Heroes Of The Week! (Casual Friday Edition)

Macy's Thanskgiving Day Parade 2012: Helium is wasted in floating parade balloons.

Welp . . . I couldn’t go with Black Friday Edition on account of the fact the retailers have gone and screwed that up in the recent past by opening on Thanksgiving night. Of course, this year they got religion . . on account of COVID. So Imma go with a more casual flow to this week’s episode. And with twenty eight shopping days until Christmas, methinks it’s a good idea to take a chill day before our shopping boots really get to stepping.

Big thank you to Frank “Beaches” Angle for riding shotgun with me last week. Of course, going solo means I have some zeroes to go along with the good stuff. But that’s alright because, just like in the movies, the good guys win in the end.

Now to our heroes . . .

I’m starting things off with Green Shirt Guy. And if you don’t know who that is, then do yourself a favor and watch this video. His name is Alex Kack and he’s a twenty eight year old field organizer from Tucson, Arizona. He went viral after video footage caught him having a good laugh during a city council on immigration. He was reacting to the mindless rant of an anti-immigration protester when his fifteen minutes of fame came calling.

“There’s a side to it that’s not funny, especially in light of El Paso,” he said. “But when you’re sitting there and your confronted with a level of absurdity and insanity, what else are you gonna do?”

Kack says he plans on keeping his green shirt. And hopefully he keeps that sense of humor as well. We need it right about now.

Big props to a recent hero, Alex Smith. The Washington quarterback not only made it back to the field after almost losing his leg a couple years ago, but he’s kicking some butt. He threw for almost four hundred yards last week, and he helped lead Washington to a victory against the Cowboys yesterday that lifted his team into first place. Just . . . wow.

Not for nothing (because that’s what it’s worth) but what in the hell happened to “America’s Mayor” Rudy Giuliani? Dude should have remained in the private sector, because once he went high profile again, he quickly turned into the Penguin. Seriously . . . DC Comics is suing him for identity theft. But I guess that’s what happens when you join forces with the Joker.

And what’s the deal with Rudy’s boss taking credit for the Dow hitting 30 K for the first time? Does he not remember predicting the market would crash if Biden was elected? Huh? Hmm? Huh?

Ryan Shazier walks out to announce Steelers' draft pick

Ryan Shazier was busy living his dream until a spinal cord injury in a December 2017 game against the Cincinnati Bengals changed everything. The former linebacker was given only a twenty percent chance of ever walking again. He pushed back on that daunting outlook and less than six months later was walking up to the podium to announce the Pittsburgh Steelers pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

“My injury has helped me see firsthand what the SCI community goes through every day and the inequities people face when it comes to getting the care they need,” Shazier said. “I want to be there for people who are going through similar struggles, including their caregivers and families.”

Over the last three years, this former member of the “Steel Curtain” has shown plenty of steel off the field. This week he announced that he is starting a non-profit organization: The Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation. In his words, it’s one step at a time to a better tomorrow. His courageous example will help to lead the way.

Dogs are man’s best friend, so it was only right this guy returned the favor. He went in the water and extricated his puppy from the jaws of an alligator. The part of this video that’s most impressive is how he opens the gator’s jaws while it’s between his legs. I mean . . courage AND concentration.

Seriously! The gator is BETWEEN his legs . . . thisclose to his business! Okay I’ll stop . . .

Michael J. Fox Details Crisis Of Optimism In New Memoir, 'No Time Like The Future' | Here & Now

And now for a double tapestry of righteous brought to us from the lovely Dale over at A Dalectable Life.

First up is that much loved Canadian(?) Michael J. Fox. He’s penned a new memoir titled No Time Like The Future, in which he goes deep on his darkest moments. Specific to this was 2018 when doctors found a tumor on his spinal cord. Though benign, doctors believed it was too risky to operate, and that it would eventually lead to him not being able to walk. He was able to find a doctor who removed it successfully, after which he spent much of the year learning to walk again.

Things did not go well.

“I squandered it by going too fast down a hallway and turning into the kitchen, slipping on a tile and crushing my arm,” says Fox, who couldn’t reach the phone to call for help. “I had to get my arm rebuilt.”

It was in that moment where Fox thought to himself “I’m out of the freaking lemonade business,”. And yet he found his way from there to here. With a new book, a new outlook and a perspective that will serve to help others. In spite of all the valleys he’s been made to journey through, he says he is still so thankful for everything he’s got.

Is it any wonder me and Frank try and steal this guy every chance we get?

And a belated congratulations to Kim Ng, the first female general manager of a men’s team in the history of major North American sports. From the White Sox to the Yankees to the Dodgers, Ng has paid her dues over a thirty year career. Next up? I want to see Becky Hammon score a head coaching gig in the NBA.

Dolly Parton, who in April donated $1 million to Covid-19 research, is listed among sponsors who funded research for the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.

