Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Zombie Apocalypse?

Last night as I'm scrolling down my Twitter feed, I saw a bizarre news headline that read, "Florida Man Shot by Police After Eating Another Man's Face".  I had to click on it to see if it was a spoof, but as I kept reading it, sadly, it was true. Witnesses say this naked man was chewing off the face of another man. They went to get the Miami police. The officer warned him to get off the man, but instead, this insane zombie kept chewing the flesh off from his face, looked up at the policeman and growled. That's when the police finally shot the man dead. Larry Vega was the first to witness this bloody attack while riding his bicycle into downtown Miami. He said, "The guy was, like, tearing him to pieces with his mouth, so I told him to get off. The guy just kept eating the other guy away, like, ripping his skin." He then said, "It was just a blob of blood, you couldn't really see, it was just blood all over the place."

Police assume it was drug-related and I'm sure they're doing some investigation. But has there been any incident such as this where the attacker has gone this insane, to bite off another person's face while on drugs? I remember once talking to this real 'out there' conspiracy theorist who said that terrorists have made this experimental drug where it turns people into zombie - which is why we're more likely to have a "zombie apocalypse". Even the CDC has warnings against a zombie apocalypse to my surprise. It sounds like a huge sci-fi movie, but this type of drug can literally burn the insides of your body and make you go after your fellow human being. While I think it's all 'psyche the public out hype' --- I also believe that anyone can make a drug that'll do anything these days. But my theory is: he was a cannibalistic psychopath -- drugs or no drugs. I'm sorry, but if you're that whacked out on drugs, the last thing you want to do is enjoy your high by noshing on the face of another man.

What do you think?

 
Click here if you cannot view the video above. Here's the surveillance video alone. It does a close up - but nothing graphic.

 
 Click here if you cannot view the video above.

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

Friday, May 25, 2012

Political Cesspool

It's not that I'm not aware, it's only because life is too short to be worrying about "wealthy" people or those who don't do enough for society. I read about it, watch it on the news, see it on Facebook threads and think, why are we all so caught up in what other people are doing? But there are people who point out a very logic and valid point: it affects us in some way. But my question is: can we control it? There is absolutely nothing we can do. Look at Occupy Wall Street - they have camped out, protested, made scenes and even sadly, have closed down mom and pop stores do to the chaos. Not only have they tried to make their point, they closed down small businesses to which they were for. It backfired. This is how I see it... We live in a society full of greedy people and those who hate the greedy people. But, there are so many people complaining about "wealthy" people - those who have earned it. This country was built on enterprise and if we take that away, we'll be inching closer to socialism, and perhaps communism. I had a semi religions and political debate with a friend where he was claiming all wealthy people were evil. When I took my stance upon it, he said, "Well then, you must be rich."  Far from it. And that's when I actually can say something - because I'm not rich - I disagree with everyone counting everybody else's money. Get your nose out of other people's business and live your lives the best you can because in the end ---does it really matter?  And after all the pointless protesting, where has it gotten you? And no, I don't agree with greedy politicians spending tax payer's dollars on luxury boats, fancy cars and 5 star hotels, but I also believe that all secrets are eventually revealed. You can't hide out like that for very long.

Have you ever noticed those political chatters on Facebook posting one blabber after another who really don't contribute anything other than spewing their hatred for the 'greedy republicans'? I get their point and many of it, I agree with, but if you're that passionate about it - go out and do something about it (if one can). Most folks on Facebook like to yank other people's political chains around for attention, but when someone is that passionate about a certain political matter - start a group - let people join in and 'try' to do something. But in my opinion, it's totally out of our hands unless someone in office can actually stand on their own two feet and make decisions on their own, even if against their will, like Barack Obama.  He quoted this back in 2008, “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.” - April 17, 2008, while running for president, defining marriage at the Saddleback Presidential Forum. Did he have a change of heart, or did he simply start to understand more about what love between two people really is? Or was he persuaded? Was it for the upcoming election? So while there is still a glimmer of hope for some things in politics, My money is on political driven agendas. I don't believe that "we" as a country, as civilians, matter all that much. I also honestly believe that our votes don't mean shit. It's the electoral votes that matter. So where do "we" stand? We stand on the sidelines watching "them" run our lives. All we can do is enjoy 'now' and what we have, for whatever time God lets us have it. Or is that "too religious" for you?

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

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Coexisting

For years now, I've been arguing with "judgmental Christians" who mostly have a narrow view of the world and society. It became my mission to "correct" them -- as well as to protect those who were confused, belittled and hurt by these so called loving Christians. I still try to protect those who are hurt by religious and judgmental people, but there's more to it. There's the understanding of other people's "religious truth". The fact that religion in itself, spirituality in itself, has no scientific evidence, which is ironic that they call it "truth". I guess it's to make a much more persuasive impact on mind control, or perhaps brainwashing. Although my faith (my truth) cannot budge due to someone else trying to convince me otherwise, I no longer try to convince people to ~walk this way~.  God gave us all a choice. It's not up to me to point to whichever direction, because who knows, maybe my direction isn't the best path for that individual. It's my personal path. I just read a piece by a brilliant poet and writer named, Mark Durfee. His post reminded me of a past argument I had with someone who claimed they were "Mulsim, Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Atheist and Buddhist". She also said she was a "black lesbian Christian man". You can read more about that post here. As you can imagine if you have either read me before or know me in person, I was highly confused over this insane 'logic' and challenged her on what she meant by that. My mind wasn't as opened as I would have liked it to be.

