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Political Correctness: The Halloween Edition


I found this rant from Angelo Morena about Halloween. Once again Political Correctness rears its ugly head, sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong.

WTF? Where is this country going? Some schools have banned Halloween because it offends some cultures. Send them back home, this is our country and things should stay the way they are. First its Christmas, now its Halloween. This really ticked me off this morning. I come from an Italian Culture and my parents have respected the culture of Canada. Now its time for our Politicians to have Balls and stop this nonsense.
This is my Rant for the day HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE

You couldn’t have said it better, Angelo. Enough is enough. If these people can’t respect our culture, they should pack their things and leave. We’re tolerant enough to accept them with open arms, but we shouldn’t be bending over backwards to accommodate their demands.

Featured

Video Review: Winger – Battle Stations


How many people remember MySpace? I remember finding this track, along with “All I Ever Wanted” during the summer of 2006. This would have been an amazing video from start to finish. Reb Beach opening the track with a blistering guitar shred. Paul Taylor adding his riffs. Rod Morgenstein pounding the skins. Then the ageless hunk, Kip Winger. A truly amazing voice & he’s got incredible talent on Bass. The critics should be eating crow for everything they’ve said about them during the 80’s Winger had more talent in their bodies than many of today’s Rock acts.

http://youtu.be/Z1M-s-8TVBY?list=PL0BAB9EDC61313646

An amazing kick ass collage paying respects to those amazing acts of the 80’s. Featuring 18 amazing acts, including Winger. You’ll never have another decade like the 80’s ever again. RIP to Steven Maynard Clark, Robbin Crosby, Jani Lane & Eric Carr for their contributions to this genre. You’re still rockin’ in Heaven & we’ll never forget it.

Bands: Mötley Crüe, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Kiss, Iron Maiden, Guns N’ Roses, Judas Priest, Europe, Poison, Def Leppard, Van Halen, Helloween, Scorpions, Ratt, Warrant, Lita Ford, Skid Row, Twisted Sister.


I’ve been reading some posts for quite a while now from a few of my good Facebook friends. They have to do with the place they are in their lives. Some are frustrated and trying to find a way out for a new start, but without success. Some are frightened and needing to find a way out but afraid. Others are just in a rut and afraid to trust the leap of faith vs the dying inside feeling.
I want to tell you something:Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 11.42.15 AM
I’ve been there.
Without going into details because it serves no purpose to bring up what’s already been dealt with, I want you to know that I have been so broke that I was eating mashed potatoes sandwiches at work because it’s all I had to bring with me. I have eaten bean sandwiches, too, for the same reason. I once lived on a bowl of plain macaroni for an entire week and I was seven months pregnant. I’ve never had anyone lay a hand on me physically, but I have been afraid in both marriages and both times because I was afraid to make them mad simply because I couldn’t deal with the turmoil and fights. I don’t know what happened to me in another life, but I cannot, simply cannot deal with people fighting and shouting.
I have gone to bed many nights wondering how I was going to pay bills for the month and what I would do if I found myself without a place of my own.
The only thing that has saved me in every situation was my faith in God and my determination not to fail.
It is imperative for a woman to believe in herself. You cannot assume that just because you are well taken care of now, that you will never have a need to worry about being out on your own. Life takes you down many paths and none of them are marked. Make plans. Like the kinds of plans you make when you’re lying awake in the middle of the night planning how you would get out of your house if someone broke in, or if there was a fire. Yes, those plans – the kind that save your life plans.
No one ever said life would be easy, but it should not be lived in abject misery or in fear, and praying to God to fix it is a cop-out. God didn’t put you in the situation. The free will He gave us means we put ourselves there, which means He expects us to use free will to get ourselves out, as well. Yes, He’ll give you strength you need it, but you have to be the one to do the work, and when you finally do it, that will be your lesson.
It’s what never to do again.

It’s Still Merry Christmas To Me


Twas the month before Christmas*

*When all through our land,*

*Not a Christian was praying*

*Nor taking a stand.*

* The PC Police had taken away,*

*the reason for Christmas – why no one dared say.*

*The children commanded in schools not to sing,*

*of angels and Shepherds and heavenly things.

Might hurt people’s feelings teachers declared.

Worse than that, might make them …… scared!

Deep in the malls the fever of spending

Spread like wild fire, seemed never ending.

*Glitz and tinsel and lights galore promoting sales in every store.

Starless trees along the aisles, garish signs for miles and miles!

