Islamic State Re-Enters Historic Syrian City Of Palmyra — CBS New York

This is a real thing. However, it doesn’t mean we label all people of a certain group as bad. But there are radical Islamic people who are threats to our democracy and way of life. Something the current President has ignored due to politicizing. Protecting good people is fine. Ignoring or avoiding the bad ones is a issue no one wants to acknowledge.

That’s why there must be immigration reform. It shouldn’t be to penalize good people who want to come here and better themselves and their families. But to prevent dangerous criminals who don’t have our best interests.

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian activists say the Islamic State group has re-entered the historic city of Palmyra in central Syria, nine months after they were expelled by Syrian and Russian forces in a highly publicized campaign. The activist-run Palmyra Coordination Collective reports Saturday that the militants seized the city’s military warehouse and its northern and…

via Islamic State Re-Enters Historic Syrian City Of Palmyra — CBS New York

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Disappointment

Christmas Fireplace

Okay. So the title of this new post is Disappointment. Why would I do such a thing? Because at various times, we have all suffered from it. Whatever it might be, whether it’s how we’re treated on a job or dealing with people, we are bound to experience disappointment in life.

For me, it’s been all too common. I’m not where I need to be quite yet. But as I write these blogs, I’m moving in the right direction. It’s a therapeutic way for me to communicate what’s going on. By being honest, I’m getting off my chest my true feelings on the situation.

It’s six days until my 40th birthday. Other than plans made with my family, I still don’t have a clue if any of my friends want to do something. To me, that isn’t right. While it’s true I may not be your normal person this age due to not being like friends my age who are married with kids, I am a cool person to be around. Ask any of my close friends younger than myself and they’ll tell you. I’m your guy if you want to hang out or do something.

Just the other night, we went to see my friend at her new job. She’s a bartender at a nice place that’s about 20 minutes away. It actually is right around where I grew up out here. It brings back memories. So, we checked it out and even though it was late, we had a blast. For someone who’s younger, she sure has her shit together. She’s been doing bartending for six years. It’s nice to see someone who is mature enough to hold her own at what’s a demanding job with customers who at times can be annoying.

For her, it’s worth it because she knows what she’s doing and enjoys her job. Bartenders make a lot of money. If only I were that kind of person. I’m easy to get along with. I just don’t know if I’m the right fit for handling and mixing drinks. I’d probably be lousy cause I’m kind of clumsy. Ha. I know they train you. It probably explains why I never waited tables or did retail.

At the moment, I’m exploring my options. There are some intriguing possibilities. I do need a change. Something that isn’t as slow paced. More moving around and more being involved. I am giving serious consideration to a couple of things that would change my life for the better. I know it’s the right time.

As far as disappointment goes, I want more for myself. So, there is motivation and extra incentive to do the right thing moving forward. As my birthday draws nearer, I feel calmer about things. I understand what must happen. I have the power to do it.

Until next time. 🙂

At A Crossroads

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Jimi Hendrix would’ve turned 74 on Sunday, November 27. He will always be my hero. AP Photo via Getty Images

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything that wasn’t sports related or hockey. Be that as it may, I felt compelled to write in this space about personal stuff that’s been ongoing.

I’ve worked the same job for five years. How I lasted this long I still don’t understand. All I know is working at a call center is one of the worst things you can ever do. Between the long shifts spent on the phone and the rude and disrespectful customers who have no time or patience or appreciation for anything we do, it’s tedious.

I have needed to get out of this for a while. I feel like I’m going insane. I have lost all sanity. I miss the hell out of my friends I did things with. So many people have moved on with their lives. My closest friend works from home which makes this job a lot more tolerable. I just don’t know if I’m built for it anymore.

Even when it’s not supposed to, it causes me a lot of anxiety and stress. It doesn’t matter that it’s become consistent hourly pay. Honestly, salary at this place sucks. The fun went out once education died. Commission was better because it motivated us to work harder and get leads. Ever since they transitioned to jobs, this place has gone downhill. Between the awful records and poor management, they let a lot of quality people go.

I feel stuck. And really, I shouldn’t be. I should’ve just quit and done something else. I have control of the situation. But no direction. Try telling your parents that and they’ll think why did we spend all this money for you to get a Bachelor’s Degree. I’m told what to do. Not what I want to do.