The concept of claiming all religions is basically accepting all people. I took the meaning literally, as in saying, "You can't be a Christian and a Muslim". I couldn't wrap my mind around it. Even in my book, I had a section about "fortune cookie religions" as I called it, and how I don't believe people of different religions should pray together. That's just me. I feel to be stronger in your faith as a Christian, you should pray with others (or alone if you choose) of  the same practice. By nature, we're highly influenced and sometimes persuaded on practices and religions that are more accepting to us. Many develop a mindset of -- 'well this religion doesn't believe this is okay to do, but this religion is okay with it'.  Who am I to judge anyone who believes differently? Although my faith is still the same, I no longer argue about the complexity of another faith. I simply just accept and learn from people.  Mark pointed out a very important portion that I failed to understand. He said, "When I say I believe all religions guess you can say I also believe none of them. Buddha said live well by treating others well, Jesus said the same, even Mohammed said the same. But that is human life, mortal life."

Isn't that what life's all about? Thanks, Mark.

Tweet for the day:

We are all different colours & religions but we have something in common; the Earth. We have nowhere else to live so just learn to accept!


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

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Change

There's something to be said for animals sensing your emotional state. I found out Dad wasn't feeling too well. He seems to becoming much weaker. It's very hard to see someone you have always thought as "the strongest man in the world" become weakest person you know. The gradual, perhaps rapid progression of his illness is starting to show, as I denied it while seeing him happy and in no pain for about two weeks straight. When I came home yesterday, I opened the door to the happiest puppy I've ever seen. We ran on the lawn together, I let her play with her toys and then when she got tired, she joined me on the deck to relax. Mommy needed a glass of wine or three. We have an awning (oversized rafter) that extends from the house, so if you sit out on the deck, you can watch the pouring rain and not get wet. I wrapped Lola up in a fuzzy blanket that my niece Sophia gave to her --- (Sophia's baby blanket) which I thought was incredibly sentimental. Lola and I stayed out on the deck for an hour or so. She looked up at me and kept licking my tears as I had a little breakdown moment. She knew I was sad. She then snuggled up to the nape of my neck and slept there for the rest of the hour. Although I was sad, I felt incredibly peaceful with her lying on me, knowing exactly what I was feeling. It was one of the most perfect moments I have had in a very long time.

I realize things are changing and yet part of me is still trying to hold onto everything I ever had, and still have. I guess that would make things worse when I get a rude awakening with each "surprise" circumstance. People try to give all types of advice on handling life's little twists and turns. And one of the advices I got actually worked with adopting Lola. Although there's still chaos around me, she seems to ground me in a way where I don't 'freak out' - or have anxiety attacks. I have never slept so good before. I have never felt my home so full of life before. People used to tell me about it, but I just figured that misery loves company --not true. I'm not saying puppies make everything better, but they certainly help make life seem a bit more doable, even if you take them out to do potty for 20 minutes to only have them run back into your living room to defecate. It's all good.

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

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It's a Girl!

Say hello to Lola Felicidad Pasquella, an 8 week old Chihuahua mix from Puerto Rico. She was found in a field abandoned with her brother who was also adopted. I picked her up at a nearby rescue shelter and right away, I knew she was the perfect little addition to our family. I'm welcoming her on my blog because you'll see a lot of her in my posts since she has brought so much happiness to not only my wife and I, but to my entire family who she loves so much. She's great with my sisters' kids and all she wants is to be near you, even if she's leaning up against you chewing on her rawhide drooling all over the place. Most of you know how OCD I am about 'cleanliness' and 'germs'...  Since she's been here - not. one. concern. And the thing that baffles me is, my allergist told me I was highly allergic to dogs. After a few days of sniffling and itchy skin - all my allergy problems have disappeared - in fact - I don't have wheezing or inner ear problems like I used to. Lola on the other hand has an inner ear problem and snores at night. I'm wondering if she took my ailments away... But I know for sure it definitely brings a smile to Mom whenever she sees her.

