Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mark Russo: Bitch Slapped by Nyasha Zimucha

What makes a blog interesting? What lures you into a particular website on a daily basis? Is it their life, their writing style, their opinionated nature, advice, or perhaps just a morbid fascination with negative controversial topics that are begging for desperate attention? I’ve found quite a few bloggers who try to be another Perez Hilton, but just don’t make the cut. Most ‘attention begging’ blogs that I have seen hardly generate any traffic at all. Their Twitter accounts are less than 100 people and their fan pages that they sadly set up are still in the two digit phase. The unfortunate part is, they’re usually well written and you can obviously see that the blogger is intelligent for the most part. But here’s the drawback in my personal opinion: they have nothing positive to say about anything. It’s all about relentlessly bashing other people for the mere sake of possibly getting noticed. While it’s fun to read tabloid-like blogs, it’s also entertaining to see a positive spin, even if it’s just a smidgen. In their minds, and perhaps there’s a bit of truth in this, they get more feedback, especially when it’s negative by writing ‘celebrity bashing’ blogs. There’s a fine line between defamation and strong opinionated “assumptions”, which brings me to my next rant...

Mark Russo. His Twitter bio reads: “Part-Time Blogger - Full time pain in the ass.” He has 87 followers. He then directs you over to his “fan page”, which has 19 people who “liked” his page. Here is his profile info page on Facebook:

“Full-time IT Consultant. Part-time aspiring writer.

I try to take a witty look at pop culture with a bit of a social slant. Some people find it offensive, some don't and others just don't care. I think its pretty cool people take time to read and share their thoughts, even the bad ones.

Secretly I love all the negatives comments. But some good ones every now and then don't hurt.

I get pretty beat up for my massacring of the English language and my atrocious spelling. I know! At least I try.

Thanks for reading.”


While we all love gossip to some degree, Mark Russo went overboard while sneaking into the premier as a 'plus one' and interviewing Nyasha Zimucha, a cast member from The A-List New York. Ryan Nickulas’s mother unfortunately passed away recently. After wasting Nyasha’s time and asking a slew of pointless questions, he then asked if Ryan’s mother’s unfortunate passing was some kind of “discourse” with the show. I believe he was asking if it was some sort of publicity stunt, or perhaps a conflict within the show itself. With his thick nasally lisp, he asked if Ryan and TJ were upset with the show “or something like that” as he stated. Fiery Nyasha verbally bitch slaps him back with, “Sweetie, what part of English don’t you understand? His mother passed away! Are you human?” She then called him a douche bag and then discarded him like yesterday’s trash. Mark then got fired from his blog for asking an inappropriate question. Luckily he posed it as a question rather than stating this on his blog or other medium he uses to verbalize his bullshit. If it was a statement, it would have legally been considered defamation of character. A blogger only has a right to tell the facts and also give their two cents --that’s it. Once it becomes a “statement”, or just a blatant lie, it becomes a legal issue, which why he probably got fired. He creatively tried to defame Ryan Nickulas, which is why the people who own the blog didn’t want any part of it. That’s my honest opinion on what I think happened. His unapologetic statement on his blog reads, “I don’t view the firing as a reflection on me. It speaks to the integrity of the website and the odd desire to be associated with the ‘celebrity’ world. I was trying to provide a counter view to the show in a snarky/witty way. Now you can go to that website and read story after story that fawns all over the cast and any other faux celebrity that will grant an interview—that’s so called real journalism.”

Mark, the definition of “integrity” is: “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” Sadly, you are none of the above, but the website is. Even “yellow journalism” doesn’t stoop that low, which is why he got terminated. What kind of human being resorts to asking ‘bottom of the barrel’ insensitive type of questions just to gain a follower or two? What’s that old saying -- you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar? Unfortunately, for Mark Russo, the only thing he caught with his bottle of vinegar was a verbal bitch slap from the new spicy cast member Nyasha and a pretty pink slip from his blog. His 19 fans will be so devastated, that is, if they aren’t faux alter ego accounts following him. By the way Mark, thanks for retweeting me!

