Friday, April 18, 2014

Today's the Day

There's something to be said about Good Friday. It's not about fasting or sustaining from meat of any kind, but it's more about observing the day itself. If you choose to avoid meat on this day, then great. That's a personal choice in my opinion, just as giving something up for Lent is. Today is one of the most precious days of all -- the day Jesus died for us. He knew he would die today. I can't even fathom that. I think about all of my imperfections as a sinner: I drink too much, I curse too much and I can be cranky at times -- and although I am learning day by day what's best for me and what not to do in life, He still forgives me anyway. He has given me the gift of life just by what He did for all of us today. One on one, we talk about my challenges as a Christian and let me tell you -- it's amazing how much He has blessed me with overcoming certain problems in my life. By faith, I am saved. By faith, you are saved. And it's all because of today. I am so grateful.

Jesus Anointed by the Sinful Woman

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to come to his home for a meal, so Jesus accepted the invitation and sat down to eat. A certain immoral woman heard he was there and brought a beautiful jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who was the host saw what was happening and who the woman was, he said to himself, “This proves that Jesus is no prophet. If God had really sent him, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”

Then Jesus spoke up and answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.”

“All right. Teacher,” Simon replied, “go ahead.”

Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—five hundred pieces of silver to one and fifty pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”

Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”

“That’s right,” Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t give me a kiss of greeting, but she has kissed my feet again and again from the time I first came in. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.

Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The men at the table said among themselves, “Who does this man think he is, going around forgiving sins?”

And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” ~Luke 7:36-50

Through her faith- and only by her faith, she was saved.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Grammar Nazi II

A while back, I did a Grammar Nazi post, but in an entirely different light. This one's a bit different, but I will still entitle this as a "part 2". Lately, I've been doing some side work on editing essays and other write ups for other people. I always let them know that there may be a sentence or two that'll need restructuring, or in most cases, correction on simple grammatical errors. I always ask, "Do you mind being critiqued or corrected?" The answer is usually a solid, 'not at all', so I give it my all, expecting the person to be okay with whatever feedback comes flying their way. I feel comfortable writing this, knowing that this isn't a personal attack on anyone, but more of an observation of other people's style of writing. I do everything from essays, bios and articles for submission.

Most people who give me their work are college students and graduates who are looking to get their foot in the door. In my opinion, there is no "wrong" or "right" style of writing, however, if I need to reread your sentences a few times before understanding it, I will definitely let you know it needs restructuring. I'm not perfect, and at times I need my own restructuring master, but some of the work I've received is just mind boggling.

Know your losses.

"Loose" and "lose" are two different words. Use them appropriately.

"Their", "there" and "they're" are very different.
"Their" is a possession of more than one person. "Their company had cutbacks."
"There" is a place. "Over there, is where I need you to be."
"They're" is a combination of two words: "they" and "are". "They're working on the problem."

"You, you, you…!"
You. …You! You! You!
When writing "you're" (which is "you are") --- never use "your".
Your: "Your fly is open."
You're: "You're an ass."

I remember when I first started writing, I asked a professional writer to critique my work. I thought I had written my best piece ever, but when she handed my article back to me, her red pen must have ran out of ink. My problem was more or less about punctuation - where and when to place it and "if" it should be placed. I overused semicolons and did the 'dot dot dot' after certain sentences that required none. I was taught proper sentence structuring (to the best of my ability) and the uses of "have had" instead of just using "had" alone. There were many other types of mistakes that I make and sometimes still make.

Interestingly enough, I found that a lot of people are using third person narrative lately. For me personally, I find it very creepy and disturbing, unless you're asking yourself, "Where is this going, Deb?" More like talking to yourself --- not "Deb thinks poor grammar is disheartening." I just keep thinking about that Seinfeld episode where Elaine meets that guy at the gym and all he does is talk in third person. "Ya know, Jimmy is pretty sweet on you." My point is, never, ever, ever use third party narrative unless you're some type of serial killer.