I've become that annoying dog mommy on Facebook & Twitter as well. Every single thing she does is "cute" to me. She's already potty trained and doesn't spoil her sleeping quarters. Bath time was a bit of a challenge but she's getting used to her environment and is a very happy and saved puppy. At night, we always fall asleep together on the couch before I have to tuck her into her huge mansion of a crate. When she is completely potty trained (100%) then she can stay in the bedroom with us. I plan to spend the next 15+ years with her. I just wish animals lived longer than humans... When Dad & Mom met her, they absolutely adored her. In fact, it was my mother who named her, Lola. Dad's face lights up whenever he sees "that little rat" I bring over. "Das' not a real dawg - it's a rat!"  Then he starts smiling and pets her head as she tries to give him puppy kisses. It's cute. I didn't realize how healing animals are in general. I've forgotten about my anxiety and my depression has lessened a great deal. No wonder they provide those 'therapy dogs' in hospitals. Now I get it.  Any 'new mommy' tips are welcomed if you have any advice about training or how to bathe them without them freaking out.

And now, time to walk Lola... Here are some more photos...


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


Friday, May 18, 2012

The Caretaker

Yesterday, Mom was crying. I asked, "What's wrong?" Stupid question on my part perhaps, yet I still wanted to know why my mother, who hardly ever cries (at least in front of people) would be so sad. She was sitting on the couch that was across the room from my dad, who was lying on his bed which hospice provided. During the past couple of weeks, they've been cracking jokes, laughing and really enjoying their time together. Yesterday was different. My mom doesn't like to "upset me" as she thinks. She doesn't want to burden me with "stuff" - but for me, how can I possibly help not knowing what she needs? I asked her again, "What's wrong?" She nodded her head with no words spoken. I asked again, and she said, "Nothing," nodding her head and fumbling with her tissue in her hands. I asked her if she wanted me to call a hospice nurse so I could take her out for an hour or two, but she declined. I felt powerless. She looked so defeated. She's so tired. In the morning, she helps my dad shower, washes his hair and dresses him. This is what hospice is supposed to do - this is what hospice is all about - to help not only the person who is terminally ill, but to help the family members as well. We've noticed a lot of flaws with hospice, like promised visits that are never fulfilled. They tell my mother, "Give him this pill" and then later on, another nurse will say, "Oh why didn't you call me before you gave him the pill? He's not supposed to take that!"  I was present when the nurse told my mom which pill to give him. She gave him the correct one and now because of hospice's mistake, they yelled at my mom - my mom who is completely exasperated from being a caretaker - more so than she ever was. Thank God for my sister who really gave them a piece of her mind.

Mom keeps having the same occurring dream. She said she dreamt about forgetting to feed her baby - "a baby", but not sure if it was hers.  She has this dream often. "I keep forgetting to feed the baby in my dream! I'm running around doing all these things and stop right in my tracks and say, 'Oh no! The baby!'" She also dreams that she forgets to feed her dog. I went online and Googled it. I found a website that stated that if a person dreams about forgetting to feed a baby, it's symbolic for that person (in real life) is forgetting to nurture themselves. They're running around taking care of everybody else, but they don't take care of themselves, feed themselves, remembering that in order to take care of somebody else, they must take care of themselves. I have to keep an eye on mom because there are some days she goes without eating. She says she forgets, or that she's just not hungry, yet she'll nosh on potato chips if they're lying around. She hasn't really been out to dinner or lunch in a very long time, unless my dad is staying in the hospital and we are able to take her to a Friday's nearby. The main problem here is that she hasn't used hospice to the fullest extent as she should. She's always been a bit uptight about strange people in her house. She doesn't like the feeling of having anyone in her home without her being there. I remember when I used to get a cleaning woman with her husband to stop by my mom's house every week. She always said, "You're gonna be here right?" And, I had to be there until they were gone. So, having hospice there - people who are helping my dad is seen as an "intrusion" and I don't know how to convince her that they are there to help - not to rob us.  She has in her mind that anyone who does any service inside the home (even chimney sweepers, maintenance people) will try to hurt elderly people or take advantage of them. While this may be true in some cases, she has taken this to an extreme phobia that is taking her quality of life away.

There are no easy solutions, suggestions or ideas that can be given to Mom right now. She's watching her best friend, her husband, her companion for over 50 years and the strongest & toughest man she's ever met, become the weakest person she has ever seen. And although I'm his daughter and love my dad, I can't imagine what she's going through emotionally. My fear is that her emotional well-being will trickle into her physical well-being if she doesn't start looking out for herself, or at least accepting the help that she's offered from both the immediate family and hospice. Please keep my parents in your prayers if you can.