As for the B side of Dale’s two-fer, we have Dolly Parton. She wasn’t just tapping her toes, hoping the pandemic would miraculously disappear by spring, nope. In April she donated $1 million to coronavirus research. Money that helped to fund Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Her name appears in the preliminary report for the vaccine, but she was never looking to draw attention to herself. All she wanted was to help, and she called on others to send what they could to the research team at Vanderbilt University.

She believed it was the time to “open my heart” in order to help others. But you know what really helps that process along?

When your heart was right there all along.

And the following video is why I am going to miss Conan. One of the many reasons . . .

Pat Sajak told a Wheel of Fortune contestant that he was “ungrateful” and Twitter went nuclear. And in other news, I just cut my toenails . . . .

Imma send y’all into the weekend with the story of Grover Wilhelmsen. He’s a retired music teacher who was stricken with COVID-19 this fall. The virus moved into his lungs and impeded his ability to talk. So Grover took to passing notes to the nurses tending to him before coming up with a better idea. He got his wife Diana to bring his violin to the hospital so he could play them a song, as his way of saying thank you.

And in the music shined a light for the people who have had to work through so much darkness. His gift of love and thanks, in keeping with the season. The gesture shows us that gratitude is more than appreciation or a reciprocal kindness.

It’s a gift.

A Cult Above

Shelter Island Estate - Montana, United States - Private Islands for Sale

Remember the good old days when Michael Stipe spit-balled the end of days into a rock and roll beer song as we divested one stock and invested in another whilst bitching about all that disposable income we were smoking? This was in a time before commercial airliners crashed into our little cocoon. We thought Trump was smug and harmless and Joe Paterno was a saint and Bill Cosby was the father we really wanted.

All this time later, here we are . . . a disheveled, dispirited reckoning that keeps spiraling into an Edvard Munch pit. So Imma call my backup plan into active duty. Because as much as I want to hope and dream again, now that an adult will be inhabiting the White House again . . I’m still concerned about our long term forecast.

Thus, my backup plan.

I’m going to become a cult leader and move to Montana. I realize that any cult boss worth his Sambuca goes to Texas, but I have exes in Texas and none in Montana. That I know of. Also, the proximity to Calgary allows us to siphon their oil reserves if need be, because as Americans it’s our God given right to order out. We’re also close enough to the Dakotas that we can hide out there if the Federalis decide to shut down our little enterprise. And we’re half a day’s drive from the Pacific in the event the zombies get to stepping.

Montana is picturesque and roomy. It also happens to be where former Bulls and Lakers coach Phil Jackson lives, so the Zen Master can hook us up with some medicinal herbs seeing as how cult life is all about siestas and corn chips.

In my compound, the rules will be simple.

  • Everyone is equal, unless you’re a Red Sox fan.
  • No prayer services. Sunday is for football, drinking and junk food cheat day. Any or all, your choice.
  • Wearing of political slogans is strictly prohibited. If you want to speak on your political opinions, you’re free to do so. But don’t behave like a billboard . . . you’re a human being.
  • Cursing is encouraged. New and creative combinations are always welcome.
  • No children. If you’re under the age of twenty one, you ain’t in my compound.
  • Spaghetti (and meatballs) Tuesdays will take place every Wednesday. Wine fountain included.
  • Turntables and vinyl are the preferred music delivery system.
  • Saturdays are drinking and a movie nights. So is every other night of the week.
  • Those found guilty of stealing will be dealt with severely. They will be forced to do the shopping at Costco.
  • Kool Aid is prohibited.
  • No cable.
  • Beer on tap. No . . I mean it will be on tap in every residence. You get your hot and cold water and your beer tap. No baths allowed unless you plan on drinking it all.
  • We will construct and maintain an old school library.
  • No assault weapons allowed. Black market weapons, however? Abso-fucking-lutely. And we keep this arsenal a well guarded secret since the ATF frowns on cults with arsenals.
  • And speaking of the ATF, we send them Omaha Steaks and liquor monthly.
  • You can worship any God you wish. Jeff Bridges equals bonus points.

As the leader of this cult, I will not have multiple wives. I know that’s what cult leaders are expected to do, because its supposed to signify power. But having been married, I can assure you . . this is an incorrect assumption. Furthermore, married people will have to undergo an extensive psychological evaluation before being accepted into the cult in order to ensure they pose no physical threat. Pets are welcomed. Actually, they are more welcomed than humans. If you harm one of our animals, you will be fired. As in . . . tossed in a bonfire.

My idea is still in its infancy but I expect to have it game time ready by the fall of 2022. Which is when the world should be kicking the tires on its new normal ride and all the stress fractures endured inside this forgettable year will either be healing, or cracking wide open. If it’s the latter, then you’ll find me Pink Floyding my way through the genesis of a manmade apocalypse. I’ll be the one in the robe and cowboy hat.

In order to gain entry, the password will be cannoli.

