival line-up. Those who are advocates for the film and the right to safe vaccines all suspected that DeNiro was pressured by the CDC to do so.
“I think the movie is something people should see…But definitely there is something to that movie…I as a parent of a child who has Autism, I am concerned. I am not anti-vaccine, I want safe vaccines… The thing is to shut it down, there’s no reason to. If you’re scientists, let’s see, let’s hear. Everybody doesn’t want to hear much about it, it’s shut down…There’s more to this than meets the eye, believe me…There’s something there that people aren’t addressing and for me to get so upset here today, on The Today Show with you guys, means there is something there. That’s all I wanted was for the movie to be seen, you can make your own judgment, but you must see it… There is a link [between vaccines and autism] and they are saying there isn’t and there are… other things there. I don’t know, I’m not a scientist but I know because I’ve seen so much reaction about just ‘let’s find out the truth.’ … Everyone should have the choice to take vaccines, some places it’s becoming mandatory but it does benefit the big drug companies…” ~ Robert DeNiro
Today, he proved that the pressure was weighing heavily on his conscience when it comes to the questions of vaccine safety and the possible link to Autism. DeNiro took a huge step on the Today Show. He stepped out from behind the heavy hand of the CDC and into the light of advocacy. He may very well be the advocate that every parent in this country needs, even those who don’t know it yet. He may very well be the voice that speaks for those who have been silenced in their fight or worse, who’s lives have been cut short due to vaccine injury and death.
From all the parents of children who have been injured or lost their lives from vaccines, thank you Robert DeNiro. Thank you for helping them be heard. Thank you for giving them a voice. From all the parents who feel the weight of guilt for this, thank you. For all the parents who live with Autism in their families and lives, thank you. Thank you for sharing your personal experience with having an Autistic child and letting us know we are not alone.
Robert DeNiro took a huge step today for all parents and used his opportunity to do so with conviction. Almost immediately, the mainstream media scrambled to discredit his stance, but he opened an important door today and I hope he fights to keep it open.
If you would like to learn more from someone who has become an advocate for all parents after watching her baby daughter suffer from vaccine injuries, then years later passing away as a result, please visit my friend Karen Kain’s website here. You may not know it, but she’s fighting for all parents and their children’s rights to safe vaccines. Even yours.
Here’s a trailer of Vaxxed. You can visit their website to learn about screenings in your area or request one.
**It is important to note that the medical community and media are working overtime to make Robert DeNiro sound like he is clueless (yet he is a father of a child with Autism). That is how they treat parents who question the safety of vaccines. Belittling and bullying are part of the tactics that force vaccines on us without any real guarantees or answers. I know people who have lost children to vaccine injuries. Before you are willing to believe everything the mainstream media tells you, I ask that you do some research, learn about “Hot Lots,” The Vaccine Injury Fund (why does the government have a fund to pay out if they are safe?) and check out this documentary for yourself. Be willing to do research before you assume and be open minded to the possibility that vaccines that once were intended to prevent disease have become much more than that. We all have a right to know what is in the needles going into our children. IF a government can cover up poisoning thousands through the water supply, why would you assume they’d never do it through mandatory shots? I know this is a heated subject with people on both sides but it would not even be in question if there weren’t so many reasons to question it.
These are not anti-vaccine advocates. These are pro-safe vaccine advocates. There is a huge difference.
There are many medical professionals who have come forward and refuse to bow down to big pharmaceuticals. K Paul Stoller, MD is one of them and his latest blog post on the Bolen Report here also has a link to his website.
This short and sweet blog post is on a subject near and dear to me: grammar. I am a stickler for proper grammar. As an English major and professional journalist for most of my life, I know other Grammar Gurus will understand when I say that social media posts make me cringe daily. I am always so distracted by careless misspellings and bad grammar to fully enjoy reading newspapers and online news sites as well.
When I met my now boyfriend of 3 years, it was grammar that got him that first reply. The first text he ever sent me was a paragraph of full sentences, proper grammar and spelling. There were no text abbreviations. I noticed immediately and thought it was so unusual, especially in a text from a man. I loved it! True story. He even uses proper punctuation in text messages. Good grammar can serve a purpose in all aspects of your life, even love.
Thank you “Weird Al” Yankovic for giving the grammar nerds everywhere an outlet for our frustrations. If you struggle with proper grammar, bookmark this link for a handy little guide and the bonus of a catchy tune to bop around to at your desk!
If you watched last night’s debate, there was a lot of talk about war in places like Iraq and Syria, but very little about how to care for the men and women who serve after they return home. Today is Veterans Day. This went unmentioned during the Republican Debate. America spends the most money on its military and does very little to care for those soldiers when they return home.