"Don't count the days, make the days count." ~Muhammad Ali

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

Thursday, May 17, 2012

If I Were a Rich Girl

Have you ever wondered what other people think of you? Have you ever had the chance for someone bold enough to tell you? It's quite interesting what we 'think' people think of us, as opposed to what they really think. We put ourselves on a lesser scale most of the time, but that's kind of normal. I couldn't believe what happened to me yesterday though. I used to date this guy when I was only 19 years old. We parted because he was very umm ---"passionate" --- to the point of going into fits of rage about whatever. He was very intelligent and extremely into Christianity. But there was that fine line between intelligence and insanity. I actually mean that as a compliment. He has philosophical, religious, conspiracy theory-like views on the world and it makes for a really great conversation at times, but somehow, he can take it to a whole new level, one that may possibly offend. On Facebook he was going on about rich people and how they were all evil. He said that God will never take rich people into heaven and that he was very happy that he didn't have an Italian last name because it held a stigma. As I kept reading, you know I had to chime in. In jest, I said, "Oh now you gotta start bustin' on the Italians, eh?" Once you comment on one of his threads, he will answer you back 50 more times - even if you don't comment back. He has no social cues or limits - it's weird. I then saw a comment that said, "Well it's easy for you to say since you're rich and successful."  ...What? Are you kidding?  He went on... "Your parents were very well to do which is clouding your judgement on the wealthy." ...What? He then went into our past relationship (19 yrs ago) about petty little things that used to upset him. Three words: get. over. it.

I commented about his complaint over rich people and how evil they were. I told him that God wants us to be happy and live abundant lives - to enjoy the fruits of our labor. There is a huge difference between being wealthy and being greedy. But he classified both as the same. He kept telling me how God frowned upon the wealthy. In the Bible, it says this: "Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat well, drink a good glass of wine, and enjoy their work—whatever they do under the sun—for however long God lets them live. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—that is indeed a gift from God. People who do this rarely look with sorrow on the past, for God has given them reasons for joy." ~Ecclesiastes 5:18-20  When people start judging other people's financial situations -- they can't possibly know their situation or "count their money" for them. They can only assume that they have it made, but being wealthy does not guarantee happiness. It also doesn't mean that God isn't going to accept him. So by my stance upon this one topic, his memories of coming over as a kid and that I'm a published author, he automatically assumed that I must be rich. And let me tell ya, being an "author" or writing in general does not mean they're wealthy. I'm not sure why so many people think they're going to make millions off one book.  It's hard work. There's a lot of shameless self promotion you have to do and after all that, you still have to keep plugging in order to keep afloat. 

Why are people so focused on other people's situation? Don't we all have our crosses to bear? Aren't we in this together - or is it all about competing in life?  Because if it is - I was never in the game. I never wanted to be "a big star" or climb the ladder of success just so I can say I've been there. I wanted to be happy with my lot in life - my work -
my passion - not by merely having a 'status'. If people think lesser of me because I didn't "make it" - then so be it. People who are so consumed with other people's businesses never deal with their own 'business' and then complain about it. I truly believe we all have cycles in life - from trying to work hard to get from point A. to point B. and the world's view of "success". We all go through one way or another and when we're down on our luck, some of us grumble about what this one or that one has - and even obtaining the mindset of, "Well they just got lucky." In my opinion, those people who bitch and moan and complain about someone else's situation reeks of pure jealousy or resentment. There's this negative energy that's just so overwhelming - you can't help but wonder what their motives are behind their mutterings of hatred. You'll find them sidetracking to other things that'll 'really get you' and attack you for everything you stand for. 


Life's way too short to deal with jealous and insecure people. So guess what I did to my old boyfriend yesterday?  "Delete! Delete! Delete!"  


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



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Finding John Smith

I've had the great pleasure and opportunity to be one of the first to screen and review, Finding John Smith written by Jennifer Fontaine, Marlo Bernier & Tim Anderson. It's one of the first indie movies that had my emotions teeter-tottering from laughter to tears. There are so many special parts to this film that it's hard to narrow down which scene I loved the best. The story is based upon a young girl named Aaseamah Khalid, (played by Dominique Joelle) who finds herself in the middle of a chaotic bombing in Iraq, where two journalists quickly snagged her up into their truck for safety by Jake and Jody, (which are played by David Mattey and the beautiful Jennifer Fontaine).  Thinking they had left the young girl behind with Iraqi officials, they quickly learned after their flight back in a midwest airport bathroom that Aaseamah had snuck her way into the U.S. to get help in finding her father --- John Smith.  This is where the movie gets quirky and gives off a slight humor to the story line.

Jody McKenton (Jennifer Fontaine) plays a steadfast and strong-minded journalist who brings her cameraman, Jake everywhere she goes. They embark on a mission to find Aaseamah's father. All three of them head off into their news van straight into the middle of Iowa.  At first Jody seems cold in the beginning of the film - rigid and a tad aggressive, until you start to fall in love with her softness and developing vulnerability later on in the film. She becomes very likable at that point for me. She is constantly being stalked by a co-worker as she does this particular story because Missy Martinez, (played by Lydia Blanco) who is a small time news anchor is ready and willing to fill Jody's shoes and extremely jealous of  her success.