The Rushmore Series

Now that Rushmore is safe from COVID-19 parties disguised as political rallies, Imma time share the national monument for a classic barstool debate. Nope, not the one about who the greatest basketball player of all time is (It’s Michael Jordan). Or the one about who the greatest football player of all time is (It’s Jim Brown). Or even the one about the greatest baseball player (Willie Mays). And before you ask . . yes, Wayne Gretzky . . of course!

What’s coming up next weekend is all about the music. It will be a four part series in which I will feature one musical artist a week to round out my Rushmore. Music is the soundtrack of our lives, and as such, the list is an entirely subjective endeavor. I’ll be choosing up male artists while the lovely Dale (Notorious Q) at A Dalectable Life will round up her top four female artists for Rushmore.

In order to gain the necessary reduction, we had to cut the lyrical fat by adding a few qualifiers. Because while fat most certainly means flavor, it also makes it damn near impossible to pare it down to four. So there’s that.

The Rushmore Rules . . .

1- The artist must have written their own songs
2- We’re only including artists from the last fifty years for this exercise
3- Influence that keeps on keeping on
4- Stage presence

If you’re wondering about the last fifty years rule, it’s either that or going back hundreds of years to the time of the classical composers. With only four spots on the mountain, it was best to keep things relatively current.

Welp, that about covers the what’s what of this Rushmore series. Next weekend will thus begin the big reveal with the first of our four faces of Rushmore. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you will probably even disagree.

How fun is that?

Business As Usual

LSU's Ed Orgeron Volunteers to Take $300K Pay Cut for 2021 Season | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

Win at all costs.

The world of college sports has taken that refrain literally, and boy, do they have a rap sheet Al Capone would be envious of. From back room cash grabs to academic cheating scandals to recruiting high risk players whose criminality is then aided and abetted by coaching staffs, administrators and high profile boosters. College sports means never having to say you’re sorry, so long as you keep winning.

And when the worst laid plans get even worse, we get the same tired, old lines about how they failed to live up to their stated goals of producing quality “student athletes”, some of whom wouldn’t be able to find the classrooms with a GPS. The powers that be will express regret while at the same time insisting they never saw trouble coming, honest. As if they truly believed all those high risk/high reward cases they were chasing would miraculously transform into law abiding citizens when given the chance to play for a platinum program.

Next up is Ed Orgeron. He’s less than one calendar year removed from having been the darling of the college football world, after presiding over a powerhouse LSU team that tore its way through the toughest conference in the sport and then laid waste to all comers in the college football playoffs. Coach O had lived the life of a football nomad, moving from one gig to the next with little chance of ever being the grand poohbah. Until the Tigers gave him that one last chance at a head coaching position, after which he rewarded them with an undefeated season and the fourth national title in the school’s history.

There was nothing not to like about Orgeron. A combination of Ward Cleaver and Forrest Gump; a hard working lifer whose legs kept running until they found the right kind of somewhere. In a landscape that ran the gamut of forgettable; full of boring corporate kings like Nick Saban and snake oil salesmen like Bobby Petrino, Orgeron was different. Here was an affable guy with a booming, gravelly voice whose story of perseverance was downright charming. He had made the most of his one last chance, and we figured good for him, and for college football. And then we were reminded, once again, that college sports really has no rock bottom.

LSU RB Derrius Guice still limited with 'nagging injury,' Ed Orgeron said; Arden Key down to 255 pounds | LSU | theadvocate.com

USA Today reported this week that former LSU running back Derrius Guice was accused by two women of sexual assault on two separate occasions while playing for the Tigers back in 2016-17. LSU officials, including Orgeron, did nothing about these allegations, and Guice continued playing without so much as an investigation into the matter. A serial abuser of women, Guice recently was cut by the Washington football team after being arrested and charged in three separate incidents of domestic violence.

Then there’s Drake Davis, whose on field exploits pale in comparison to his criminal rap sheet. The highly recruited wide receiver- one of those high risk gambles that football schools like LSU can always make room for- was suspended for one year after assaulting a woman- he punched her multiple times. They were given no choice in the matter after he was arrested on multiple felony charges.

In the last half decade alone, Guice and Davis were far from the only menacing threats on campus. Peter Parish, a backup quarterback, was also suspended for one year after being accused of raping a woman in a car this past winter. Running back Tae Provens, linebacker Jacob Phillips and tight end Zach Sheffer have also been accused of rape in separate incidents. Safety Grant Delpit was accused of recording a woman during sex and sharing the video without her knowledge. None of these men were charged with a crime because the school never even bothered to investigate.  Defensive linemen Davon Godchaux and Ray Parker are alleged to have taken part in what the university referred to as “dating violence”. School officials were not forthcoming on whether the two were disciplined, citing “privacy interests”.