I handed back one document that needed hours worth of redoing, not even so much about correction. I felt like I was reading it in another language. She was trying so hard, that the words on the paper were not of hers at all. I couldn't even imagine those words or sentences coming out of her own mouth. She was so focused on using proper English, that her entire personality was completely drowned out. It was like she was trying to be someone else. And I get it -- sometimes writing does require to swerve around your initial personality in order to make a valid point, but in my opinion, never lose your voice in the process. Let the reader "hear" you. Needless to say, she got very offended and never spoke to me again. If you don't want my advice, then don't ask for it.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Self-Medicating In This Crazy World

They did a census that discovered that 80% of people admitted to self-medicating themselves with alcohol due to stress, and the other 20% lied. About 5 years ago, I did a 90 day "clean out" and went to AA for support. My moderated drinking had turned out to be moderation at first, but I was quite the weekend warrior and I needed it to stop. So, I shuffled into some church basement and sat amongst longtime veterans who have been sober for 20+ years, and some who only were sober for the past 12 hours or so. I remember one lady who befriended me. She was only there for a month or so. She would drink a couple of glasses of wine while she cooked dinner for her family and during dinner, she'd have 1 or 2. I'm sitting there thinking, "Okay, who forced you to come here?" To me, that just seems like nothing. Then I thought, there's approximately 3-4 glasses of wine in a bottle, so…maybe it is something? Maybe she just needs a bigger glass? She was raising 4 kids who were still in elementary school. She had to cart them around to all different types of activities after school as well as give them a social life on the weekends and drop them off at their friends' houses. She did everything. She cooked, cleaned, went shopping and made sure her ship was running smoothly, maybe not 'tightly', but sure as hell smoothly.

Wouldn't you drink a few glasses if you didn't have a moment to yourself?

The only moment to herself was cooking. She sometimes would skip a day of showering just so she could get everyone in order so they wouldn't miss their bus. Then her day would begin and for a stay at home mom, it's all about prepping -- if you want to have a home that has dinner on the table, clean clothes in your children's closets and maintaining a healthy relationship with your spouse all in a day's work.

And it is work.

I'll have another.

What if you have a career? Think about that same woman coming home to make dinner (or do her best at throwing something together that's somewhat healthy) and spending your weekends grocery shopping, cleaning, doing laundry and making sure the house was in order. She doesn't have a day off. Her entire life revolves around her demanding job and well, her demanding tasks at home. Let's just top that off with perhaps, a bit of turbulence with the spouse and some trouble with one or two of the kids in school. Let's throw in some bills, mortgages, taxes and an unexpected furnace that just took its last breath. Unexpected expenses can definitely wreak havoc if you're on some sort of limited budget.

I'll have another.

I'm just giving one example. We all have our crosses to bear and we all have different outlets. Even if you see a therapist, it still doesn't help you when you're going through a crisis at home and your next appointment is for the following week. And who can afford the therapy bills to begin with? A decent psychologist will run you at least $150.00. With insurance (if you're lucky enough for it to cover it), it'll go to $65.00 and up. Then they have the good ol' sliding scale for those who can't meet those payments, which is based on your income. They give one look at your income and never take into consideration that those funds need to support your family. So, therapy's out of the question for most. Even if it's $50 per week, you're looking at $200 every month. And most of the time, it doesn't help.

I'll have another.

Is it me, or does it seem like it's just extra stressful these days? Between school shootings, random shootings in malls and all these kids having ADHD, OCD, anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, bullying, etc., etc. --- you have to wonder, why is this all happening now?

Think about it. Your children are addicts now.
"What do you mean, Deb?"

They are instant gratification junkies. They need approval over everything and at any given moment, one of their peers can send a message within 5 seconds letting them know what a loser they are. If you think about it, (and if you're around my age) we didn't have the internet, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat or Hot or Not apps. What the hell is a selfie? I mean -- we didn't even have cell phones back when I was in high school. Now I'm really showing my age. But the one thing we didn't have?


We also didn't have ADHD, OCD, anxiety, depression and bi-polar disorder. We weren't thrown antidepressants just because we had a bad day at school. We weren't eating foods rich in hormones, steroids and antibiotics. Those are all ingredients for a disaster waiting to happen.