Buy one, get one free, come on!

Shop ’til your parcels way a ton.

Use your plastic. Don’t delay!

Have a happy holiday!

Just don’t speak of salvation or grace.

Don’t dare do that in this space!*

Don’t dare utter that special name, don’t commit such a terrible crime!

The name of Jesus to us in here, strikes us with horror, terrible fear!

So let’s not say it now or never. Just continue to shop with fervor.

Buy the goodies, all just right, Forget forever that Bethlehem night.

What does it matter in this New Age. Just puts folk in an awful rage.

Smile, be jolly, sing a song,

Shout HAPPY HOLIDAYS all month long!

Christians! Live your faith! Stand up and be counted. Wish people

Merry Christmas!

How The PC Spoiled Christmas


Twas a month before Christmas
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.

Why the PC Police
had taken away
The reason for Christmas
no one could say.

The children were told by their schools not to sing
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people’s feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a ‘Holiday’.
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-Pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!

Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe’s the word Christmas – was no where to be found.

At K-Mart and Staples and Penny’s and Sears
You won’t hear the word Christmas; it won’t touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-is-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.

Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.

And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.

So as you celebrate ‘Winter Break’ under your ‘Dream Tree’
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.

Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS, not Happy Holiday!

What Christmas Meant To Sharon


All this Black Friday crap made me remember my childhood and what Christmas shopping entailed and how very very personal your ONE gift was that you received, and how excited you were to get it. Even more, there was the excitement of “making” your gift to give to your mother, or browsing the aisles of the local Woolworth’s to spend the quarter you had to buy her a bottle of Evening in Paris. And we always bought Daddy a can of Prince Albert tobacco so he could ‘roll his own’ cigarettes. Such joy in the simplicity of those days, and such gratitude for what we received.

There was no such thing as ‘making a list’ and expecting everything on it, or buying big ticket items, let alone leaving the warmth and comfort of home and family to go stand in a freaking line for 6 hours to buy ANOTHER television or some electronic stuff.

All through my childhood, filling the sacks at church to give away after the Christmas program was always part of the holiday event for us. My grandfather was the church deacon, so he was responsible for the stuff we put in the sacks, and as my sister and I grew older, we became part of the assembly line congregation who gathered to FILL the sacks a day early of the program. And the contents were always the same. An apple and an orange, two big hunks of ribbon candy, two little mounds of chocolate covered fondant, some peanut squares, some of the pretty little pieces of hard candies, some orange slices (which are still my favorites) and a peppermint candy cane. It was the highlight of the program to get a sack of that candy after it was over – even thought the orange had made the candy stick together and the apple was bruised from bouncing around with all that hard candy. LOL It was Christmas. It was enough.

I remember the years at home when we made paper chains out of colored construction paper to decorate our tree (which Daddy cut out of the pasture), and YES, we DID string popcorn and cranberries to make chains to decorate as well. It was a fuss between my sister and me every year as to who’s turn it was to make the tree topper, which was ALWAYS A STAR, thank you very much. The finest ones were covered in colored crepe paper when we had it. Otherwise it was cardboard and crayons. My sister and I would snuggle together in our bed under a pile of covers so heavy we could never turn over, and fall asleep listening for bells, or a ho ho ho. Each Christmas morning there was the excitement of waking up to the brand new doll clothes for our old dolls and dressing and redressing them for days on end. Mother would stay up long after she’d put us to bed and sew the tiny clothes in secret so we wouldn’t see her making them. We were poor and didn’t know it because we had SO much love.

I think that’s what’s missing from Christmas these days. I want to celebrate, with gratitude, the faith that keeps me grounded, the family who is my heart, and the gift of a warm, safe home and the food that sustains us.

And in the midst of just living my life, I have found the path I was meant to follow. One of my tasks is to help spread light, and I do so through my work. It fills my soul to be able to share what I do with so many, and in some small way, make their day or their life a little brighter, if only for the time they’re reading my stories. I purposefully remove myself from people who spread hate and discrimination. Our lives are but a sacred moment in the immeasurable infinity. Make yours about doing good. Not about how much you get.

I’M ON THE NEWS!!


A Buick in the Land of Lexus

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WordPress News, that is.

The editors at WordPress asked 7 bloggers what their blogging goals were for 2016. I paid off an editor

curled up in the fetal position and cried outside their office

gave them my kid to do yard work

was legitimately asked to be a part of this!!

I’d love it if you come and check it out. Because guess what? I mention all of YOU.