When tasked with doing the right thing, the university has stayed on brand by doing the absolute worst thing: They ignored these young women. Never mind that their inaction violated school policy, not to mention local and federal laws. And never mind that such blatant disregard for the safety and well being of these young women can never be undone.

LSU declined to make its coaches and administrators available to USA Today, but no worries because they did put out a statement looking to assuage any concerns that parents or the female population on campus might have.

“We are unwavering in our commitment to respond promptly to any reports of misconduct, to investigate these reports in a manner that is fair and equitable, to support victims of sexual assault, and to protect the privacy of our students according to the law,” the statement said. “Putting an end to sexual assault is an institutional priority, and we are constantly working to achieve that goal.”

So basically, if you’re a woman on campus trying to get an education, do yourself a favor and enroll in self defense classes. And hire a bodyguard while you’re at it. Just in case those institutional priorities suffer another massive breakdown. And if you can’t work that into your schedule or budget, you could always transfer. Because let’s face it, the Tigers have a power brand to sell. And all the statements in the world don’t cover up the fact that they aren’t sorry for having gone rogue.

They’re only sorry they got caught.

 

 

Joe Pesci Review: Fargo

I like crime. Movies, in da movies. Yanno, my career is proof that crime pays . . . in da movies. So when Marco asked me if I would be innerested in doing a review of Fargo, I told the stuttering prick to kiss my ass. Of fucking course I would be innerested! And then I asked him what in the fuck Fargo was about. He says it’s one of the greatest movies, like ever. I betcha he’s one of dose guys who says every fucking thing is the best thing ever. But okay, I ain’t sleeping much so what the fuck.

Fifteen minutes into this shit pancake, I found something that puts me to sleep. I woke up just in time for the closing credits so I called Marco and asked him if he thought he was a wise guy. But the asshole insisted I go back and watch the rest of dis flick and if I made it to the end without trowing up my brain, he’d send me a bottle of Chivas. I told the cheap bastid if he made it a box, I was in. Deal.

So okay . . what inspired me to waste almost two hours of my life when I ain’t got two hours to waste? Other than Chivas? I have no idea. But I did it and lemme tell ya . . . I would rather have been given a Sriracha enema. There’s more action going on in a retirement community than there is in this movie, which is based on a true story. Which just goes to prove how boring life really is for most people.

Da plot goes like dis. Some asshole is trying to get out of debt so he arranges for his wife to be ‘kidnapped’ so that he can get his rich father in law to pay the ransom to cover his debt. My Uncle Sal tried that with my Aunt Rosemary . . we still laugh about it. So da plot as they say in da classy books, goes awry. During the exchange, the father in law gets shot by the fake kidnapper but he ends up shooting him in the face before croaking. So now the fake kidnapper has da money but he’s also got a hole in his face that napkins ain’t gonna fix.  And then he finds out that the asshole who planned the whole thing was trying to schtup him and his partner by lying about the ransom amount. Needless to say this changes everything.

Meanwhile, this pregnant chick who happens to be a cop is starting to figure out that the husband of this supposedly kidnapped woman is fulla shit. She’s by far the most inneresting character, because she’s still working even though she’s about ta go inta labor. And not only that, but she’s got a certain something about her that, God forgive me for saying dis but . . I’d still bang hah. She’s clever too, which I find very attractive, unless it’s being used against me.

So the wife who’s been kidnapped, bullshitedly, she gets taken out. So does the kidnapper with da hole in his face, after which he’s disposed of in a wood chipper, and I mean . . why didn’t I think of that?! It’s beautiful! And then the husband is caught. which is good for him I guess because now he ain’t in debt no more, and he can’t fuck up anything else. But really . . . two hours of nothing much happening to get to any good stuff is a bigger waste of time than doing a sequel to Casino.

Marco owes me two boxes of Chivas now.

 

The Kamala Harris Invitational

Kamala Harris Makes History as First Woman and Woman of Color as Vice President - The New York Times

In honor of the first female Vice President in our nation’s history, Imma deliver up a roster of hot dishes whose extraordinary talents serve to make them that much more beautiful in my book. This gallery of gaga is what I like to call divinity meeting femininity, and we, their grateful admirers.

And before you go calling me a Johnny Come Bandwagon, let the record show that I featured our Vice President-Elect in a previous Vera Invitational post (Click here for best results!) . . . before she made history. Am I gonna take any credit for the fact that Joe read that particular post and had a genius idea for his ticket? Well . . . I’m not not going to take some credit for it. I am an American, after all, doing my civic duty.

To Madam Vice President, congratulations and thank you. For making an otherwise forgettable year something much more hopeful. Your beauty is more than skin deep, and your class and dignity will be a welcomed breath of fresh air in a house that is in dire need of just that.

