Sunday, April 1, 2018

A (sort of) review of Superstar

The first time I saw Jesus Christ Superstar, I was appalled at the way that Jesus was being depicted. My religious upbringing focused on a narrow view of Jesus as someone who was out to punish us for minor offenses and had no room for any other interpretation. I have learned so much since then.

I know how that there are various ways to tell and to understand the story, and if a rock-n-roll version is what catches someone’s attention, then so be it. I have had so many good conversations on what the Bible says (and what it doesn’t) with some very intelligent people who have opened my eyes to the fact that I had been seeing a white-washed version of Jesus. You know, the version that depicts Jesus as a European man? I now even know where that likeness stems from. (Hint: google Cesare Borgia.)

I don’t know when my mindset changed. I just know it has. (Hell, even Sir Andrew Loyd Webber didn’t like the film version, so I am in good company.) I have learned to have a love for all things Broadway. When that first chord of “Superstar” played I got chills. It’s like that when I hear “Phantom,” too. When Superstar premiered, having a black lead was seen as blasphemous, yet Jesus was a man born in a middle Eastern country that more likely has brown skinned people than light skinned ones.

Funny thing...I have seen The Ten Commandments many times and I never thought twice about Anne Baxter playing Nefertiri until I watched it last night. For that fact, Charleston Heston as Moses, Liz Taylor as Cleopatra....I guess it’s just what we have done. But now with the diverse cast of Hamilton....I mean, George Washington, Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson were all European men and they are all being played by POC. For a while, I only thought having a diverse cast was okay only when the characters were fictional. Not any I guess the cast of Ten Commandments should get a pass, too.

Anyway, Superstar was AMAZING!!  If you missed it, you missed a good one. Put aside your long-held beliefs and give it a chance if you haven’t before. Open your eyes and I know you will love it!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Yep! You guessed it!

I’m seeing this so often right now that I just have to say something. Yes, this is going to be a GRAMMAR RANT!!!

Let me first give you some examples of what I’m seeing. This was just on Twitter:
“I’m so glad the members of @SoulTreeNation could join @JenniL_KVUE @JasonM_KVUE and I on Daybreak this morning. This talented group of young musicians will pay tribute to band member Draylen Mason who was killed in the #AustinBombings at the @UrbanMusicFest today.”
You might wonder what exactly is wrong here. Well, it’s the use of “I” in this tweet that is incorrect. How do I know? Take out the sentence and look at it like this: would you say “I’m glad they joined I this morning,” or would you say “I’m glad they joined me this morning”?

It’s easy! So why is it so hard????

So when is “I” appropriate? Here’s an example I found:

a. Jenny and me/I (?) joined the chess club.
b. Jill took Justin and me/I (?) to the shop. 
In sentence a), Jenny and me/I are the subjects of the verb joined. Therefore, the subject pronoun, I, is considered correct. You will certainly hear native speakers say, “Jenny and me,” and it may be acceptable in spoken English, but most traditional grammarians and English teachers will disapprove. Don’t use it in writing. 
The opposite is true for sentence b), which is the original example from above. Justin and me/I are the objects of took. Therefore me is considered correct by most grammarians and teachers, although you will hear people say, “Justin and I.” Again, don't use it in writing.
All you have to do is break the sentence apart ant if it sounds right, then it’s right. Period.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Time management

Today at work, we had a training class on time and information management. The man who presented the class was a successful time management consultant who also previously worked in the hotel industry. He made some really good points so I thought I would share a couple with you.

One thing he touched on is how we don’t end our work day at the end of each day. Instead, we take things home with us that keep up awake at night which causes all kinds of other problems. One tip he gave us was to keep a daily diary that includes a to-do list. The to-do list is fluid and if everything doesn’t get finished that day, it’s okay. It can be finished tomorrow. Maybe it’s not as important as we may think it is, so he suggested not stressing if you don’t complete all tasks and this will help with the sleepless nights.

As for the to-do list, he suggests trying to complete it before noon (but again don’t stress if something comes up to keep that from happening). Giving yourself a noon deadline allows for those things that come up that you can’t control. It gives time in the afternoon to face the other things that the day will present. Meeting should be scheduled in the afternoon, and never on a Monday morning.

One final thing he suggested...plan your weekend on Monday. It gives you something to look forward to and a goal to work toward. We work for FEMA which means a lot of people are here from somewhere else. If you find yourself in that type of situation, find something to do that makes you happy. Our presenter joined a rowing club and he goes out on the weekends to row. I have another Co-worker who has been taking dance lessons and one who does yoga at a local gym.

Maybe one of these tips will help you. Me? I’m looking for my calendar that I bought at the beginning of the year that I haven’t been using. Time to start getting more organized.

Monday, March 26, 2018

I haven’t done this in a while...not sure why except that life gets in the way. I have been putting my views on Twitter and Facebook, and I have been trying to use Instagram more. I just find that I get lost in life and neglect the blog.

Since my last post, I have sold my house and moved to Austin. I think it was a good move. I’m doing better here than I was in Beaumont and that’s only a good thing.

Since I recently learned how to do threads on twitter, I’m not sure if a blog is necessary, but I’m still going to try to blog some. I guess I got out of the habit because of the circumstances I was in and probably from some depression that I was dealing with. So, if you want to read my blog and have never been here before, welcome! Look around and comment. Let me know what you think.