Here’s the link: What Are Your Blogging Goals for 2016? 

I’m super excited I was asked to be a part of this, and totally grateful to WordPress for the opportunity. They ROCK!

I’m going to close comments here, so you’ll comment over there, if you are so inclined.

I love you guys. Thanks for reading.

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So Many Questions!


Play by Play Day by Day with Amy Lawrence

(This blog post was first published on my radio show’s website. AL)

There is an old, familiar adage: “Curiosity killed the cat.” Maybe it’s not entirely applicable to sports radio, but constant questions about who I am and what I do off the air threaten to wear out THIS cat, ha. Of course, I’m teasing, but I certainly field a lot of the same inquiries over and over. I appreciate the interest, and I’m glad you want to know more about me and what goes into hosting a national radio show. So the idea behind this blog post is to address your “frequently asked questions” en masse. Hope it satisfies some of your curiosity!

Without further ado and in no particular order:

  • What hours/days is your show on the air?  I can understand the confusion since After Hours spent its first 2 years operating on the weekends. The show airs…

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Five Stages Of Grieving


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The stages have evolved since their introduction and they have been very misunderstood over the past three decades. They were never meant to help tuck messy emotions into neat packages. They are responses to loss that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss as there is no typical loss. Our grief is as individual as our lives.

The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order. Our hope is that with these stages comes the knowledge of grief ‘s terrain, making us better equipped to cope with life and loss. At times, people in grief will often report more stages. Just remember your grief is an unique as you are.

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DENIAL
This first stage of grieving helps us to survive the loss. In this stage, the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Life makes no sense. We are in a state of shock and denial. We go numb. We wonder how we can go on, if we can go on, why we should go on. We try to find a way to simply get through each day. Denial and shock help us to cope and make survival possible. Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief. There is a grace in denial. It is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle. As you accept the reality of the loss and start to ask yourself questions, you are unknowingly beginning the healing process. You are becoming stronger, and the denial is beginning to fade. But as you proceed, all the feelings you were denying begin to surface.

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ANGER
Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal. There are many other emotions under the anger and you will get to them in time, but anger is the emotion we are most used to managing. The truth is that anger has no limits. It can extend not only to your friends, the doctors, your family, yourself and your loved one who died, but also to God. You may ask, “Where is God in this? Underneath anger is pain, your pain. It is natural to feel deserted and abandoned, but we live in a society that fears anger. Anger is strength and it can be an anchor, giving temporary structure to the nothingness of loss. At first grief feels like being lost at sea: no connection to anything. Then you get angry at someone, maybe a person who didn’t attend the funeral, maybe a person who isn’t around, maybe a person who is different now that your loved one has died. Suddenly you have a structure – – your anger toward them. The anger becomes a bridge over the open sea, a connection from you to them. It is something to hold onto; and a connection made from the strength of anger feels better than nothing.We usually know more about suppressing anger than feeling it. The anger is just another indication of the intensity of your love.

5stages4

BARGAINING
Before a loss, it seems like you will do anything if only your loved one would be spared. “Please God, ” you bargain, “I will never be angry at my wife again if you’ll just let her live.” After a loss, bargaining may take the form of a temporary truce. “What if I devote the rest of my life to helping others. Then can I wake up and realize this has all been a bad dream?” We become lost in a maze of “If only…” or “What if…” statements. We want life returned to what is was; we want our loved one restored. We want to go back in time: find the tumor sooner, recognize the illness more quickly, stop the accident from happening…if only, if only, if only. Guilt is often bargaining’s companion. The “if onlys” cause us to find fault in ourselves and what we “think” we could have done differently. We may even bargain with the pain. We will do anything not to feel the pain of this loss. We remain in the past, trying to negotiate our way out of the hurt. People often think of the stages as lasting weeks or months. They forget that the stages are responses to feelings that can last for minutes or hours as we flip in and out of one and then another. We do not enter and leave each individual stage in a linear fashion. We may feel one, then another and back again to the first one.

5stages5

DEPRESSION
After bargaining, our attention moves squarely into the present. Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. This depressive stage feels as though it will last forever. It’s important to understand that this depression is not a sign of mental illness. It is the appropriate response to a great loss. We withdraw from life, left in a fog of intense sadness, wondering, perhaps, if there is any point in going on alone? Why go on at all? Depression after a loss is too often seen as unnatural: a state to be fixed, something to snap out of. The first question to ask yourself is whether or not the situation you’re in is actually depressing. The loss of a loved one is a very depressing situation, and depression is a normal and appropriate response. To not experience depression after a loved one dies would be unusual. When a loss fully settles in your soul, the realization that your loved one didn’t get better this time and is not coming back is understandably depressing. If grief is a process of healing, then depression is one of the many necessary steps along the way.