Vera Farmiga | NUVO

I said to myself “Self, why don’t you have the Queen of your Crush River crash this invitational? Seeing as how you ain’t featured her all summer!” And I gotta admit, Self was making some big sense. So yes, Vera ends up here . . as it should be. And I really don’t have many superlative pitches in my repertoire when it comes to this timeless beauty, only because I’ve used them all. Okay, here’s one I never mentioned. She was the best thing about “The Departed”. There . . . I said it.

128.9k Likes, 1,022 Comments - Taissa Farmiga (@taissafarmiga) on Instagram: “Fishing for something.” | Pretty people, American horror story, Vera farmiga

Alright . . I know. I’m pouring it on now because guilt is eating at me for not having featured Vera all summer. I mentioned Taissa Farmiga in passing in an Invitational post many moons ago, by saying Vera was so talented that she had her own farm team. But her niece wouldn’t be here on looks alone. Like her aunt, she’s gone deep in a variety of different roles and she’s just getting better. Couple things. For one, this photo ain’t professional in nature and I’m not sure what’s going on. I feel like her boyfriend caught her in the middle of an argument and she was just about to punch him in the face for taking her picture. I don’t know why I find that sexy, but I do. But the mussed up hair . . it’s winning. And for another, and this is no slight on this pretty little chica but . . . in fifteen years, she is going to be absolutely breathtaking. Trust me on this.

From Top Model To Black Panther, Actress Yaya Alafia Is 'Truly African-American' : NPR

And okay, Imma get this out of the way straight off by saying Yaya? Como va? Because Yaya Dacosta is that classic beauty who fills you with song and wonder whenever she makes the screen. And no matter the size of that screen, she’s busy commanding it. On the small screen, she’s starred on All My Children, Ugly Betty, Law and Order:SVU, House and Chicago Fire and is currently a regular on Chicago Med. She also scored, and nailed, the role as Whitney Houston in the Lifetime bio-pic Whitney. On the silver screen, she’s got The Messenger, The Butler, Tron, The Kids are Alright and The Shanghai Hotel on her resume, among others. And that’s not even talking about the music videos she’s appeared in with the likes of Kanye and Jay-Z. Classic beauty and big talent get you to the Invitational, and who knows . . maybe she’s got politics in her future too. Just saying.

In Conversation With Emmy Raver-Lampman — Rose & Ivy

If you’re not familiar with Emmy Raver-Lampman, you will be. She made her Broadway debut in 2011 in the musical Hair. After that stint, she went on a fantastical caravan- touring the country and starring in productions of Jekyll and Hyde, Wicked and Hamilton. She’s since scored several television roles, most notably as Number Three in my current Netflix go to Umbrella Academy, where Lampman plays “Number Three”. And speaking of hair . . hers is a blossom of sun and fire that speaks funky beautiful truths and she can do anything and everything with it, after which all I can muster is yes, please and thank you so very much. And that voice, it’s like hot buttah. I heard a rumor that Umbrella Academy is locked and loaded for a third season, because hey, if Netflix is gonna raise its rates it better make damn certain it raises the roof right along with it. With Lampman on board, that’s a given.

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini on their dark friendship in Netflix's 'Dead to Me' - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Another first here at the Invitational, as I’m featuring a dynamic duo. Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini are tasty goodness a la carte. But when paired together, as they are in the Netflix show Dead to Me? Everybody wins. My favorite show of the year, thanks to these two, who are the dark side version of Ethel and Lucy, by which I mean they work so damn well together. Do you know how you make dynamite? Put these two in the same script . . . and BOOM!

I hope you had as much fun reading this as I had putting it together. And I’m going to close up shop on this episode with Vice President Harris’s victory speech. The venue was so 2020, seeing as how it took place at a drive-in. But the feeling? Well, she made us feel like the world really can change for the better.

I’ll buy that.

Heroes Of The Week!

All due respect to the voters but I think my guy got screwed. Lemme ‘splain.

Imma have to awaken the echoes of 1960 by laying most of the blame on Chicago for having perpetrated this somebody done somebody wrong song. Because I’m sorry, but when a true blue Yankee gets jobbed by a South Sider for the American League MVP? It’s an inside job, brought to bear by Chicago scribes who have to endure another long winter watching the Bears emolliate while the Bulls get eliminated from postseason play after the season opener. Congratulations to the White Sox Jose Abreu . . but my guy, DJ LeMahieu from Bronx strong was the most valuable player in 2020.

What? You thought I was talking about something else?

And now to our heroes . . .

Jeopardy! Host Alex Trebek Death Mourned By Fans, Contestants – Deadline

A sad farewell to Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, who passed away last Sunday at the age of eighty. I refuse to say he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer because that’s just not true. He fought and he battled and he continued to do his thing through all the treatments and all those long days when his body was telling him to quit. He never did. And while many of us know him best for his masterful stewardship of the classic game show, his life was about so much more than this.