Veteran’s Day has become a commercial holiday where you find the biggest promotions in Veteran’s Day Sales from various retailers. While many restaurant chains offer free meals to Veterans on this day and their honoring of our Veterans is greatly appreciated, it’s not enough. It’s not their job to take care of our Veterans. It’s our government’s job. Our government spends billions of dollars to put our soldiers in harm’s way and send them off to wars that in most cases, never should even exist. Our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, moms, dads, grandparents, friends and family members sacrifice their own comforts of home to secure ours. The politicians who decide their fate rarely have experienced life as a soldier.
I have my suspicions on why our government fails our Veterans. Today I want to take the time to not only honor them with appreciation, but also with ways we can all go further than just acknowledging them on designated day.
I’d first like to address a very serious condition among our Veterans. P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is taking the lives of our Veterans every day in the form of suicide. It is reported that 22 Veterans and 1 Active Duty Soldier per day are committing suicide. With only 22 states actually reporting Veteran Suicides, this number is already astounding and one can only imagine, may even be double or more if we were to get reporting from all 50 states.
Stephanie Lembo released this heartbreaking video on September 1o in honor of World Suicide Prevention Day. In it, she reveals that her husband Anthony killed himself in 2010 after months of not sleeping or eating and refused to get help for his trauma because he would lose his security clearance. It has been viewed over 23 million times since she posted it.
Stop Soldier Suicide is an organization that focuses primarily on saving our heroes from taking their own lives. Many Veterans fear asking for help and that needs to change. We, as a nation, need to encourage them and make resources easily available. I’ve been told by some of military friends that the lack of reporting symptoms is in fear of repercussions on the job. Soldiers face losing security clearance or other job related responsibilities. Many feel the risk is too great for them to ask for help. So they go untreated and when it becomes too overwhelming, it is often too late. Patriot Outreach is another organization that offers soldiers and Veterans help with anger, stress, pain combat stress and P.T.S.D.
Another serious problem in this country is homelessness among Veterans. According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, 12 percent of homeless adults are Veterans. On any given night, there are approximately 50,000 homeless veterans on our streets. If the US can afford to send people off to war, it can absolutely afford to take care of them when they come home. There’s no excuse for the number of veterans living on America’s streets. As we commemorate the service of our Veterans, we must also remember that our society has failed them in so many ways. We can and must do better by them.
I’ve researched the best non-profit organizations that are aimed at helping Veterans, if you are so inclined to donate to them. I am also including links on how you can get more involved and instead of donating money, you can send packages to our troops and see your donation reach its recipient.
“Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) was founded by Iraq war veterans in July 2004 at the annual convention of Veterans for Peace (VFP) in Boston to give a voice to the large number of active duty service people and veterans who are against this war, but are under various pressures to remain silent.”
From its inception, IVAW has called for:
Immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq;
Reparations for the human and structural damages Iraq has suffered, and stopping the corporate pillaging of Iraq so that their people can control their own lives and future; and
Full benefits, adequate healthcare (including mental health), and other supports for returning servicemen and women.
I encourage all Americans to do a small part in helping with this large problem. We can no longer tolerate the inhumane treatment of our heroes who sacrifice so much for our nation. It’s unacceptable and it needs to change. Please, show your support to our Veterans by joining some of these organizations and being active in demanding better from our leadership.
A wonderful Charity Organization right in my home state of New Jersey is Homes for Veterans. They do fundraising events to build handicapped accessible homes for our war heroes and work to keep our Veterans off the streets. Please take time to visit their website and donate to their cause or volunteer if you are able.
Some great organizations to send your donations to that received top ratings from Charitywatch.org:
If you would like to send care packages to our active duty military, here are some links to guide you. This is a great way to get kids involved and even entire classes at schools. A great project for local groups and organizations would be collecting items to send to our soldiers. I have done this often and also enjoy sending care packages to friends when they are stationed overseas. I hope many of you will do the same.
Another issue facing our nation is the suggested privatization of our veterans services. In an email statement from Senator and Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders today, he wrote:
“Last year, as Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I authored and passed the most comprehensive veterans’ legislation in decades, reaching across the aisle to team up with Sen. John McCain. Amid reports of unacceptable wait times and calls to dangerously privatize veterans health care, we actually authorized funding for 27 new medical facilities and hired more doctors and nurses to care for the surging number of veterans returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After two wars over fourteen years, never before have so few been asked to do so much for our country. I voted against the Iraq War, which I think will go down as one of the worst foreign policy blunders we have ever seen, but I have never wavered from my commitment to caring for the women and men who served, and continue to serve, in that conflict.