I especially loved the character Jake, (played by David Mattey). He's very likable in this movie. This gigantic, almost 7 ft tall bearded man with enormous tribal tattoos all over his arms is one. huge. teddy bear. It's evident he has a special place in his heart for Jody and you can literally feel the sparks fly as they both interact with one another. One of my favorite scenes is of Jake teaching Aaseamah how to say "pizza" and "coke" as they're face-to-face for the first time eating lunch in the break room of the news studio. He takes the time out to teach her new words and she quickly sees the softy that he is and adores him like her own father. They develop this unique father/daughter bond throughout the film. His easy and humorous demeanor, while wearing his heart on his sleeve gives this film an emotional twist or two. I'm always a sucker for a big and seemingly tough guy who is really as gentle as a lamb.Any film that can put me into ten moods in less than 90 minutes is definitely a must see. The brilliance of this movie is all in the details. Every scene, every response, facial expression and unsaid communication is what I truly admired. It shows you everything from the oppression of the Iraqi civilians, learning about the Gulf War Syndrome and overall, how love and family can quickly develop even if there is a language barrier.  Very moving! I'm looking forward for everyone to see Finding John Smith when it's finally released. This crew not only worked their tail ends off on this film, but they actually had the ability to put so much heart into it.

Click here to be updated and informed of its release on October 16, 2012. "Like" them and check out some of their photos, trailers and other neat things on their Facebook page.

Check out their trailer below...
If you cannot view the video, please click here.

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

Bittersweet Happiness

In a strange way, rain seems to be healing for me - mostly on an emotional scale. I get to shut down, withdraw or perhaps just regroup, recharge and start all over again. While I don't expect life to be a complete bed of roses, I know there are going to be challenges ahead. It's not a matter of "if", but "when".  I've been praying and praying for a span of calmness, happiness, togetherness with my family and friends and God has given that to me. I know that any given moment, I can get a call in the middle of the night saying, "Dad's in the hospital again" or "Come down, Dad's sick - what should we do?" We all anticipate these occurrences and somehow pull through it, but there's a tiny part of me that "stays awake", even if asleep, as though I'm waiting for the call or waiting for the 'alarms' to set off. My shoes are always at the end of the bed with a pair of jeans just in case I have to slip into them to rush over to the hospital. I'm always on 'ready, set', but the 'go' part seems to get paralyzed. It's almost as if I'm denying what's actually happening. Even if I'm hopping into my jeans, making my way up to the ER, my body starts reminding me of how it can react to stress, whether it's rushing to the restroom, developing chest pains from indigestion (then making me think it's a heart attack) or just simply withdrawing altogether becoming numb; in a state of silence. I become useless in helping out in any situation. I always joke around and say to everyone, "Well at least I'm in the hospital in case I need to check in for any of my ailments."  And that has happened while Dad was admitted. The ambulance had to pick me up and admit me into a room above my dad. "Don't tell Dad, it'll stress him out. Just say I'm home with a cold," I would say, because he's not allowed visitors who are sick due to his low immunity.

There was a good span of time, which I prayed for. I asked God if He could take away my dad's pain and give him back his joy again. I haven't seen Dad laugh, smile or joke around since he got sick. It was very sobering to see my father with low spirits since all my life I've known him to be the funniest, sarcastic S.O.B you'd ever meet. But God answered my prayers. Dad started to eat again, laugh again, and even dance again with my mom. I even saw him riding his tractor around the property like he used to do. He hasn't touched that in over a year or so. Out of the blue, he started telling jokes and I swear, it was like being around a stand up comedian. He starts singing songs or he'll just say something so random that it'll have you laughing hysterically. Even though this is great news, it's also bittersweet in a way. I had told a few people that I'd rather Dad have a month of pure happiness with no pain, than six months or a year full of misery and pain. Part of me thinks, "Wow, we got our old dad back - happy, funny, and full of life" - and the other part of me has a much harder time thinking about his illness while he's this happy. But, it's all about him - not what I want. And I certainly don't want him in pain, but why is it easier to have the ability to let someone go while they're suffering? When they're happy and painless -- it makes it much harder to even comprehend that your loved one is sick - even if there are no signs.

The other day we noticed that dad's left leg swelled up like a balloon. The nurse from hospice came over to take a look at it and said it may be from the tumors growing on his kidneys and bladder that's blocking the fluid from flowing properly, a sign of the progression. It was almost as if I had forgotten that Dad was sick. "The progression" kept repeating itself in my head. Then of course, we all were concerned about it being a clot in his leg since he is lying down a lot.  The nurse checked his lungs which were clear, felt if the swelling was hot to the touch and it wasn't and said to just have him take a water pill to relieve the swelling. But later on, it was decided that he had to go get checked out at the ER, which he hates because they treated him so poorly there. I know because I literally had to go out of his room and yell at the doctors and nurses for not supplying him with the needed medication as promised while he was lying in the bed screaming in pain. I experienced a lack of professionalism, compassion and overall care from the staff while I was there myself. Dad pleaded with me, "Please Deb, don't let them take me. You know how they are."  And I do. He can't go to any other hospital because the hospice care he's receiving is part of that division as well as all of his doctors. Every time he goes back into that hospital, his spirit dies. Part of me was against sending him back there because the nurse checked him and said it was only water retention, possible 'progression', and the other part of me wanted him to go so I don't lose him in case there was a blood clot with no evident signs of it. He started to manipulate all of us, saying, "If I go and die in there, have it be on all of your consciences!" Then he'd put his head down regretting what he had just said, hoping we'd tell the EMS crew to leave.