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ACCEPTANCE
Acceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with what has happened. This is not the case. Most people don’t ever feel OK or all right about the loss of a loved one. This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality. We will never like this reality or make it OK, but eventually we accept it. We learn to live with it. It is the new norm with which we must learn to live. We must try to live now in a world where our loved one is missing. In resisting this new norm, at first many people want to maintain life as it was before a loved one died. In time, through bits and pieces of acceptance, however, we see that we cannot maintain the past intact. It has been forever changed and we must readjust. We must learn to reorganize roles, re-assign them to others or take them on ourselves. Finding acceptance may be just having more good days than bad ones. As we begin to live again and enjoy our life, we often feel that in doing so, we are betraying our loved one. We can never replace what has been lost, but we can make new connections, new meaningful relationships, new inter-dependencies. Instead of denying our feelings, we listen to our needs; we move, we change, we grow, we evolve. We may start to reach out to others and become involved in their lives. We invest in our friendships and in our relationship with ourselves. We begin to live again, but we cannot do so until we have given grief its time.

  • Carlos Martinez

The World Is Mine


Today, upon a bus, I saw a very beautiful woman And wished I were as beautiful.

When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle..

She had one leg and used a crutch. But as she passed, she passed a smile.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine. I have two legs; the world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy. The lad who sold it had such charm.

I talked with him, he seemed so glad. If I were late, it’d do no harm.

And as I left, he said to me, “I thank you, you’ve been so kind.

It’s nice to talk with folks like you. You see,” he said, “I’m blind.”

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine. I have two eyes; the world is mine.

Later while walking down the street, I saw a child I knew.

He stood and watched the others play, but he did not know what to do.

I stopped a moment and then I said, “Why don’t you join them dear?”

He looked ahead without a word. I forgot, he couldn’t hear.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine. I have two ears; the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I’d go..

With eyes to see the sunset’s glow.

With ears to hear what I’d know.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine. I’ve been blessed indeed, the world is mine.

If this poem makes you feel thankful, just forward it to your friends. After all, it’s just a simple reminder that we have so much to be thankful for!

Give the gift of love. It never comes back empty !

God has truly blessed me with an AWESOME FAMILY & FRIENDS !

Six Signs That You’re In The Wrong Job


I’ve been in the wrong job a couple of times. It’s not all bad, you can learn valuable lessons about yourself and about work from realizing that where you are is not for you. Recognizing what you don’t want your work life to be like can be a powerful motivator to go out and achieve the circumstances that you do want.

In my late twenties, I was hired as a travel writer for a guidebook company. I thought I was done. Hello, dream job achieved at 27. I have arrived.

It turned out not to be the case for me. Being a travel writer is a lonesome experience. You move from hotel to hotel, town to town, mostly eating alone or with tourism reps. You have to cover so much ground in such a short period of time that you end up writing about attractions you haven’t visited based on the brochure, or reviewing restaurants based on the menu without actually trying the food. So I felt like a bit of a fraud.

Also, you’re on a per diem while traveling, and most of your accommodations are complementary from places hoping to make it into your guidebook, but you have no income. You only get paid in a lump sum when you hand in the finished draft of the book. Which means when you get back from traveling you have to spend weeks poring over your notes and brochures, hammering out the copy with no money coming in.

Some people would love the adventure of this. Periods of feast and then famine, always going somewhere different, living by the seat of your pants.

I always saw myself as the outsider, the lone adventurer, but I learned from this experience that I like to work with other people. I crave a creative team, a community. And I really need to know where my next pay check is coming from and when. I value security more than I had thought that I did.

I’ve used those valuable teachings in making all subsequent career decisions.

Except once. There was the time I quit well-paying full-time job with nothing else lined up even though I am the sole bread-winner for my family, simply because once again I was in the wrong job.

I was the Senior Front Page Editor of a portal. (In the olden days those were websites that featured the latest breaking news, entertainment, business, sports, etc. stories all in one place. People don’t visit them as much anymore, but they were among the web’s most trafficked websites in their day.)