Look what happened in PA yesterday. A young 16 year old boy named, Alex Hribal went on a stabbing spree. Twenty-one students and an adult security guard were wounded, officials said. Witnesses said the boy, who was wearing a "blank expression" on his face, first tackled a freshman and stabbed him in the belly before getting up and running wildly down the hall, slashing other students. One boy suffered a pierced liver after being thrust with one of the 8-to-10-inch knives, narrowly missing his heart and aorta, doctors said. The teen was finally tackled by an assistant principal and a security guard, who were able to subdue him until police arrived. Alex Hribal, 16, who left 20 people stabbed Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. Alex Hribal is accused of using two 8-to-10-inch knives in the stabbing. Read more here.

I'll have another.

Alex gave no indications of what he was about to do. He showed no signs of agitation or depression. He. just. snapped. And we wonder why many kids around his age drink just to cope and deal with the bullshit they have to go through every single day in their school, where they're "supposed" to be safe. The word "safe" is no longer an option.

Granted, I don't have kids, but I sure as hell have my own set of stressors. But I place blame on quite a few things attributing to these strange behaviors of all people: antibiotics, steroids and hormones in our food sources, as well as on a social level, the internet with all of its social media. We have access to everything -- how to make a bomb -- how to commit the perfect suicide -- how to, how to, how to. The internet has been blamed for providing much information to those who had committed homicide and suicide.

But what can we do? Nothing. It's here. We can't stop it.

So pour yourself another, because honestly, it's only going to get worse. I know, I'm such a pessimist.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Trying to Understand a Cranky Sonuvabitch

It's just human nature that people in general can get cranky once in a while. Sometimes it's due to issues at home, work or just something in their genetics that make them just a plain sonuvabitch.  I try to look past it and not take it so personally. It bothers me more if a loved one gets all pissy with me. Then I wonder, hmmm, why are they so agitated? And then I obsess about it and of course, usually take it personally. But I've learned, it's not how they treat you, it's how you respond to it. My response has gotten better lately…kind of. I try to just remain calm, wait a day or two and if it passes, wonderful. If it doesn't, I usually avoid that person entirely. I mean, the best thing I can do is ask the person if they have an issue with me, but I don't, and that's my choice and that's their problem if they can't address something like a human. They can stew all they want in their bitter juices. (And there's my cranky part kicking in.)

What about strangers? I can totally blow that off because of a few factors:
  • Someone probably pissed them off and they feel the need to take it out on you.
  • The person is just batshit crazy.
  • The person just lost their job.
  • The person is going through a breakup. 
I have no clue. The list can go on and on. What I do know is this: I find it comical when waiters and waitresses are mean. The only reason I find it funny is because I'm sitting here as potential funding for your electric bill, and you're going to treat me poorly? So I take it in stride. Last night Madelene and I shuffled our way down to the local diner for some grub. I use that term loosely because the food is pure shit there. Anyway, I was feeling like 'shit' to begin with, so why not eat it. The chipper little hostess grabbed those monstrous menus and danced her way over to the booth where we'd be sitting. 

"And voila! There you go ladies!" 

She's not even working on tips and this broad was one happy lil' daisy. 

We took our seats and waited for the waitress to come waltzing our way. I never look at the menu. Why would you? The same crap is on all of them. They should just mass produce all diner menus and be done with it. Same goes with Chinese restaurants. They're all the same. 

Where was I?

The waitress comes over. She was slouched over my side of the booth as if she had pulled off three shifts in a row. She had short cropped spiky hair, green eyes, maybe about late 40's or early 50's and…gay. I know these things. My gaydar went off like a Christmas tree. 

"What's up girls? What are we having?" 
"Coffee." I said.
"Milk, cream, sugar?" 
"Yes, black please." 
"Woo boy……And you?"
"Can I have my coffee with 100% pure maple syrup please?" Mad rambles off almost leaving the waitress' eyeballs in an eternal spin. 
"This isn't a Vermont diner sweetie."
"Oh, okay. Can I have the sugar then?"