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Friday, July 29, 2011

My Two Cents on the Season Premier of "The A-List NY"

What a spectacular season premier of The A-List NY - “housewives with balls”, as they call them, on LOGO. I’m hanging on the edge of my seat every single second. If you haven’t seen the show, it gives you an idea of the gay community in an upper class environment. These are all hard working boys (and now gal), and of course, they play hard as well. I have had the pleasure of working with Ryan Nickulas, celebrity hairdresser and owner of The Ryan Darius Salon in NYC. My wife also gets her hair done by Ryan. He is an absolute pleasure to be around. No aires, no ‘acts to put on’ -- all genuine realness is what we've experienced. This goes for his best friend, TJ Kelly as well. After the season premier, I scrolled down Twitter and other networking sites plus Google to see what people were saying about the show. I understand when people don’t particularly like a show, they may comment briefly and then let it go. But these boys are really getting hit hard by jealous and resentful gay men. Most of all, many of the gay men who are dishing it out are also venting their distaste for the new cast member, Nyasha Zumicha, a successful straight & beautiful black woman who has managed to tangle herself up into the web of drama with the boys of The A-List NY. It was a dramatic entrance, but I think LOGO did some magical editing (plus a push to enhance upon her strong and confident personality) as well as made her appear more 'vicious' than she may be in real life. I’m hoping she’ll have many people surprised in the next few episodes, perhaps as a confidant to the crew as Ryan is. It’s too soon to tell.

Article after article, tweet after tweet, I’m seeing such hateful comments by a ton of gay men. “The A-List NY does not represent any of us.” Then who does? Guys who spend their lives in clubs getting completely wasted to only end up in some bathroom stall for a quickie? Sorry, but if you’re looking for that type of show, hopefully Queer as Folk will come back on. These boys portray the given title, “A-List” --- helloooo? Maybe some viewers don’t know what that means. These boys are responsible, hard working and yes, wealthy gay men who have lots of drama in their lives, as we all do from time to time. (Some more than others...) In the spotlight, it’s a given you’re going to get negative feedback, but what I don’t understand is the resentment towards the “representation” of all gay men. Is it so bad to see gay men succeed in life? Is it so bad to see people actually loving their lives, yet dealing with a bit of drama? It’s refreshing to see this side of the gay community because frankly, I’m tired of seeing the same drab club and bathroom scenes. This show gives a touch of class to the community to show you how some gay men do live. And if people want to dish out their jealousy online and bash them for living a good life, then do your thing. It’s amazing to see so many reality TV maggots come up to the surface to spew their hatred for people who may not be exactly like them.

I give it two thumbs up - a must see!

Here is a home video of Ryan Nickulas giving my wife the best haircut ever.
If you can't view the video above, please click here.

And here is an interview I did with Ryan as well. This truly shows what an amazing person he is.
If you can't view the video above, please click here.

"Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated." ~George Bernard Shaw

"Hatred is self-punishment." ~Hosea Ballou

"Great hate follows great love." ~Irish Proverb

"Hate is all a lie, there is no truth in hate." ~Kathleen Norris

"You cannot hate other people without hating your self." ~Oprah Winfrey

You can also check out my article, "Your Haters Are Your Biggest Fans".

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mom & Facebook

Have you ever heard someone talk about their past with such enthusiasm that their eyes light up? I love seeing that each time my mom talks about her childhood years growing up in Brooklyn, NY. From her playing Jax in an alley with her friends to meeting my father at a church dance when they were only seventeen years old. All of her stories are so entertaining, even when she told me she used to use two tin cans attached to a string, sending one over a clothes line in the courtyard of her mom's tenement building to reach her best friend in the apartment over on the other side. They would have conversations at night using this ancient method. Back then, creativity was forced upon you. There were no cell phones, texting, computers or social networking sites to see what your friends were doing every single second of the day. You had to literally walk a few blocks to “check their statuses”. There was no such thing as an “obesity epidemic” - people actually walked to communicate, because most of the kids were too afraid to use the phone due to the high cost of a simple dial up.