He was a philanthropist and activist whose footprints speak of compassion, dedication and hope. His donations to the University of Ottawa totaled more than 7.5 million dollars; the monies of which help to fund programs in diversity while also allowing the school to bring in speakers from all over the world. This past March, he donated $100,000 to Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission- a homeless shelter in Los Angeles.

When the question is posed, whose life’s work left a positive impact on so many? The answer is, who is Alex Trebek.

Arkansas Police Chief Resigns After Calling for Democrats to Be Executed - The New York Times

Marshall Police Chief Lang Holland out of Arkansas is a real keeper. As in, you can keep him . . please.

Holland makes it just under the wire as a leading candidate for the Asshat of 2020 award (and really, we got quite a list going on). It seems that Lang ain’t down with the election results and he voiced his hateful opinion about it recently. He called for the “death to all Marxist Democrats!” whilst saying the likes of Hilary, Obama and Pelosi should be drawn and quartered. For our Republic . . of course.

Holland was fired from his post, but it’s only a matter of time before he’s got a viral podcast going.

NBA's Trae Young Buys Lunch for Atlanta Election Workers, 'Thanks for All You Do'

The Atlanta Hawks young point guard Trae Young has game, on and off the court. On Election Day, Young bought lunch for all the poll workers at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. His home court served as a polling place and the kid wanted to make sure the folks putting in the long hours in the name of democracy were taken care of. Thanks to his great good work in establishing the voting rights advocacy group More Than A Vote along with LeBron James and Phoenix Mercury point guard Skylar Diggins-Smith, more than 10,000 poll workers were recruited for the 2020 election.

Young is putting the A plus in the ATL. Go Hawks!

Haylee Whiting, 10, and her mom, Samantha Whiting, have raised nearly $50,000 to give their...

10 year old Haylee Whiting is lucky to be alive. And the harrowing story she will tell her kids one day will begin with the name of Kevin Cozzi.

The Whiting family was busy enjoying their last vacation day in Monterey, California as Haylee swam along the shoreline. Her mother says she had just finished telling her daughter to come in closer when a riptide swallowed her up and began taking her the wrong way. And in those horrible slow motion moments, a family’s joy turned to panic. And that’s where Cozzi made sure the day wouldn’t end in tragedy. He and his fiancé were strolling along the beach when they heard Samantha Whiting’s cries for help.

A competitive swimmer since the age of three, Cozzi jumped into the water and pulled Haylee close to shore until a lifeguard could get to her and bring her the rest of the way in.

Family raises nearly $50,000 for good Samaritan who saved daughter from rip tide

As it turns out, Kevin and his fiancée had postponed their wedding due to (you guessed it) the pandemic. And so mother and daughter knew what they had to do. They got to stepping on Facebook and then they set up a GoFundMe page for the couple raising almost $50,000 to cover the cost of both a wedding reception and honeymoon.

A new wedding date was set for the fall of 2021, and a grateful family has already marked their calendar.

This Gay Foster Dad Adopted 5 Siblings To Keep Them Together

“Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.”

-Pierce Brown

As we unwrap our brains over this month’s events, it’s easy to forget how life is expert at stealing away the most important things. More important than brands, reputations, ratings or elections. Those are minute details in the grand scheme of this place we call home. Robert Carter knows this firsthand. He’s one of nine children who was separated from his family and placed in a foster home when he was twelve years old.

“I didn’t eat for a week,” Carter says. “I didn’t know where my family was. I didn’t know if I would ever see them again. It was traumatizing.”

He didn’t have the traditional family life, with a mother and father and Sunday dinners and pancake breakfasts. When he was ten years old, he was stealing food for his siblings because he says “that was the only way we’d eat,”. So his being placed in a foster home was simply the next chapter in a life that was collapsing all around him.

Last December, Carter became a foster parent to three boys. Soon after, he reunited them with their two sisters. “Everybody was just crying and hugging and not wanting to let go,” Carter recalled. “In that moment, I knew I had to adopt all five.”

In the early going, he says the kids would huddle together at night for fear they would be ripped away from each other again. But in time, they got used to sleeping in their own beds. And yes, they came to understand Sunday dinners and pancake breakfasts. Five kids . . . really, six if you include the twenty nine year old who gets to experience these things for the first time as well.

On October 30th, a family was born in an Ohio courthouse. It was built on the hard wrought experiences of a man who never forgot where he came from and five shining little lights that remind him of a time when the future was not so bright. So needless to say, there was a ton of whooping and hollering going on when this party of five was declared his, for good and forever. And a courtroom became the center of their universe, their one great big hug of everything.

And Robert Carter, he’s taken to this whole Dad thing like a pro because as all that love was going on, he needed to find himself a quiet spot so he could think about how it all came together. From there to here. He made way for the courthouse bathroom, each step delivering him from that scared twelve year old boy to this big hearted man who got busy making a house a home.

He closed the door behind him, and in the quiet, he cried.