The waitress looks over on the table, nodding, as if saying, "it's right there" --- and then says, "Do ya want me to pour it in for you?" 

Madelene just stares at her and smiles out of nervousness. 

The waitress slips away for a while and comes back with these cute little coffee mugs. 

"Decided yet?" 

Madelene does this annoying thing at restaurants where I have to cringe because everyone who takes her order usually quits their job an hour later. 

"I'm going to have a burger." 
"Do ya want the deluxe?" 
"What's in the deluxe?" 
"What kind of fries do you have?"
"Can I substitute the fries with a spring salad?" 
"We don't have a spring salad. This isn't a 5 star joint, hun." 
"Okay. But do you have sweet potato fries?" 

Comes back with good ol' French fries.

I will never be mean to a waitress for a couple of reasons. For one, I used to wait tables and it's hard. You'll start to hate people after a while, so I give them credit. And two, I'd like to eat my food without saliva in it. I did however, happen to find cartilage and two white feathers in my chicken salad. That's a whole nutha' story. 

She quickly leaves and heads into the kitchen. I was laughing, because this waitress wasn't "mean", she was just dry and witty. The thing about good service in a diner is that most waitresses will always give you a coffee refill. While eating my dinner, I pushed my coffee mug to the edge of the table, letting my lovely waitress know that it was time for a refill. No one came. My waitress was at the end of the counter chitchatting with the other girls not even looking over our way. We eventually got our refills once we flagged her down, which was much effort on her part. After dinner, we asked if we could take the rest of our dinner back home. She literally threw the takeout tins at us and said, "There ya go." My point is, she probably had a really bad day, or she's having a really hard time at her job. You can tell when someone hates their job. We left her a fair tip when really, she should have gotten some pocket change. But you never know what someone else is going through.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Unwavering Faith

Usually, I'm pretty hesitant to write about this type of stuff and I still do at times, but at the moment, I feel that it's very important to talk about this topic. I don't believe (or confirmed) that I'm a medium or some whacky 'ghost whisperer", but I have and still do communicate with people who have passed away, usually relatives and close friends from the past. This can be through dreams, symbolic signs or even short-lived appearances. I just don't talk about it because it seems a bit ~cray cray~. I can definitely confirm the cray cray part. Not to repeat myself from almost two years ago, but my mother and I knew the day and time that Dad would pass onto the other side. We were both outside on July 20th. Mom was smoking her cigarette sitting in the passenger seat of her parked car.

Just to backtrack a bit, throughout this grueling ordeal, we watched Dad talk to people who weren't there. We also found out that certain family friends in our past have died----through Dad.

"Hey look! Frankie's with the angels now."

Frankie was an old time family friend who we hadn't seen in years. His death wasn't even one week away. He also confirmed a lot more than we needed to know through his state of being so very close to the end. The picking of his bed sheets, removing any article of clothing he had on, his constant restlessness, the need to constantly get up, was his spirit trying to remove the 'heaviness' of life itself. And if you talk to those who have witnessed a sick loved one who is close to the end, they'll tell you about similar behaviors that are just unexplainable to people who just don't believe in that sort of stuff.

Mom looked over at me while taking the last drag of her cigarette and said, "You know what tomorrow is, right?" Instantly, I nodded my head, not saying one word. We both knew that most of our relatives had passed away on the 21rst of the month. But what Mom didn't know was that I also knew the time he would pass as well. For the past few years, even before Dad went to heaven, I kept catching the clock at 12:21 -- whether it was in the afternoon or midnight. It got to the point where it was so much, that I even caught this number in other areas in various places and times. That week while Dad was in hospice was challenging. Not only was it 105 degrees every. single. day. that we went up to visit, but Dad no longer was communicative due to the mass amount of drugs they were pumping into his system just to keep him from crying out in pain. It took such a mental toll on everyone to prepare to just sit and watch him. This strong and amazing man left there weak and lifeless. Pure torture.