A couple of years ago, as my mother was reminiscing once again (even though I’ve heard some of the stories a billion times), I suggested she start up a Facebook account. She said, “Oh no no, I don’t want to be on that internet thing!” I laughed and kind of thought it would be adorable to see her little face commenting on everyone’s photos, statuses, etc., but she insisted that she did not want any part of it. I went against her wishes and tried it out. I set up an account with her name and the most adorable photo of her wearing a “kiss the cook” apron on. The relationship status was, “it’s complicated”. It was the funniest profile if you knew my mother in person. My sisters were hysterical over it and of course, mom got word that her account was up and running and she. had. a. fit. The funny thing is, so many people from her past were trying to contact her. I thought she would be thrilled about it since she talks about her past so much with such happiness. She was getting more friend requests than I was! (I was kind of jealous actually...) I said, “But mom, ‘so and so’ befriended you and remember your old best friend from 1978? She tried to contact you too!” But still, she didn’t want any part of it. She sneered at me and said, “Facebook is for kids.” I insisted that all of her classmates were on there trying to reach out to her as well as her current friends who she sees on occasion. Of course, the account had to be pulled down, yet now, she’ll either ask me or one of my sisters, “What’s Deb doing right now, go check her status”, or she’ll ask me, “What’s your sister doing right now?” Now I tell her, “Get your own account and find out!” She’s now contemplating whether or not to have a Facebook account.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Adaption

Every one of us have to go through some type of adaption phase, whether it’s a change of job, relationship or moving to a new location. Whatever it is, it’s not always easy. For some, it can be a relief - a happiness - ‘a long time coming’ type of transition, and for others, it can be the most frightening experience ever. Everyone’s different. I’ve done every one of these transitions mentioned above and I have come out of it alive, thank God. During the transition, it probably would have been best to wrap me up in a straight jacket and throw me in a padded room. Job change, relationship change, moving - all of those require time to adjust. All of them require patience. All require work - work towards sanity at some point. It’s especially difficult for me since I have zero patience and want everything done asap. ...Unrealistic. Since we have moved over to our new location, there have been a ton of things done, as far as renovating, which took time, money, patience, blood and sweat. You get the idea. And for some asinine reason, I thought once I stepped foot inside the house to actually “live” there, everything would be DONE.

Wrong.

It’s the little things, from bee extermination, unloading 1,298.497,225 boxes, to losing things/finding things, bee extermination again because we’re infested to now waiting for another handyman to finish that same job to slam the rafters shut so they don’t fly back in. He got attacked by a swarm of bees, almost fell from our roof and sprayed chemicals into his eyes. A huge chaotic scene this morning. Our refrigerator broke just in time for our move, so we’re using a little ‘college’ fridge in the meantime and we’re trying to regulate airflow in here on the hot days since there are air conditioners only in select rooms. Our kitchen happens to lack an a/c unit, which makes it difficult to cook. So right now, we’re grilling or waiting later at night to eat dinner. No big deal, but frustrating. Central air for next year’s budget - a must. We did a ton of things before the move like ripping out carpets, sanding and polyurethaning the floors, painting a few rooms and trying to set up the best we can to be comfortable. When we moved in, it sort of took a left hand turn into Eternaltaskville. My wife wants to do everything she can’t do. And what I mean by that is - she hates hiring handymen to help or having someone else do it. “Here, let me do that.” So I let her. Every. single. thing. she puts together or tries to fix falls apart. I love her. I do. I really do. She hates when somebody tells her she can’t do something. So I don’t tell her that. I tell her, “Someone else can do that for you.” She still gets the hidden message.

Of course, we can’t avoid the occasional arguments during our transition. (Occasional being a ‘nice’ term for it.) For instance: the movers want to charge $600.00 to move our furniture and packed up boxes. Once they arrive, my wife says, “Oh we’ll bring the boxes over ourselves.” Yes. Ourselves... In our tiny BMWs! It took two weeks - NOT exaggerating - to move the boxes. She lets any worker do half the job. Another instance: a carpet guy came in to remove the carpets and tacks - a very strenuous and tedious job. He did half and Madelene said, “Oh okay, we got the rest.” And we did the rest after bloody knees and blistered fingers. We paid them! Why not use them? But no, we have to do these things ourselves, which in a sense is good since I’m learning more about how to do labor type of things. But do you see where the arguments stem from? I’m not saying I’m right and she's wrong, but the conflict of interest is a huge factor here. And yes, I love her very much. She is too nice for her own good, but if you pay for help, let them help. Then we had to deal with Home Depot's contracted installers for our verticals and blinds. We had to request a different installer since she went ballistic on me over the phone because I called her at 9pm to set up an appointment. Home Depot closes at 10pm. She said, "Why the hell are you calling me so goddamn late?" I gave her a few choice words and advised her that maybe working for Home Depot isn't quite her forte. So Home Depot hired another contractor who came in, screaming and cursing at his helper for no good reason and then two days later, the entire vertical valance fell right onto the floor damaging a few of the slats that were very pricy. Those are uncontrollable circumstances, nonetheless a headache.