(The photo on the left is Dad before he was sick, laughing hysterically while I was filming him.)
Honestly, I don't know what 'the right thing to do' is as far as caring for someone who is terminally ill and is being taken care of by hospice. Isn't it all about what they want and their wishes to either decline medical care or take it? He also has a DNR, so God forbid he has a heart attack, they're not going to try reviving him. We all want Dad to stay with us longer, but in my opinion, going against his wishes during this time is counteractive in making him happy. The anxiety he had while waiting for the EMS alone was enough for me to call them off.  The extreme levels of his anxiety could have been enough to give him a heart attack. Then again, if we didn't have him go in and it definitely was a clot, we'd not only lose our dad, but we'd have a much bigger issue on our consciences from his little 'hex' he put on us. He checked out fine and was out of there within hours, but my heart broke when he learned he had to go back to the place where he hated. Thankfully, it didn't kill his spirits. He's back home and joking around again. It's just very confusing and heartbreaking to see your loved one begging and crying to decline medical care when all you want to do is make them stay a little while longer with you. Making any medical choices for someone has to be the most difficult thing in the world. I give anyone credit who is strong enough to do so.

Please keep my dad in your prayers?

(I'm posting random tweets now from people relating to my articles. One of them really stood out. She reminded me of myself asking for prayers for her dad too.)

Please pray for my dad who had to be rushed to the hospital a little while ago :( 

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

Monday, May 14, 2012

"WWJD" Has Expired

Creating an aura of “welcoming” to people of different faiths, religions and backgrounds is very important to me. Although I stand strong in my faith, I respect others’ as well. I believe it’s wonderful to share our views and beliefs, however there’s a fine line between sharing and persuading. The importance of keeping other people’s faith as valuable as your own tells me that that you’re confident and strong in what you believe in. Many Christians who I have come across have tried “persuading” me into thinking and believing their beliefs in terms of how to pray, how to live and how to live “the right life”. They’ve also tried teaching me how to be intolerant to other people of different faiths. Isn’t this contradictory to what Jesus did?

I can’t tell you how many times I have taken many positive messages in different religions and have used them for my own personal use, yet still remaining faithful to my belief as a Christian. I received an email from someone who came across my blog and asked if I would discuss my views as being a Christian lesbian, as well as hear his views on why it isn’t seen as acceptable in the bible. I had explained to him that my past writing about homosexuality & Christianity has all been said and done. Debating with other Christians, as well as fundamentalists through my blog as well as in my very own church who had beaten me to a bloody pulp about this very topic was very draining. Throughout my book, I reiterated many of the debates regarding homosexuality being included as the Old Law, which Christians are not bound by any longer. There are many people who feel differently, which is ok, however, I refuse to debate with other Christians regarding this any longer. I have written every single thought about this in my archives and my book and referenced to every single term regarding homosexuality and why it is only viewed as promiscuity and rape, A fellow blogger, Nick had made this statement on a past blog post:

“The passage in the ancient Hebrew is clearly talking about male-male sex acts, specifically anal sex. The issue was penetrating an anus with a penis, this making the penis literally “unclean” to the point of forbidding entry into a vagina.”

With all the different interpretations and meanings of the Bible, I have come to acceptance with everybody’s take on anything. It doesn’t mean that I will necessarily agree with it, however everyone is entitled to their own views and beliefs. Why debate anything, while the beliefs that we hold true to our hearts are not relevant to scientific facts? Back in 2003, I thought a bit differently and tackled through debates and basically was “brainwashed” in my church into thinking, “Your belief is knowledge - spread the word and make it knowledge for all.” I refuse to brainwash people. I prefer to share, if they’re willing to listen. That’s all we can do.

As time grew on, I decided to venture into the teachings of other religions to broaden my horizons. I’ve learned so much through the teachings of Buddhism, Taoism, Islam as well as Judaism, (which is the base of Christianity). I’ve used messages taught in all of those religions to enhance my life and yet, still be faithful in my belief that Jesus is the only way into heaven. And I will not argue if you disagree with that. It’s simply: OK... I respect your belief.

Christians are supposed to edify and lift up our spirits - not tear us down with threatening and belittling words in order to “save us”. Jesus spent time with many people who were against the grain of Christianity. So for me or anyone else who claims to be a Christian to judge you in your faith in whoever, whatever, is contradictory to what Jesus did when He was here 2,000 years ago.

The whole term, “WWJD” (What Would Jesus Do) seems to be so outdated these days. What do you think?

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

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Obama Says "Yes" to Gay Marriage?