The next day, on the 21rst, my wife decided to stay home. She knew about this dreaded day of mine. She knew that I was having a hard time with it and may have also doubted it, but she supported me regardless. After I got into the shower, got dressed, poured myself a cup of coffee, I then went outside on the deck and just zoned out. Mad came out and sat next to me not saying a word. I told her, after my coffee I'm going to head off and see Dad. For some reason, I sat there longer, waiting for 12:21 to pass, just to relieve myself that maybe this wouldn't be the day nor time. A few minutes later, a moth appeared on the table where we were sitting. It looked like an ascending female angel with wings, but if you zoom in closer, you can actually see a golden glow around the head and even make out Jesus' face. I grabbed my phone and looked at the time. 12:21 pm.

"He's gone."

I decided to postpone my trip to hospice until 2 pm. At 1 pm, my sister called me.

"Deb?…………..He's gone."

It's strange, a week after his passing, it felt numb, quiet, still, hesitant to even say a sense of relief that he was finally at rest. The two week mark was harder though. The realization that the strongest man in the world was gone, had us in a state of shock. Strange how our body's self-defense 'survival' mechanism wears off only when we're ready to mourn. The process follows after each first holiday without them. It's tough, strange, surreal and just 'different'.

Months later, I started having vivid dreams of my father. One dream had me in total disbelief, because I actually "woke up" in the dream and controlled what I said while still being asleep. It was the strangest thing ever. In the dream, I walked into Dad's man cave, and he yelled out, "Debit!!!" He always called me that letting me know how much I drained his wallet as a kid. I would then call out, "Popp-ayyyyy!" It was our little "hello". He started talking to me about his day and I immediately stopped him (and stopped my dream) and said, "Wait! Is that you?" And he laughed and said, "Whaddya' mean is that me?---Of course it is!" He kept staring at me with this smile - a "knowing" smile - like, "Now you get it…" And of course, you can blow that off to "just a dream" for the nonbelievers. I have a ton of other instances where Dad visited me in my dreams. It's funny, because they're never these super profound messages or anything "revealing". It's usually them visiting and talking as if we were still living in the same realm. My mother had a dream of Dad. He walked into the bedroom with the robe he always wore when he was sick and said, "Rose! Where are all my clothes?" And she got startled in her dream and started shuffling around to find him something to wear. He then said, "I'm not in pain anymore." And then the dream ended. I truly believe my mom needed to hear that from him. For me, I know he's okay.

One evening about six months ago, Madelene and I were hysterically laughing inside the living room area near the kitchen. It was after dinner and we were just having a really good evening. All of the sudden, I saw Dad walk out from the hallway leading into the kitchen with a big smile on his face. I. just. stopped. Mad asked if I was okay, as I was crying and smiling at the same time. I told her what I had seen. I had goose bumps all over my arms and felt this strange sensation, almost chilling. Two months later, my sister was over the house and once again, we were all laughing and having a great time. As I watched my sister walk near the kitchen area, she stopped immediately in her tracks as if….she saw a ghost. I saw tears in her eyes and I asked, "Are you okay?"

"I just saw Dad walking in."

It was the same exact spot where I had seen him. I never told her about my sighting.

I'm trying to make a point. I believe you can only see spirits when you are happy. I have two theories: spirits are mostly attracted to positive energy and when you're depressed or still mourning heavily, they cannot be visible in dreams or in real life. In the same breath, I also believe that we have "spiritual blindness" when we are depressed, angry or bitter. We can't see anything of a spiritual nature. It's also known that if your body is full of sugar, chemicals or anything bad, it's another disadvantage for us to be able to communicate or see them. So regardless if they are attracted to positive energy, or if it's our "spiritual blindness" due to a negative mindset --- they only come when the heaviness is lifted. Just think about how much they fidget and pick at their clothing and blankets -- because even that's too heavy for them. Your mere emotions may be too heavy for them to come around. The spirit is light in weight (in many aspects) and not able to flow through heaviness.