But know that I won’t deal with hate. I know how to remove anyone who lets hate take over.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Safety and Happiness

I have been sitting around my house for the last few months after resigning from my job. Searching for a job is a long arduous process that is frustrating and depleting. It feels like there will never be a place that fits me and will be my career. While I sit and search, I read a lot about what is going on in the world and man is it frustrating. I get angry so much that I can actually feel my blood pressure rising. Politics. Sports figures protesting. Adults threatening children. It is anger inducing. I would like to address all of these while taking a look at what the founding fathers wrote when putting the foundation on this great country. Yes, it is now and it always will be a great nation. I will get to that, too.

 Let's look at what the Declaration of Independence says.
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
When Thomas Jefferson wrote these words, our fledgling nation was in the midst of a war with Britain in an attempt to gain the freedom from the tyrannical rule of the king.  The newly formed independent states had voted for independence and they needed an explanation of why they felt it was necessary.  So let's look at some of the words as they might apply to the events of today.  Let's start with the next section.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The thing that stood out to me here is the part about government becoming destructive forcing the people to alter or abolish it so as to effect their safety and happiness. This is what is happening in this country right now. There are governments across this land that have destructive laws in place that are affecting the safety and happiness of certain groups of citizens.
When Colin Kaepernick chose to sit during the national anthem he was forcing the people to look at decisions by police chiefs and judges and juries that have affected the safety and happiness of young black men and women.  Black youth are systematically singled out as being a threat to police officers and as such have been injured, and in some instance killed for just being black.  Now you might say I am making this all about race and you're right.  It is about race.  It's about the superiority of the white man who thinks he is the ruler of black people in this country.  White privilege is on display around this country like was seen in the darkest days of the civil rights fight and the days of the Jim Crow south.

White politicians have made it okay to be hateful again.  People are encouraged to hurt others because they are of a different race or religion.  They have even been told their legal bills will be paid for them should they be arrested and charged and taken to trial.  But it's not okay.

Kaepernick started a dialogue that this country needs to have.  It is resonating with other athletes on the professional, collegiate, high school and even youth levels.  The Beaumont Bulls is one such league that has been vilified for allowing a team to take a knee during the national anthem...and the local media only gives the side of the ones who are hating against the kids.  Hating against the KIDS!

In an article in the New York Daily News, a parent whose son plays on the team said, "Our children are receiving death threats from people saying things like hang those monkeys, they should've died on 9/11, and they're going to kill each other anyway." Adults are saying these things about children. Adults. And our local news completely ignores it.  They talk about the people who disagree but don't show the threats that the kids received.

Another local team is in hot water after some players posted a very racially divisive meme on social media after playing another local team.  This is also described in the same article.  Who know what, if any, punishment they got from the school but they probably didn't get any from home because they had to learn that hate somewhere.

These are the things that black children and young adults have to deal with every day that white people don't have to.  A black man is seen as a threat and a white man is seen as hungry.  A black man is shot and killed.  A white man is taken to Burger King.  A black teenager holding a toy gun is killed on sight.  A white man who actually has a gun is talked to and reasoned with.

White privilege.

It's real people.

It's also part of the destructive government that has shirked its responsibility of justly, with the consent of the governed, protecting the unalienable right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  It is a government that needs to be abolished and altered so a new government that will effect the safety and happiness can be formed.  That is what the protests are about.  That is why they sit and kneel.

That is why they should sit and kneel.  And that is what our military has fought for.  That is what our flag should stand for yet for some it doesn't.  For some, the flag is a symbol of oppression by the government that should be protecting the life, liberty and happiness of all its citizens.

Let us not forget the soldiers who returned from Vietnam who were made to feel like they were murders.  Let us not forget that the black soldiers returning from WWII where they had fought for people of other countries to be free yet they came home to the same oppression that they left.

They were not free.  They didn't see any changes in their own country.  Their country was still holding them back, telling them they couldn't sit at lunch counters or attend school with white children.  They were held to higher standards to vote, with some going so far as to ask black voters to recite the entire Constitution or they couldn't vote.  That's what they came home to.  And while they have much better circumstances today, they are still being systematically oppressed by local, state and federal government on a daily basis.

You may not agree with the way that Kaepernick and other athletes have chosen to protest, but they have the right because of the same military that fought for all of us.  They don't cherry pick who they fight to protect.  They don't make conditions.  They fight for the Constitution.  They fight for the Republic.  They fight for all of us.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Oh My Geez

Donald Trump is coming to Beaumont. That sentence just makes me sick. Why in the world do people still want to support this man? I just don't get it. I'm too tired to say more than that. Good night.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Bunch of Whiney Babies

"While debates are meant to include tough questions and contrast candidates' visions and policies for the future of America, CNBC's moderators engaged in a series of 'gotcha' questions, petty and mean-spirited in tone, and designed to embarrass our candidates," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a letter to NBC, canceling the network's partnership with the GOP debate in February.

What a bunch of whiney babies on the reTHUGlican ticket. Not one of them can answer a question. Not one of them has an economic plan. Not one of them can do anywhere near a good job of getting this country fully recovered from the mess Bush left behind as President Obama has done. 

They want to either cut or eliminate Social Security. They want to give HUGE tax breaks to the richest people in the country....which will not allow the government to collect the taxes needed to pay debts. A complete bunch of clowns in a clown car who have no idea how to get out of the car. 

A vote for any one of them is a vote against this country that so many of their supporters claim to love so much.