Anyone who knows me knows I am one of the nicest, most unselfish and caring guys out there. I am always looking out for other people. I will always have my friends’ backs. Just once, I can use them here. Personally, I think I belong helping others. Whether it be as a guidance counselor or someone who can assist troubled younger adults because of the crap I’ve gone through.

Anxiety and depression suck. They go hand in hand. Even when I don’t feel down, I am because I keep wondering how I let it get to this point. Next week, I turn 40. And it doesn’t even faze me. Anyone who’s seen me knows I look nothing close to my age. Let’s just say I can than my Mom and Dad for good genes. I have a baby face. So, it helps. I also am easy going around people and love conversation.

It’s just that I’m shy around certain people. Mainly women I like. I don’t know why. It’s always been hard for me. And it shouldn’t be. But I just think about my situation and wonder why anyone would want to be with me. While former classmates have raised families, I sit here at my desk and wonder where I am going. And I honestly cannot answer it.

Sometimes, I think about getting away. I hate it here. I wish I could just pack up and leave. That would make it easier. I don’t need to be told what to do. If only I didn’t owe Sallie Mae so much money. If only I had made more wise decisions. But here I am. Nothing will happen on December 8. It’ll come and go just like every holiday and birthday in our family. It doesn’t matter to me anymore. And that’s not the person I want to be. It SHOULD!

Everyone I’m friends with always tells me how cool and funny I am. That I’m nice. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe I am too damn nice. But that isn’t changing. I could never be mean to anyone. Not unless they are to me. I always have had this motto. Treat others the way you want to be treated. It applies in life. Also, never label anyone. Don’t judge unless you have been in their shoes.

So, here we are. A late November Fall night post Thanksgiving. Thank God. My favorite holiday is now one I dislike due to all the disgusting food. When did Americans become such pigs? We really are spoiled rotten. Don’t think so? Just look at the portions we eat. I can’t do it anymore. I drink antioxidant water. At least a gallon on average. That’s the one positive thing I’ve done. I just need to cut out all the junk. Getting older sucks. Anyone who tells you different is a fool.

Unless you’re in the perfect situation, I just don’t see how getting older is exciting. Maybe for parents it is. If I had a kid, I would give my left arm for them. It’s basically what I’ve done helping out my brother. I am not gonna get into his situation. Let’s just say I’ve given everything. At what point should I start living for myself?

It’s okay to care. If we don’t have emotions, we’d be hopeless. I have them. I smile. I laugh. I cry. Well, not really. Unless you count inside. Sometimes, we have to let it out. Be truthful. Be brave.

That’s what I’m doing here. I am being truthful to myself. And to anyone who loves or appreciates me. I hope I find the right path and plan the next decade of my life much better than my 30’s. I know I can live with myself because I am focused on getting the job done.

Until next time these three words appropriately from my hero Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. He would’ve turned 74 yesterday.

PEACE. LOVE. HAPPINESS.

Meet The 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Models — CBS New York

By Effie Orfanides Before the end of the night, supermodel Jasmine Tookes will strut her stuff wearing this year’s Fantasy Bra. Made with 9,000 gemstones and totaling 450 carats, the $3 million bra will undoubtedly be a showstopper. Here is a look at the models walking in the 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Adriana Lima (credit:…

via Meet The 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Models — CBS New York

Pretty interesting read. The Victoria Secret Fashion show is on December 5, 2016. Some new models will be debuting. Plus usual vets Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio.

That eerie feeling

I wasn’t sure what to title this. Something’s been on my mind the whole month. I just haven’t been able to properly express it. So, I feel obligated to do it in this space here.

I’ll start by saying I’ve lost a friend before. It happened six years ago. Death is something we all experience. Some handle it well while others well, don’t. We all grieve in our own ways. I’ll never forget the phone call I got about our close friend who tragically passed on. I won’t rehash the details because to this day, they remain sketchy. In respect for his lovely family who we all have gotten to know, something positive did come out of it. Proof that shining stars exist.

Since that sad tragic day on May 21, 2010, I’ve known other people who passed away. The only difference is it didn’t involve immediate family members. I guess when it’s a friend or someone we know, it’s different. At least for me, I’ve discovered it. There is more hurt and pain inside. Something I can’t explain. If it’s a close personal friend, it’s understandable. But if it’s someone we knew by face, it still weighs heavily. Especially when you knew they were a good person.