For instance -- if you believe in astral projection, or have experienced this on your own, you know how  "heavy" you are. (Bear with me, not talking about being overweight!) We are so immune to acknowledging our "heaviness" that we don't even realize that we're actually in pain right this very second. We're just so used to it. Our carnal physical shell is just. so. incredibly. heavy. If you have ever had a near death experience and actually remember it, or if you've ever experienced astral projection, you know all too well that even moving a limb has incredible weight to it. It's a big effort. So not only do our loved ones who pass over want us to be happy with less weight of negative emotions, but they also want to be able to visit you in your dreams or give you signs here and there. We have to be "aware", which often means we have to lift the weight off from our chests.

It's totally normal to wonder about the afterlife, especially when someone you love passes. Are they okay? Did they make it into heaven? Are they in limbo? If you're of Christian faith, you know that Jesus died in our place so he might give us eternal life. That gift is ours through faith. When you have faith in God and believe with all your heart -- trust that God has your loved one safe and sound.

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved." --Romans 10:9-10

There are too many unexplainable (and sometimes scientific) evidence that clearly tells us that there is an afterlife. Even when you're of another religion, or perhaps no religion at all, there is something out there, a painless, weightless and effortless spiritual state - a place where there isn't any pain or agony. I remember praying and praying for my dad to get better when he was going through radiation and numerous surgeries when he was diagnosed with cancer. Finally, he had a break. The doctors said that the cancer was removed with the last surgery he went through. My dad said, "All I want is another ten years, Deb." I prayed for another ten years with dad, but God had other plans. Would've it been so bad if he stayed another decade? I don't know. Would he have suffered terribly those ten years? Probably, which is why I trust God that my dad is in a better place - in a place where there is no suffering or midnight calls to get poked and prodded in some disgusting emergency room. The last days Dad was here, I said to God, "I trust you whether or not you'll let Dad stay with us." I'll never forget that prayer. I wanted to know that my father would be okay on the other side. I truly believe he is saved and with God right now because of my in-laws. My father & mother in-law sat with my dad, held his hand and asked him if he would be willing to accept Jesus. And he did.

My point is, you can easily lose faith when someone you love dies. The grief itself can just sink you into a hole of depression, anger, resentment and lack of faith. When bad things occur, we often think, "How can God let this happen?" I truly believe it's a faith tester - your ability to maintain faith and trust in God while going through turbulence.

"Be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even through it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." --1 Peter 1:6-7

Look for the joy that awaits on the other side of the trial.
This post is dedicated to all of the members of the Duncan, Mclaughlin & O'Brien families. 
For more of Deb's articles, please visit: or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Don't Look for a Relationship, Look for Your Best Friend

Little factoid: Did you know penguins mate for life?
You could read all the psychology books in the world on relationships, but are you really reading about you and your significant other? It's so generalized with gray areas flooding the pages one by one, but sometimes you can get a small piece of wisdom through a select few articles. I was reading this one piece about "thinkers" and "feelers". Bear with me because most of this may apply to heterosexual couples, but in the same breath, I do believe there is a cross gender aspect to same sex couples. In other words, it's finding the difference between men and women, as well as the more 'masculine' same sex gender and their more 'feminine' mate. Although I consider both my wife and I to be more on the feminine side, Madelene definitely holds most of the "male genes" in our relationship, as far as behavioral and mannerisms go, yet she is all woman, and roars on occasion.

Okay, where was I?

The website included these differences between thinkers and feelers.

Thinking types:
  • Firm, fair and rational
  • Interested in logical analysis
  • Make decisions with the head
  • See logical inconsistencies 
  • Value truth and logic
  • Driven by dispassionate objectivity 
Feeling types:
  • Caring, passionate and emotional
  • Interested in people and feelings
  • Make decisions with the heart 
  • Feel how others are feeling
  • Value tact and diplomacy 
  • Driven by passionate subjectivity 

Here's the problem with thinkers being with feelers. The below demonstrates how one possibly feels about the other.