A new boss out of the US was appointed to run our team remotely. She immediately started to exert influence over editorial decisions. When the Canadian management team pointed out that they had gone to some effort to acquire me from a competitor, and that I had been the most successful front page editor in their history, she replied with the clearest sign I was in the wrong job: “I don’t care about success.” Wait, what? She cared about being agreed with.

She cared about local editors publishing the stories and the spin that she thought were important regardless of whether or not they generated actual measurable success: audience engagement, page views, traffic distribution, advertising revenue, and all the things that keep the lights on.

I knew that I couldn’t be successful while being second-guessed and micro-managed from afar, and I would have been despondent watching my reputation and track record reduced to rubble. So when she explained how the department would work under her “hands-on” management style, I said, “Yeah, you’re going to need a new Front Page Editor.”

Even though it might seem to have been a rash decision because I didn’t have another job lined up at the time, this is still the career move I am most proud of making. Because it was scary. However, the only reason I would have stayed on in that demoralizing role would have been out of fear. And that’s no way to live.

Here are the signs that you’re in the wrong job:

You’re only in it for the money. If you think about quitting every day, and it’s only the fear of the lost revenue and finding another job quickly enough that keeps you going to work, you’re in the wrong job. We all have bills to pay and responsibilities to meet, but if that is the only thing that motivates you to show up to work, you should be actively looking for something more fulfilling or enjoyable.

You don’t enjoy the work itself. When you actually find the stuff you’re paid to do all day uncomfortable, boring, or distasteful, you should probably try something else. The way to succeed is to excel at something, and hopefully to do it with a positive attitude. Both are impossible when you hate what you’re doing. In a recent Workopolis poll, 29% of our users said that “Enjoying the work itself” was their most important career goal. (Ranked as more important than becoming wealthy or even just achieving financial stability.)

You dread the idea of going to work. When work has become so unpleasant that you dread the very idea of having to go in, you’re in the wrong job. Having it weigh on you that much means that you can’t even enjoy your time off because of the looming return to work. This can lead to depression, substance abuse, stress-related illnesses and other health consequences that are just not worth it. Stay healthy and go someplace else.

Your manager – or the team – is out to get you. This can happen when someone above you is looking to replace you, or when you are just not a good fit with the team and they have formed a clique to oust you. Either way, it’s time to start looking for another gig. Signs that your coworkers are aligning against you include:

  • – Credit for your accomplishments being given to others.
  • – Blame for any setbacks being directed to you.
  • – Feedback or comments on your work being sent to people over your head rather than to you directly.
  • – Team members routinely passive-aggressively putting down or questioning every decision you make.
  • – You receive long feedback emails criticizing your work on which many other people are copied. Good leaders coach, they don’t cc the world their complaints. This isn’t about you – it’s about your manager creating a paper-trail for dismissal.
  • – You’re told that your new boss doesn’t care about the things you’re good at (or about success at all) if it means contradicting their opinion (Okay, maybe that just happened to me.)

The rest of your life is no good either (because of work). If you don’t enjoy your job, but it pays you enough money for you to enjoy the lifestyle you’ve always wanted, and affords you the work/life balance that you crave, it might be worth staying. I think that people limit their potential by engaging in careers they are not passionate about, but not everyone is passionate about work. Sometimes it’s just a job. If you can like your lifestyle – without liking the actually job you may be okay. However, if you don’t like it, it doesn’t pay enough to support your desired lifestyle, and you don’t have the work/life balance that you need – it’s probably the wrong job. That’s what I learned from travel writing: the lifestyle itself didn’t mesh with how I wanted to live.

There is no growth or learning potential. When the position you are in is a dead-end, you’re probably in the wrong job. The trouble with dead ends is that even if it seems safe where you are currently – everything changes. When things change and you have nowhere to go, you’re in trouble. And if you haven’t been learning along the way at work, your skills will eventually become dated and less valuable on the market.

Because everything changes, we have to as well. The real wages we garner from any job are the experiences we gain, the skills we acquire, and the connections we make. These are the things that a career is made of. And a career spans many jobs: sometimes the right ones and sometimes the wrong ones.

(To bookend my quitting story – When a VP of Marketing whom I had worked for years earlier heard that I had left my job, he called me up and said that he had recently changed companies as well. He was working on a project to reinvent and relaunch a major Canadian brand, and he wanted me to join him and become the voice of the website. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse, and that’s how I came to Workopolis.)

Of course, you could also watch for these six red flags in job postings that warn you not to apply to try and avoid ‘wrong jobs’ in the first place.

_______

– Peter Harris