So right now I’m trying to “enjoy the journey”. Oh if I had a penny for each time I wrote about enjoying the journey I’d be a billionaire, but the fact is, sometimes it’s hard once you’re in the midst of something that you want done so badly. I have to say that in between these chaotic moments, I have been enjoying more time with my family and getting a lot of rest since it’s so peaceful and quiet here at night. I do have to start inviting some of my friends over & reconnecting because I have been wrapped up with everything going on here, that I'm missing out on the most important thing for me which is connecting with my friends. So please bear with me for now. I really can’t complain but my compulsive ‘get it done now’ side makes me such a bitch. I should really reread some of my own articles.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Monday, July 25, 2011

When You Feel Like Throwing In the Towel

Have you ever just sat there thinking about your life and wondering when it will ever ‘work out’? And truthfully, nobody really understands your situation, because they’re knee deep or higher in their own problems. “But my problems are so much worse.” ...Are they?

Is your cross too heavy to bear?

The young man was at the end of his rope. Seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer. “Lord, I can't go on,” he said. “I have too heavy of a cross to bear." The Lord replied, “My son, if you can't bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then, open that other door and pick out any cross you wish.” The man was filled with relief. 'Thank you, Lord,” he sighed, and he did as he was told. Upon entering the other door, he saw many crosses, some so large the tops were not visible. Then, he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall. “I'd like that one, Lord,” he whispered. And the Lord replied, “My son, that is the cross you just brought in.”

Shake it off. Get up. You have so much more to do in this life. You still have to finish the scene no matter how many takes you have to do.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Stifled

Many times, I’ve found that it can be extremely difficult to write during certain periods of my life, especially when I was separated or going through a breakup, it was hard to write down all of my feelings and share it with the world. It was emotional, raw, angry, sad, vulnerable - all things that would make a writer “great”, or perhaps relatable. I remember I had written a post called, “Napkins”. Many people commented or emailed me about it, but one of my favorite writers had text me and said, “Wow, that was a really powerful post, Deb.” I deleted it because I didn’t want the person I spoke of to be worthy of my ‘ink’, or perhaps to have the feeling that she has some sort of faux power over me. The one thing I have that she didn’t was a medium to outlet my feelings and get advice and comments. Although it was such a long time after we parted, I would sometimes get overwhelmed by unanswered questions, lack of closure if you will.

The reason why I’m writing this is because a wonderful poet on Twitter posted this incredible poem about crows. Of course, it was symbolic, but to me, it was one of her best pieces. I told her it was one of my favorites and she said, “I deleted it because I didn’t want to stir up anything.” I then thought about my old post, "Napkins" and said, “I understand.” And then I wrote to her and said, “Don’t let anyone stifle your creativity, don’t be afraid to write what’s brewing inside you.” But I did. I let someone stifle my writing. I was scared that everything would be interpreted because for her, in her mind, everything was about “me me me”, and I didn’t want to give her that satisfaction. But in the real scheme of things ---who cares? They can’t take away what’s inside you. They can’t stifle what’s already brewing, because eventually, one way or another, it has to come out. I’d rather it come out in this format rather than an indirect negative way.

So here’s the post that I tucked away for a couple of years. Here’s the post that made my friend kick me in the shins for taking it down.

Here’s “Napkins”

A couple of years ago, when I first moved into our new place, it was very exciting, but also very sad because I was going through a hard time. I had lost someone special and yet, all of these good things were happening. Nonetheless, I found myself surrounded by tons of Kleenex tissues overflowing the waste basket, and even some that were on the floor. Mad would come home with boxes of tissues for me, since she knew I was sinking into a bit of a depression. The garbage bin explained everything. I never ran out though, she made sure I had enough tissues for every tear. I’d go grocery shopping, come home and unpack to realize that I had completely forgotten about picking up a box of tissues. When we went shopping together, I would say, “It’s always good to have these around for guests and such”, while grabbing a box of tissues off the shelf and throwing it into our cart. She knew. As time went on, the tears lessened, but periodically they still manage to make their way out.