With only four words, I can finish this post by saying: all politicians are liars. --To add one more word to it: ALL. Before I get all excited, jumping up and down waving my big, loud rainbow flag into everybody's face, I also want to point out the obvious. How did Obama get elected in the first place? All minorities and those living in not so kept neighborhoods finally got off their couches, or punched out of their factory jobs to vote for someone who can actually relate to them. Let's face it - Obama's one of us. He's real. He's compassionate and seemingly, ~seemingly~ has a big heart. We didn't know how much ass he would kick during his term, but I'm sure he surprised many republicans, whether they want to admit it or not. And for the record, I didn't vote for Obama. I voted for McCain, however I was biting my lower lip watching Sarah Palin give Tina Fey loads of material for SNL. To be blunt here, that was desperation on McCain's part --- since Obama was running, (a black democratic male who had minorities + the LGBT community backing him up), and with Hillary Clinton hanging in there for a short while, McCain needed that extra boost: a woman as his vice president.  That is the only thing that made me question McCain's sanity. But back to why Obama got elected ---he appealed to most middle class Americans. And you know something, "middle class" is now considered making a six figure income, so even much lower income families we're speaking of. (That whole middle class definition still gets me.) 

As much as Romney wants to gloat over the "so called fact" that Obama just ruined himself, the reality is --- he now has covered all his bases, because most of America either knows someone who is gay, has a friend who's gay, has a relative or immediate family who is gay and most of all, who IS gay. He is paving a smooth road, not to make the flamboyant Americans jump for joy, but to WIN this election, because that's what it's all about. And just because the president now sides with us, it doesn't mean that every single state is now going to bow down and let gays and lesbians marry - it simply means, "we have an accepting president now". Part of me thinks it's great and the other part smells a rat. A big fat lying political rat that's winning this 'race'. There's still a long road ahead for the LGBT community to still fight for their rights to marry, and that's okay because we've come so far. It wasn't even over 50 years ago when interracial couples were allowed to get married, and hey, that was also considered "a sin" -- yet that's now history, isn't it?  To what people interpret sin is and instill their religious beliefs upon political matters is basically taking the "freedom of religion" and throwing it out the window. That's what it boils down to. This is no longer a "Christian country" --- this is a melting pot full of different races and different religions and/or the lack thereof. If this is America, and we have those rights, then why is passing a law for gays and lesbians to get married such a burden on the right winged pubbies? Now you'll be hearing that "Obama's the devil", as it says in the Bible that we will have the 'evil one' become a leader. 

I just want to sidetrack for a moment and talk about "religion" itself. No religion is perfect and and most have different belief systems within one. With Christianity, there are so many different interpretations, misunderstandings and of course, the 'mold your mind' takes on scriptures which many of the times, Christians scare away people from coming to God. (That's the worst sin of all.)  For example, quite a few fellow Christians have told me that if I plan to keep being in my relationship (now marriage) with my wife, then I should stop calling myself a Christian because I'm "mocking God". They throw scriptures out from the Old Testament (Leviticus) and then try to incorporate the New Testament scriptures that speak mainly about the promiscuity of all men and women - not just for gays and lesbians. They can twist and turn these verses well enough to make anybody turn against God, or turn away from their own self and deny their own happiness; their true orientation of being gay or lesbian. So either way, it's a brainwashing type of mindset some of these "Christians" have. Do we really want that type of person in office?  Or do we want a "real" Christian in office that simulates what God has told us for years and years: we have a choice. That's what God gave us -- choice. Christian teaching also tells us that we should not judge one another, but love one another and love God with all your heart, which is the biggest commandment of all. So why should a "religion" or a belief in something that cannot be proved scientifically be apart of politics? Keep in mind, that my entire life, my entire being is all for Jesus. My faith in God is so strong that it does not matter what religion or spiritual practices my president is. All Republicans (and I'm not even going to say 'some'), will use religion to persuade weak-minded people. Just something to think about. 

But I digress. This doesn't make Obama any better though. By him now accepting gays and lesbians marrying -- this just reeks of political gain. For me, it's all about pulling the race and orientation 'card' -- and for the Republicans, it's the 'religion card'. So in this case, is there really such a thing as in the lesser of the evils, or is it a matter of which liar we're going to vote for?  We are never....ever....going to get a truthful candidate in office. If you solely rely on politicians to make your life "easier" - or perhaps, "happier", then you're going through life under a facade that can really baffle you later down the road. Nobody can take away your right to love. Nobody can take away your faith in God. Nobody can make you see a better future but YOU. I had recently said to someone that I hate voting for the "lesser of the evils" and if it comes down to that, I won't be voting at all come election day.

An interesting tweet I found today:

"Hey Media: I'm all for gay marriage too but don't you guys realize it took Obama nearly 4 years to openly support it?" 