 

 

Bound To The Light We Possess

That title is a play on a Lincoln quote I came across recently, and which became the inspiration for this post. I wanna think Honest Abe might have chuckled when the news came over the wire that the United States government had filed for divorce from the Trump brand. And seeing as how Abe was a master of the timely anecdote, there’s little doubt he was doing his thing deep into the night with all those better angels. Maybe he would have opined on 45 with something to this effect . . .

“That man is no more patriotic than a grizzly in search of his next meal. Both are accorded voracious appetites, whose intent is not to do right by the populace, but rather, to consume them . . .”

After which Abe probably got to throwing down memories of all those grand dreams he once rolled up his sleeves for, dreams of a republic whose might was a matter of consensus rather than division. And to which his tall, lumbering frame gave chase until a bullet stole the extraordinary man away before history was done with him.

All I know is that, over the last four years I’ve mostly gone AWOL when it comes to writing about anything that rhymed with politics. Oh sure, I touched on it here and there, but my literary taste buds weren’t digging the flavor. Trump had effectively laid kryptonite inside my satirical wiring because the truth of the matter was . . how could I possibly parody a parody?

And it wasn’t the only thing I lost my taste for inside that time. You asking for a short list? Really? N’kay . . . .

  • Visiting Washington D.C.. I was never crazy about driving around the place, seeing as how it’s the town of a million road signs. But the museums and eats and all that great, big history of us? Worth it, until . .
  • State of the Union speeches. Thanks to YouTube, I worked backwards since 2017.
  • Visiting New York City. You know what’s worse than rush hour traffic? Trump hour traffic.
  • The color orange
  • Chucky movies
  • Hot air balloons
  • Red hats
  • Talking about most anything political, with anyone.
  • The O’Jays. Well, not all their righteous works of course . . but one song in particular that I do love quite a lot.

So now we get seventy two days worth of Shakespeare by Trump apologists who will be white knuckling their resumes in search of the next unreality show now that their gigs with the soon to be former Boss of all bosses are coming to an end. They’ll condemn the very same extra inning affair many of them were applauding back in December of 2000. They’ll blame poll workers for counting legal votes and they’ll blame COVID and if all else fails, they’ll blame the Chicago Bears offense since that’s where all else goes to fail.

And none of it will matter as much as the seventy five million pink slips, and counting, who said “Thanks but nah” to another four years of recumbent hiking through the wilderness of 1956.

As for the Don, there’s no chance he goes quietly into that dark night, even after inauguration day seals his artful deal for once and for all. Never mind that he’s still never won a political race against someone not named Hilary. And never mind that he got boat raced by a Washington lifer in Joe Biden, whose lifetime achievement award speech is going to have a massive rewrite coming. This outcome is just a bad day at the batting cages for Trump, who has a promotional machine that will allow his bluster to keep doing bad things to our good senses with book deals and cable deals and rallies . . because, ‘Murica. He ain’t going away, he’s just moving to the other side of the wall now.

Lincoln called. He wants his hat back.

Heroes Of The Week! (Post-ish Election Edition)

The Place of Abraham Lincoln in History - The Atlantic

Is it over?

Can I come out now? Is it safe?

I don’t know . . I’m not trusting this, as much as I want to trust it. Not yet. I keep thinking Pennywise is gonna jump out and yell “Psyche!”, after which he hands me a red hat that I must wear in order to step outside. And so, Imma get right to the business at hand today. No pontificating, no postulating and no more chasing waterfalls. I will take a hot second to say muchas gracias to Cincy for filling in last week and coming up stellar . . as per.

Now to our heroes . .  and today? they’re all heroes . . 

Quick shout out to Washington football coach Ron Rivera, who recently completed his last round of cancer treatments. And this video is provided in order to show you that what the peeps at Inova Schar Cancer Institute do, isn’t a job to them., They gave Rivera a beautiful sendoff, honoring one of the good guys in such a special way. Stay well coach.

ImageJon Lester is a freshly minted free agent, formerly the lynchpin southpaw for title teams in Boston and Chicago. And I always disliked him very much for wearing the wrong laundry, but hey . . it’s all about respect. And after his latest stunt, I am pushing for his automatic entry into the Hall of Fame. It seems Lester bought $31,000 worth of beer at four different Chicago bars as a thank you to Cubs fans for all their support over the years. He added a cool $16,000 in tips for the staff members as well. Unless he signs with Tampa, I’ll actually root for him next season.

Coronavirus New York City: Strand Bookstore closed, lays off most of staff after coronavirus crisis cripples business - ABC7 New York

Like so many businesses across the country, and the world, the Strand bookstore in New York City has been hanging on for dear life since the pandemic took hold this past winter. With revenue down more than seventy percent, things looked bleak for this book lover’s paradise. The New York institution has been around since the Murderers Row New York Yankees swept Pittsburgh in the 1927 World Series, but inside the meanest of seasons, this really did feel like the end of the line. And so when owner Nancy Bass Wyden went on social media to let its customers know how dire the straits were . . they had her back. Last Saturday, the flagship store enjoyed its best October sales day, ever. And yes there is still a long way to go before we get to that light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. But as the Babe would most certainly agree, history is achieved one win at a time.