Sometimes, you just know. I’m very good at reading people. On July 31 of this year, our block lost someone like that. Her name was Deanna Rose Gioia. She was 35 and had just given birth to a beautiful 2-month old daughter named Adrianna Rose. I found out through Facebook of a childhood friend who also lives on our block. When I first saw it, my initial reaction was, ‘Oh no. Not her.’ I didn’t want to believe it. When you hear such awful news, that’s a natural reaction.

This was someone I liked when I was younger. Someone who delivered the newspapers following in the footsteps of her older brother Joe. We went to the same high school. He was the reason I began delivering the Staten Island Advance as a teenager. That eerie feeling of knowing his younger sister was really gone hit me hard. Especially when I read about her family’s story. It was the stuff of fairy tale. Deanna had worked at the same store as her future Husband when they were younger. They lost touch but then got reacquainted by chance. As if it were destiny.

Reading their story touched me. Knowing that their daughter wouldn’t have a Mom to help raise her made me feel very sad. I was raised by two great parents who always had and still have my best interests. They’ve always supported me in everything I do. Even when I’ve struggled.

Simply put, you can’t replace a Mom. Believe me. I know. My Mom still texts me every day and calls me frequently. She still worries about my well being all these years later. Good parents never stop caring. I consider myself and younger brother Justin lucky. Even though they separated after 28 years and our Mom remarried, we still are a family. It took a long time to get over the heartache and pain of being apart. That is never easy.

I’ve noticed something special. Often when tragedies occur, it brings out the best in people. Everyone comes together and rallies as a community. The opposite of what’s going on with our country. If we just all treated each other the way we want to be treated and with respect, we’d be a better and stronger society.

In the following article that appeared in The Advance, Deanna’s husband Richard set up a GoFundme page to help him raise his daughter Adrianna Rose. There have been so many who have donated to help their family in need. Like most, I gave what I could. Thus far, they’ve raised over $75,000.

Reading first hand accounts of Deanna, it was like I thought. She was someone who cared deeply for others. She became a registered nurse who worked at Staten Island University Hospital. Her sudden death was a shock to our neighborhood. Seeing how much she helped others is a testament to the kind of person she was.

It’s unfortunate that her daughter will never get the chance to be raised by her Mom. However, when you see all the unselfishness from people who have contributed, it speaks very highly. All hope is not lost.

It’s still eerie for me passing their car and house. The somber and chilly feeling never goes away. The same can be echoed for my close friend who has been gone for six years. I still can’t believe it. He didn’t even make it to 21. Yet was the most gifted, talented and heart worthy person I knew. Futuristic in every sense. He may not be around in the present sense but his spirit is still alive. I can feel it every time we hear his fantastic beats he created at our friend’s place. A true shining star.

What I’ve learned is that Shining Stars truly exist. They’re the special ones who are always there for you no matter what. They last forever.

 

‘Tis the Season

‘Tis The Season

by Derek Flex Felix

 

‘Tis the season

For dreaming and believing

When all we do is hurt each other

Pain and anguish like former lovers

 

We are constantly fighting

Cause hard words are biting

Revealing the ugly side inside ourselves

This is America a nation in bad mental health

 

Impatient drivers who abuse the law

Even if it means hit and runs causing an uproar

Broken hearts for families due to idiocy

No wonder Donald Trump could get elected sheer lunacy

 

There’s no hope for the future if we don’t change

It’s time to take back the streets and lock up these thugs in a cage

Cause it could be yours or mine who’s next

This ain’t the world we grew up in what the heck

 

I see a lot of heartless people uneducated without any soul

They’re too busy running a muck having lost all control

The kind of spineless self serving individualists who must go

Lock them up toss the key throw them out of this show

 

You don’t belong on these streets

It’s time to take out the trash and miscreants

Let the rats have at it for their next meal

Making us a stronger city with better appeal

 

‘Tis the season

For deceit and cheating

From drug dealers

Crooks and feelers

 

Who’d kill their own

Just for quick cash and a new i-phone

The kind who destroy society

While living in luxury and proprietary

 

The kind who get rich pushing heroin

Contributing to addicts overdosing and deaths

You’re the real felons who don’t deserve to live

The next stop is jail without bail and no wealth

 

No more lenient sentences

For hurtful people with no conscience

Sending you away to barbed wire and caged fences

You’re the ones who should suffer and be unconscious

 

Rot in hell like the criminals you are

You work for the Devil see fire red

No more lifestyle just a wall and bars

Sealed off from the outside world in bed

 

Let’s rid ourselves of the weak

Who are leeches that drain us

The time has come to rise up and speak

Leaving behind the cruel hopeless murderers