Thinkers may see feelers as: 
  • Illogical
  • A little soft
  • Overemotional 
  • Irrational
  • Inconsistent 
And feelers may see thinkers as: 
  • Cold and inconsiderate
  • Uncaring and overly hard
  • Insensitive
  • Too robotic and logical
  • Lacking humanity

Have you ever heard anyone reference men as "fixers" and "problem solvers", while the woman of the relationship is "overemotional and wants to talk the problem out instead of fix it"? I truly believe that in a relationship, a "feeler" cannot be with another "feeler". For instance, in a lesbian relationship and of course, my past relationships that didn't match up so well, there was no balance because I went for another "feeler". We were oversensitive, overemotional and at times, irrational. The balance between my partner and I can be frustrating, because sometimes I don't think she takes me seriously and feels I'm irrational most of the time, but she also makes me see a different side of things --- a more logical way to see it in another light. That's a plus in my book. On the flip side, I also show her the reason why I'm so overemotional about whatever, and she listens with her logical little noggin. It's a win/win.

I remember a time when my wife and I separated for a period of time, my friend pointed out something unintentionally offensive, yet I knew what she meant. She said, "Your partner is very surfaced." I had to ask what that meant because I wasn't clear on the term itself. But what she was trying to say was, there was no emotional attachment to her conversation. I instantly knew why. My wife doesn't like to get very involved with people she doesn't know well and she's also a very private person. She will give you factual chatter, but nothing about herself or "how she feels", because let's face it -- she's not a "feeler". Me on the other hand, I'm an open book. I don't tell anyone else's personal stuff, but I have no problem revealing some of my own inner emotions. They may not be logical based stories, but definitely stories from my memory, heart and emotions. This is why I seem to click better with writers and artists. They think with their heart and not their head.

I'm not a huge fan of "opposites attract", as you've probably read from previous articles. We definitely have a common thread -- the glue that keeps us together so to speak. which are many things, like our faith in God, our love for music and the arts, cookouts as well as being very family oriented. I'm not sure I could be with someone who was at odds with their family or had no faith in God whatsoever. I believe the person you're with edifies the person you already are. They should compliment you and vise/versa and they should never try to change the person you are. People who have too much in common seem to have more conflict because they're either too emotional about the problem, which is a messy scene, or they are just too "surfaced" and never address the real issue. They seem to skirt around it, because it's "logical" to remain peaceful and not argue, even if it may help.

These are just my 'emotionalized' opinionated thoughts on relationships. I also think there are many people who go for mates for a specific reason other than love. Maybe it's for security, safety, money or just wanting an extra parent for their kids. Many factors go into the reasons why someone wants to be with someone else. Sometimes it's not about love. Sometimes it's about survival.

Do what works best for YOU.

About two weeks ago, my wife and I went into a local bar and grill to just hang out for a bit. A woman who looked a bit disheveled came shuffling up to our area, drunk and a bit disturbed. She managed to slur out of her beer-ridden breath, "Well it sure is nice to finally see some ladies in here!" After a bit of (unwanted) small talk, she got into her whole life story. She explained how she was married to a man who she now hates. They both are abusive to one another and she wants nothing more to do with him.

My "thinker" mate asked, "Well why are you still with him?"

"I can't afford not to," she said, while taking another slug of her stale brew. "I don't have any qualifications to get a job and nobody wants to even hire me at some dinky donut shop, so I don't know how I would possibly live alone."

I spoke to Mad about this afterwards. I couldn't help but think about what I would do if I were in her shoes. I would rather go on Welfare, try pursuing a job and live in an efficiency studio apartment than live with someone I hate.

One of my favorite proverbs is this one: "A bowl of soup with someone you love is better than a steak with someone you hate."

Your home should be the one place you absolutely love and feel safe in. It's the place where you kick off your shoes and curl up into a comfortable ball of coziness. You're not supposed to fear arguments, fights and vicious battles from within your own klan, your own home, but unfortunately, this happens much more often than not. I'd rather live in a dumpy efficiency than in a mansion with someone I disrespected and didn't like. No amount of money would ever make me stay with someone I detested. I can't do that. Maybe it's easier said than done, but there is always something you can do to get out of an abusive situation. I'd seriously rather live in a shelter! I just don't get it.