Just because we understand our politics to be dirtier than an FDR martini doesn’t mean it has to be that way. Spencer Cox and Chris Peterson are ditching the spectacle that has become professional wrestling in sharp suits. The two gubernatorial candidates out of Utah actually brought civility into the arena in their race. The audacity!

For this last jig, Imma go back to Tuesday for a hot moment and mention what happened on that historic day. Sort of.

November 3rd set records for voter turnout, and in one fell swoop we came to understand that no one person will ever be able to boss around this place. And hey, I’m not willing to go back down any of the roads we just came from by going point for point on the particulars. I just want this day and tomorrow, and the next day to feel differently. I want hope back. I want less divisiveness. And maybe that’s a fool’s wish, and I really don’t care, because I know for a fact there are plenty of people out there who believe in this fool’s wish. And what’s more, they are doing something about it.

Take Pizza to the Polls for instance. The non-profit was a forward march of volunteers with a mission; to deliver grub to voters who were standing in long lines to do their civic duty. Don’t let the name fool you. These peeps delivered everything from burgers to empanadas, sandwiches to donuts and cookies. More than a million times over to more than 3,200 polling sites in the lower forty eight.

“Food can be a major mood-shifter for people who have been waiting for hours to vote or who have been volunteering to ensure the process runs smoothly,” Says Pizza co-founder Scott Duncombe. “We’ve seen people get really excited about our deliveries—and some have even told us that it was the boost they needed to stay in line.”

Where do we go from here? Hell if I know. But we do have to keep on moving from here, so let’s make the here a better place to journey from. Let’s try and do a better job of respecting our differences . Let’s make America graceful again.

Oh come on, I had to.

 

 

Too Early To Tell

Is there something happening tomorrow?

I kind of had the idea that Tuesday was going to be a big deal when the late, great Brett Favre dropped it like it was haute last week, mixing politics with sports in his endorsement of The Incumbent. It was ironic seeing as how Favre trashed the idea of mixing sports and politics when it wasn’t his guy. But that’s the kind of shit I’ve come to expect from too many people on too many sides in this day and age of unreason.

Still . . Tuesday isn’t ringing a bell, excepting maybe for Tacos®. But since I tend to reserve my taco intake for weekends, where it can be immersed in a sexy tango with adult beverages, Imma go nolo to that contender.

taco tuesday Memes & GIFs - Imgflip

Maybe it’s the fact that Tuesday is the busiest day of the week when it comes to job applications, seeing as how most applicants are properly recovered from their weekends. And it also happens to be the most productive day of the workweek since it sits peacefully between Monday and hump day, which are notoriously hung over. But this seems boring, and America hasn’t done boring since Jim Belushi left prime time television.

Devil’s Night was vanquished by All Saints Day, again. And there’s no tie breaking tilt on Tuesday, that I know of. And as a Halloween/Darth Vader/Yankees fan . . I’m pretty sure I would know.

Aimee Mann broke up with ‘Til Tuesday more than thirty years ago, so . . nope.

There’s no professional football on Tuesday, well . . except for this year when the Titans had to play on Tuesday because . . . COVID. There’s no college football on Tuesday because . . . COVID.

Fat Tuesday is wrought with melancholy, since it happened back inside the time before . . yanno. And Thin Tuesday doesn’t happen until December 26th, when we commit to losing all that holiday weight. After which we recommit to losing it on January 1st-ish.

Oh, wait . . wait! I got what all the fuss is really about! Are we actually having our Spaghetti Tuesday on a Tuesday this week? In honor of the late, great Scott Wilson? And if not, why not?

Hershel Greene on Twitter: "Spaghetti Tuesdays every Wednesday #TheWalkingDead… "

Or is this about the end of days being all dressed up with somewhere to go? Is that why peeps are knocking at my door on a Sunday, when it’s clearly not to warn me that the apocalypse is nigh and to stock up on prayers and porn? Because from the looks of it, all that talk about going to hell in a handbasket is starting to look prescient. Sure it took a few hundred years, but hey . . it still counts.

I mean, half the world is under lockdown or curfew. And the other half can’t even afford to enjoy their time under the influence because they’re preoccupied with coronavirus, wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, Block Editor, murder hornets, riots, shootings and Netflix raising their prices. That’s a metric ton of shit to be happening in a decade, much less a calendar year.

And yet, here we are . . with tomorrow having already happened on some far away planet inside some other universe. And I wonder how it all turned out. And I wonder if there is mercy to be had in that far away place, or if this is all just working itself into some lost paradise sequence of events that leads to the eventual demise of humanity?

Now that would be huge . . .