Lately, I’ve noticed that we haven’t had a box of tissues in here for quite some time. I still have rough moments where I rummage to see if there is a box left in our pantry, but sadly...there’s none to be found. I then turn to the server in our dining room and grab a few napkins. It works, but my nose turns a bright rosy red from the thick papery texture, leaving me to shorten my crying session a bit, because I didn’t want to rub my skin off. The other day while grocery shopping, I saw the boxes of Kleenex. I stopped with my cart, looked at them, and then moved on. I knew that eventually, I would need them, but still kept walking away. Part of me wonders if it’s all because the pain has gotten less, or is it the fear of letting these painful tears out once again? Maybe by using the napkins, I’m somehow punishing myself for crying over something that was so long ago. I’m supposed to be over it. Yes, the pain does lessen and the tears do dry up eventually, but sometimes, the traumatic memories of being hurt and verbally abused can somehow creep up to the surface and tug at your most vulnerable chord, leaving you in a puddle of your own tears again. I’m learning now, that it’s not that I miss where I once was, it’s from the painful words that still echo in my mind from someone who claimed they once cared. How can someone you trusted so much turn against you so abruptly? And from the words of the person who hurt me: “Does it really matter?” That’s the response I got when I asked, “But why?”

Months, years after that response, I have stubbornly accepted her answer because no, it really doesn’t matter. Life is strange and unpredictable. Everything can be swept out from under your feet within seconds, while thinking you were so secure in your safe place. It’s a scary world with people who are unique, unpredictable and complex, but most of all, human. The fear of getting hurt like that again had great power over me. I let that fear take over my life, leaving me to limit my boundaries: I’d avoid any place that person would go to, even though we lived approximately ten minutes away from one another. About a year later I started to see her car drive past my complex. It started to get a bit routine, because I’d see her all the time, driving near where I lived and even into my neighborhood. I felt stalked and uneasy about it. While having dinner at a local restaurant with my mother, her car drove past, making a left hand turn into the back road behind the restaurant, and back out onto the other street so she can drive past once again. This happened more than ten times within twenty minutes. Oddly enough, she’s my biggest fan on Twitter, so I decided to tweet, “If you’re going to drive past again, just stop in for a glass of wine instead.” Why would she stalk me? I guess the answer lies within the question: “Does it really matter?”

It doesn't matter...it just doesn't make any sense.

Whatever the reason was of why this person decided to hurt me so badly and not explain the underlining reason for it---then I guess it really doesn’t matter, because the psychology behind it had given me many clues regardless. I’d like to think I’m not too naive, but I’d also like to think that I’m not presumptuous either. Just by her two year delayed reaction, I do have my answer somewhat, and content with using the napkins if I do feel overwhelmed by it.

I won't ever be stifled again.

"There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Monday, July 18, 2011

Are You Happy?

A friend of mine found me on Facebook the other day. We were catching up from years gone by. We went to high school together and even worked together for quite some time, but we never hung out or called one another like buddies for some reason. Now, as adults, we find ourselves in similar situations and lifestyles. I had no clue she was gay, and she didn’t know I was either. We both dated guys way back when, so it never occurred that we were both playing for the same team. There was one thing she said while flipping through my virtual photo albums on Facebook. “You really look happy, Deb.” Isn’t it funny how we glare at photos, assuming somebody’s life is ‘this way’, when sometimes, it can actually be a whole different story behind those pixels. Even with celebrities, they show their best faces, smiling, posing for the camera showing you their best side. God forbid a camera should catch me in the midst of a PMSing moment. People would definitely ask, “I wonder if she’s ok? I wonder if Deb’s happy...” A photo shot while I’m frustrated over something regarding work: eyebrows scrunched down to my nose, mood swinging back and forth like a crazy pendulum and of course, the periodic blast of anger when someone asks me the simplest of things. I'm only human.

I don’t need to tell any of you this. Life is what it is. It has its ups and it has its downs. Life has moments, some good, some bad. Just because you see a bunch of photos with someone smiling doesn’t define their meaning of life, but of one particular moment of time that they choose to share with you. The most important thing for me to remember, especially now with my wife and I setting up our new place and trying to get everything done as fast as possible, is enjoying the steps getting there. If you never enjoy the journey getting there, in the end, when you do get what you want, will you then be guaranteed happiness? I call bullshit once I hear someone say, “I’m so happy, never been happier" - all. the. time. (Especially if this is after a breakup or divorce.) I think the key is a "constant joy" - a constant flow of the enjoyment over the little things in life. And when you do reach your destination, you’ll look back on the journey getting there with hopefully no regrets.