You may not have heard much about it from the Republican candidates last night, but how we care for our veterans is going to be a central issue this election. The Koch-connected Concerned Veterans for America are prepared to spend untold millions of dollars supporting the privatization of veterans’ health care. And almost every Republican candidate running for president supports their plan to place the profits of private corporations over the promise made to our veterans.
I believe we should take a different approach — that we should stand with the majority of veterans who believe we should continue strengthening the VA. Now I want to know that you’re with us.
The United States has spent trillions of dollars sending our young men and women to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. Surely we can come together to ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs has the resources needed to care for them when they return.” ~ Senator Bernie Sanders
Senator Sanders has and continues to fight for our Veterans. To see more about his efforts, visit his website here.
Happy Veteran’s Day to all of you who have served, currently serve and will serve our nation in our armed forces. Thank you.
I’d also like to note that I have many friends who are active duty and retired military personnel. This article is dedicated to all of them. One in particular, my dear friend Chris, recently made a huge step toward getting the help he needed in battling P.T.S.D. Chris went untreated for years for many of the same reasons a great amount of other Veterans do. I am not only proud of Chris for his service, but for his bravery here at home in battling the effects of war in his life. Thank you Chris, this is for you. ~JerseyGirlBlog
Today is National Poetry Day! My very first literary accomplishment was a completed poem at age 5. I fell in love with the rhymes and verses that I could create out of words! I have binders full of my poetry and it has always been my first love as a writer. I spent my entire childhood crafting words into poetry and song to express myself. Today is in celebration of all the poetry, in every format, ever written or still to be written!
National Poetry Day is coordinated by the Forward Arts Foundation, a charity that celebrates poetry and promotes it as part of everyday life. National Poetry Day was founded in 1994 by William Sieghart and has engaged millions of people across the UK and countries around the world in reading, writing and listening to poetry. Can poetry change your life? Get creative and find out! William Sieghart explains here.
Your creative outlet should have no limits! The themes are not set as the true intention of this day is to bring recognition to a beautiful literary art form, poetry. Today can be filled with inspiration! While this holiday originated as a British campaign to promote poetry, it is celebrated internationally and this year marks the 21st annual National Poetry Day.
People all over the world are sharing their poetry and performing it as well in short videos! You’re invited to do the same here if you like! Post yours in the comments and join me in celebrating!
I will share a few of my favorites that I wrote during some of my most inspirational years of creativity…high school. They are typed up from my collection so I snapped a picture here for you to enjoy and feel free to share on your various social media sites!
Welcome to my blog! I’m so excited to share it with you! With everything going on around the world today and all of the ideas constantly swirling in my head, I just could not decide what I wanted to tackle first! I thought I would go with something fun and lighthearted, maybe on the topic of relationships or parenting since I have plenty to share on both. But I also spent the past few days digging deep into the current events of my tri-state area and around the world, including a very monumental Papal visit and UN meetings right next door in NY. Both have such a huge significance in world news along with the many happenings in the Middle East.
You will come to learn (if you do not know me already) that I have very strong viewpoints on all of those topics and many more. I do my homework and I share facts along with my opinions. I also encourage others to do the same. I welcome friendly, thought provoking, intelligent dialog and debates! I do not encourage or incite hate. I am passionate at times for sure (more often than not). I will guarantee you that I will use foul language often. I refer to assholes occasionally (sometimes more than occasionally) and I’ll have a lot to say about everything. My favorite curse word is probably Fuck. I’ll just get that out of the way now.
I also advocate a healthy fit lifestyle. I share advice for achieving your wellness goals in a safe and natural way. I work out and create recipes using real delicious and healthy food. I’ll even share those with you too! I love helping people! I’m known for it, it’s what I do.
So this blog is going to be an organized mishmash. An opinionated, fact filled digital set of encyclopedias of sorts. I’ll create topic categories so you can find my writings on whatever interests you. But I will always try to invite you to try something new and give all of my posts a chance. Try a taste of a topic you may never have before. You never know, you might like it!
I am a seasoned people-watcher, writer, poet, speaker, graphic designer, editor, mother, sister, woman, empath, LEO and so much more! So please add my new web presence to your regular internet browsing schedule and we can share some laughs, tears, screams and whatever else emotions the topics may invoke. I’m emotionally driven so that’s a guarantee.
Let’s do this! My first official post is just a little taste of what’s to come while I decide what to focus on first. I hope you’ll come back and find out.
Allow yourself the opportunity to be informed everyday and never stop learning. Read, be well read and give yourself every opportunity to seek the truth, share the truth and live in your truth. Life is a physical presence of opportunities yet to come, opportunities soon to pass and lessons stacked up along the way. ~ #JerseyGirlBlog.