Don't look for a "passionate relationship" --- look for your best friend first. Find him or her and hold onto them for dear life, because every relationship must have a foundation of friendship first. My mother always tells me, "Marry someone who can make you laugh. If you can laugh with them, you'll be happy with them forever!"  It is so true! Laughter is the best medicine, and if your significant other can do that for you, the both of you will live a long, healthy and loving life. Relationships may not be perfect all the time, but if you have some type of common ground, a good balance and lots of laughter, you should be grateful and counting your lucky stars. I know I do.

I love you, Madelene. 

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Is Nick Cannon a Racist?

How can anyone be comfortable mocking another race, even if you think it's just "slightly" offensive? For me, I'm even afraid to say "black person" in front of a…black person. Then again, "African American" seems so incredibly wrong to me because the said "black person" may just be Jamaican or Haitian. Why are we so politically correct with the whole white and black labeling…? Because we're so so sensitive. But what I can't understand is why one race can do this, and the other race can't do that.

Still confused?  Bear with me.

Here are my thoughts…

Throughout the years, I was taught the "N" word was the worst offense of all. Now you have black people calling each other "nigga" and to make matters even worse, you even have white and hispanic people using this word as well. They have NO right using the "N" word, even if they pronounce or spell it with just an "a" at the end to make it sound less offensive. It's downright classless, and of course, very offensive. Even Madonna resorted to the "n" word by saying, "Nobody messes with Dirty Soap! Mama said knock you out! #disnigga"

I hate to even say this, but I don't get offended much when I hear "cracka" -- I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because our history wasn't disgustingly tarnished by another race using us as slaves, torturing and murdering our ancestors. Maybe it's because I still feel that black people go through a lot of bullshit in society which makes them a tad bitter or resentful with good reason. In the same breath, I also think that we should let go of past offenses in order to progress into a new melting pot of acceptance. Ah, if it were only that simple. There are still racists on every side of the fence, both black and white.

Here's what I'm confused about. Remember the assemblyman, Dov Hikind? He was a longtime powerbroker in the Orthodox Jewish community.  He once wore an Afro wig and brown make up as a costume to wear at his own party he was holding. He didn't find anything offensive with this at all. His son Yoni asked him if he could take a picture of him in his costume so he could post it up on Facebook. Not even a day went by before shit hit the fan and the press got the photo and released the dreaded article. Hikind said that he didn't have a prejudice bone is his body. He got such a huge negative response, which triggered a lot of emotions on both sides of the racial spectrum.

Remember White Chicks?
Seemed like nobody was offended over this movie.
Then Nick Cannon comes along…
After all the outrage over past "blackfaces", we are now faced with…whitefaces taking center stage. Nick Cannon, (Mariah Carey's boyfriend) is promoting his album, White People Party Music. With all the past punishments of others doing the same stunts, how does he even think he can get by the media or his fans by posting these outrageous photos and then all of the offensive hashtags targeted at white people? Some of the hashtags and comments on Instagram were: #WHITEPEOPLEPARTYMUSIC #Wppm in stores April 1st!!!!!!Dude Go Get It!!!Join The Party!!!! #GoodCredit #DogKissing #BeerPong #FarmersMarkets #FistPumping #CreamCheeseEating #RacialDraft 'Bro I got drafted!!'"
I guess this is seemingly "okay"? 
Imagine if a white singer went blackface and hashtagged, "#FriedChicken #WatermelonEating #GhettoFab #BadCredit #BodegaRobbing 'Bro I got a 40!!"

I don't care if you are white or black --- you do not cross those boundaries. And when you do, be ready for the shitstorm you're about to experience. People are going to have zero respect for you because clearly, you have zero respect for anybody.

Cannon's tweets:
 19h It's funny how people take themselves so seriously. People love drama! We feed off of it. Just relax and have fun!!

 15h Damn I didn't know it was going to be this hard being White! … I'm exhausted with all this "privilege" LOL

 14h "I think we should have a million white man march and protest album!! Somebody call " LOL

And now that you've seen his tweets, do you think he's a racist or was this all in "good fun"?
For more of Deb's articles, please visit: or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!