"A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour.” ~Author unknown

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Gays & Lesbians of Faith" Update

(Madelene being such a great interviewer as I toggle around with that heavy camera in Ryan Nickulas' apartment in NYC.)

This is just an update on our documentary, “Gays & Lesbians of Faith”. It was moving along quite well, until I hit a few road bumps that I wasn’t aware of, on the technical side and well, on the legal side too. While uploading extra segments up on my Youtube solely for the film, one of them was rejected due to copyright infringement. I was really confused because I was using royalty free music from www.freeplaymusic.com. You’d think it would be ‘free’ to use, but it’s not. You can use them for free if it’s a home movie that stays home - literally - no uploads for public viewing. This has been a major eye-opener for me as I had to remove many videos with background music from this website, however for the film in its entirety, I will be either playing my own music with my guitar or fiddling around with a music program I have on my Mac. I can hire someone to play as well, but I don’t want the complications of being ‘too picky’ about tunes. I just need b-roll background music because I never use music while someone is talking during their interview. It’s just distracting in my opinion. We also have had audio problems which we are working on to enhance the voice. Slowly but surely it's coming along. Another problem we came across was unsigned release forms. Those are very important for the project before it’s released, so those who didn’t sign them - sign them and get them in if you still want to be apart of the project. The address has changed so email me if you need to get my new info. With that being said, we need to interview a few more people due to this problem alone.

So to all the people who generously participated in our film, please be patient as we tweak out some technical issues on the audio, as well as music selection. I know I said it would be out on time for the film festivals this fall, but it may take a bit longer. I’m working my hardest to make this happen because you worked so hard for me, being available and sharing your most personal stories with us.

Every single person we have interviewed has been such an integral part of this project that we can’t thank you enough! I will send notices out on when the entire film is finished and hopefully, we’ll see you soon at the film festivals! Thanks again for all your patience, your time & helping those who need to hear a positive message through your own personal life experiences.

For those interested in being interviewed and you are in the New York area, please email me at deb@debrapasquella.com. We are no longer traveling to do these interviews, unless you are in the general vicinity. Email me for more info.

Here are some fun photos taken during filming.

The Rev. David L. Clarke
The very funny comedienne, Mimi Gonzalez
The very funny comedienne & actress, Amy Beckerman
A personal friend and owner of Waydowntown in Provincetown, MA, Elizabeth A. DeBella
Celebrity hair stylist & cast member on The A-List NY on LOGO, Ryan Nickulas
Ellie Castillo, showgirl/entertainer in Provincetown, MA....RIP my friend

Clips from "Gays & Lesbians of Faith"...

If you cannot view this video on other mirrored websites, please click here.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Saturday, July 09, 2011

No Gay Marriage & Wait - No Porn Either!

Michelle Bachman, the GOP congresswoman has put her foot down on gay marriage, and yes, pornography too. This may backfire on her, if she only knew the amount of smut on many right wing conservatives' hard drives. She should have just stuck to her guns with her attempt to ban gay marriage only. Now she’s included every single person on this planet, well maybe except the pope. In the New York Daily News, it states, “The GOP congresswoman is the first presidential candidate to sign a pledge that calls for banning all forms of pornography and gay marriage. It also requires fidelity between spouses.” So not only does she want to ban gay marriage and pornography, but she wants to stop infidelity as well. Honestly, this woman is off her rocker if she thinks she can control the lives of people living in a free country. She has to be out of her mind if she thinks she’s going to get any votes whatsoever. Being in a lesbian marriage myself, my wife and I have actually voted for presidential candidates who were against gay marriage. Our choices were based on matters that were important to us, not just a paper that says we can be a legalized couple.

“It also states that homosexuality is a choice and a health risk - and should be compared to polygamy or adultery.” I recall many radical Christians comparing same sex unions to those who are pedophiles, rapists and murderers. How far will she go? Does she know the definition of polygamy? Does she know the definition of adultery? It has nothing to do with homosexuality. This woman has the same IQ Sarah Palin has. If anything, I’m complimenting Bachman. Being a Christian myself, I’m now starting to realize how much craziness goes into politics once religion gets caught up in it. Years ago, I would have probably voted for a candidate if they just stated they believed in Jesus, but now, I’m realizing that my own religion, my own faith in God is in my heart - not in politics. In my opinion, too many people base their votes on religion - and they have every right to. We vote based on what’s important to us. But when does it come to the point of insanity, once we’ve voted for someone who basically leads the U.S. like a third world country? We’ll be seeing the letter A on the chests of those who have strayed off the path of monogamy.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Friday, July 08, 2011

Bella Vita?

(Above is a photo of Lashandra Armstrong & her son. Courtesy of The Associated Press.)

A friend of mine had written a post about her distaste of the Casey Anthony verdict. There are tons of blogs and social networks are buzzing something fierce about this. I had a debate with someone regarding whether or not it was a good idea to talk about this case, or if it was healthy to even be fed by the media. He has a point to a degree, but this case took a whole other turn, in my opinion of course. I’ve heard a lot of people ask, “Well what about all the other children who are killed or missing? Why aren’t people talking about them?” See, if Casey Anthony was found guilty, this would have been a good example for many mothers out there thinking about doing the same. It would have been the voice for many untold cases and tragedies, if the verdict served justice...but it didn’t. For instance, not too far from where I live in Newburgh, NY was a woman named Lashandra Armstrong. She killed herself and three of her children by driving her minivan into the Hudson River. One of her children got away thankfully. She’ll never get a trial of course because it was a suicide, but think about if she would have survived.

I don’t understand how a mother can possibly even fathom the thought of killing her child. Isn’t a mother’s love like no other? I’ve heard that saying and I do believe in it, until recently. Your child is apart of you. How can you hurt or kill your little one? I don’t understand any kind of abuse. How can a husband hit his wife or anyone cause bodily harm to someone they love? Then again, verbal abuse can be even more detrimental than physical pain. On the local news, a man decided to stab his mother repeatedly. I think about all the excuses that can be used, especially in court, like mental issues and such. I don’t buy it. Even if someone is mentally unwell, I can’t see anyone killing the person they love. Or, do they truly love that person at all? I’m just taken back by all of this and all of the opinions that are flowing through cyberspace.

So yes, my opinion is that Casey Anthony should have been charged with first degree murder, however I do not believe in the death penalty. She should not be walking the streets. She’s going to probably be richer than any of us with a book or movie deal. I hope the jurors can sleep well at night knowing they let a heartless murderer live her “beautiful life”, as she has on her tattoo that says, “Bella Vita”, which she got while her child was missing.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Verbalizing Your Demons

Words have power. Your thoughts that trickle into your words can manifest in your real world. For instance, through my own experience not too long ago, I was dealing with a lot of health issues. I always said, “Ugh I feel like crap” or “I don’t feel well” - negative statements that in fact, kept me feeling sick all the time. One day, I finally had enough and decided to change my thought process. I even thanked God for healing me before I was ever even healed, which instills faith. I would get up in the morning and say, “Thank you God for healing me!” I would also say, “I feel great today” - even if I had a pain where my gallbladder was supposed to be removed. I had a lot of stomach issues as well, which were all related. By the power of positive thinking and faith, my stomach problems seemed to have subsided. Don’t get me wrong, I still have issues from time to time, but it’s so much better than every single day being hurled over in some corner crying in pain.

I tried explaining this to my dad who has just been through so much, given he was diagnosed with cancer. Before he got sick, he was the most positive man I ever knew. Nothing negative ever came out of his mouth, unless he was telling you some horror story of his younger days. But overall, nothing ever hurt him, nothing ever bothered him, he could eat something that was expired in 1970 and tell you he still felt great. And now, every. single. thing. that comes out of his mouth is negative and dreadful. Well, sure he has a right to complain since he was diagnosed with cancer, but he has been cancer-free now for a couple of months, yet something else took over: anxiety and depression. He has no “physical pain”, but he gets all the symptoms of anxiety. He’s going through PTSD and having a hard time with it. He keeps replaying the moments of each procedure in his mind as if it were yesterday. If you ask him, “How ya doing” - he’ll tell you he’s not feeling good, he can’t sleep, he has dry mouth or a nervousness in his stomach. The sentence he uses the most is, “I can’t get rid of this thing!” Right there I stopped him.

“I don’t know what to do, I can’t kick this, it’s awful, Deb.” he said to me for the millionth time. I told him some tips for his anxiety symptoms that I personally use, like teaspoon of mustard for his dry mouth and heartburn, watching a comedy when you can’t sleep (laughter makes me sleep like a baby), and listening to meditation-type of music. I also told him, the worst thing you can do is voice your demons. Fight it. Say, “I feel great” even when you feel like a pile of shit. Just say, “Wow, thank you God for the best day of my life” - and watch how your day unfolds. Words have power. Your mind has the ability to heal itself. It may not heal physical ailments as much as we would like, but it can relieve anxiety-related symptoms and pains. I know because I have gone through this and this trick seems to work best for me. Envision your day to be the best day. Envision your anxiety to dissipate, envision envision envision! Some people believe that if you state, “this has already been done” or thank God for giving you something that hasn’t been available to you as of yet, that it’ll jinx your hopes for whatever it is you need. I believe the total opposite because it’s proven to me that it works.

Another thing that I have noticed which is very important to remember is, negativity is contagious. I’m not saying don’t complain or tell someone when you don’t feel good, but if you constantly verbalize your negativity, those around you can catch it as well. Even if there is a person who has depression, their partner or spouse can quickly develop it too. At night, whenever I have insomnia or an anxiety attack, I quietly tiptoe into the living room to watch TV, or somehow alleviate my symptoms the best I can, without waking up my wife. In the morning, I try to make her laugh while we eat breakfast together and send her off to work smiling. There are times when I am in pain or not feeling well and she’ll ask, “How you doing sweetie?” I just smile and say, “Couldn’t be better!” If it’s not detrimental, I don’t verbalize the demons. It’s not worth it. It took me years to figure all of this out. I remember a time when I used to verbalize it too much and I saw my wife go through her own ailments. If I was feeling depressed, I saw her catch the bug as well. So with all my power, with all my strength, I try to hold it in unless I really have to let someone know that I’m not feeling well. If it’s something I can handle on my own, then no one will ever know.

My father keeps saying, “I can’t have anything happen to your mother, I can’t live without her.” He even encouraged her to stop smoking which is great. The both of them have amazingly quit. The only thing that I’m witnessing is, my father’s bringing my mother down a path of depression with all the negative verbalization of his ailments. I gave my father a little analogy... If you place a banana that is too ripe along with fresh bananas, they all start getting too ripe as well. I have shared my story about how I incorporated positive verbalization into my life, just so my ‘bug’ isn’t contagious. Since I go through anxiety & depression, I can at least tell him how I handle it. And so far, it seems to be slowly progressing where he’s actually able to eat more, talk about other things besides his anxiety symptoms and basically, he’s been distracted for the most part. I've been trying to make him laugh like his own personal court jester and he's been responding well to it. He still has his rough moments, but it’s getting less and less. It’s very challenging to try to convince someone who believes in “reality” more than faith that it’ll work. If someone is skeptical, it’ll never fly. But I’m hoping with more positive encouragement, it’ll get better and better. In fact ~it’s the best it’s ever been.

"A happy thought is like a seed that sows positivity for all to reap." ~Miriam Muhammad

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Distasteful Celebration for Casey Anthony's Defense Team

As the old saying goes, opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. Although I do understand all sides, I also have to wonder about the opinions on the behavior of the lawyers, which sparked quite a controversial thread on my Facebook page. I put a status message up that said, “Casey Anthony’s defense team is out at a bar celebrating. Hrmm... Almost as insensitive as Casey out at a bar while her child was missing. Just sayin’...” Of course I was glued to Nancy Grace, who drilled the story about the celebration into a deep hole, but it does raise some pretty good questions. Why not take your celebration somewhere behind closed doors a bit farther than one block down the road from the courthouse, especially with this highly sensitive case full of mothers clutching their little ones, crying out for Caylee’s justice? That’s all I was trying to say. I absolutely agree that all lawyers have a right to celebrate a job well done, but in this case, wouldn’t have been a bit more tasteful to have been a little more discreet about it? They showed the defense team in a huge window of a bar that could be seen from outside on the street, jumping and clinking champagne glasses, as well as giving one another high fives. Do they really think Casey is innocent? Or is it more about the win? I’m not sure, but to see them celebrating in public as if they won a softball game gave me a bad taste in my mouth.

There’s a time for everything. There’s a place for everything. Celebrate your “win” somewhere else, where tears aren’t flowing, where people aren’t emotionally attached to the loss of the ‘game’, because in fact, there was no win in this case. Every single person in this case lost, because we are still without Caylee Anthony.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com