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

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Sabretts & Strips

I just love people. I love their quirkiness, their unique ways of doing things and the ability to not give a flying rat's ass about what other people think. Catherine Scalia aka, "Long Island's hotdog hooker" has to be the funniest woman ever.  She says that she's a stripper, not a prostitute. She's out of jail and back on her wheels selling wieners again. As I'm watching the news, she was on there telling the reporters, "Dese' are real yanno", pointing at her breasts. "Strippers in Florida ask me if dese' are real too - dare' awl' mine! So come visit me, I'll be in front of Pep Boys today selling wieners. Sabretts & strips! Das, what I'm doing. Das' muy bawl game!" she says, laughing into the camera. It was hysterical when she was walking out of jail flashing the camera crew. I remember a friend of mine who had moved to Texas years ago used to have this same 'throw caution to the wine & see what happens' kind of attitude. She was actually much like Catherine Scalia. I had the best time with her. You never knew what to expect. One morning while driving back from staying at another friend's house in south Jersey in her Jeep Wrangler, she decided to do something that would totally embarrass me. We had the top down and were cruising down the thruway with a bunch of tractor trailers. We were with another girl who was driving, my friend was in the front seat, and I was in the back. While not paying attention, I realized that we were surrounded by a ton of tractor trailers. They wouldn't pass us as we were driving in the middle lane. Then I heard all the loud horns honking and honking. I look around and there she was - in the front seat with her top off. She raised her arms and said, "We're in New York baby! It's legal now!" This was when New York decided to let women go topless legally. I took the canvas convertible top and stretched it over myself to hide. But underneath, I was laughing hysterically.

All my life, I usually hung around people who were daring, funny, quirky and those who had a colorful life and background. To me, everyone else seemed so rigid and judgmental of others. Many people judged my friend and mocked her for being 'her'. But to me, her ability to be free; to be herself without blinking twice at the people sneering at them was a beautiful thing. She loved her body, as imperfect as it was (to other people), and loved life. I didn't care what she did, as long as she was taking care of herself health-wise. I didn't want to clip her wings or tell her to 'act civilized' because then, she would just be like everybody else. In fact, I wouldn't change one thing about her. She got into crazy situations from time to time, but deep down, this woman was a good person. She would do anything for anyone and she had the biggest heart I've ever seen. The way she was treated by 'the civilized' was just ugly and downright mean - for no reason, or so they said they 'had a reason', but it was usually a clouded answer. I always stood up for her because I knew what an incredible woman she was.  We lost touch years ago, but when I think of her, I smile. She really made my life much more colorful and taught me that it doesn't matter what other people think - be yourself and you'll find out who your real friends are. I'll never forget her. Just like Catherine Scalia, I wish I knew more of these types of people. They really make you second guess your own ability to be happy and satisfied with your life. Kudos, sell those dogs! And remember, even in the Bible it clearly states that the prostitutes & tax collectors are entering the kingdom of God. (Although we know Catherine isn't a "prostitute"...) You get my drift.

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

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Where's the Fire?


There has always been a huge vast difference between Madelene and I - to the point where I actually asked her why she was even with me. We laugh at our differences now, but earlier in our relationship, I really wondered if it would work out for us. Mad's a hustler. She can (and sometimes does) work12 hr shifts sometimes every single day of the week (including weekends sometimes) and can come home and be able to go out and have fun or do some sort of project around the house. I'm the type where you get me to work a total of 3 hours and I'm ready for a break. I wanna play. But, if I'm on a mission, I wanna go go go. Sometimes my work projects take more than 12 hrs to complete if I'm heavily into and trying to concentrate, but thank God it's not all the time. Here's where our differences 'together' are funny. Take for instance, Madelene and I going grocery shopping together. Here's where I get into "mission mode" - where all I want to do is get in, get the shit & git. I have no time to fiddle-faddle around the meat section to see what's on sale. If I want a steak, I grab it. If I want chopped meat, I grab it. It's that simple. "Mad, go to the deli counter and grab the cold cuts while I head to the bathroom." I make a beeline to the restroom, and when I got out, there she was, standing with one leg on her cart leaning over reading her circular....with no turkey.

"Where's the turkey?" I ask.
"I'm was waiting for you." 
"We coulda' killed two birds with one stone. Wassamadda' wichoo?" 
"I like to mosey and see what else is on sale. Where's the fire?" she says, as she folds her circular under her arm and wheels the cart over to the deli counter.

Madelene will proudly and publicly whip out her oversized circular and make sure she's getting a good enough deal on whatever. "Mad, just get the turkey we usually get," I say to her as the deli clerk is waiting for our order. We're 'up', but Mad is still searching in her massive coupon circular. "Black Bear turkey please," I said to the clerk, frustrated over the amount of time it took for Mad to chime in. Mad shoots me a look and says, "I just wanted to see if there was another interesting type of turkey and if it was low sodium." The clerk heard her and said, "This kind has no MSG, which is low sodium."  It didn't stop there. In another aisle where we get our bomb shelter supply of seltzer (for our vodka drinks of course) she stands in front of the brand we get for like ten minutes. She's studying all of the 'buy 4 for $1.99' tag. I start playing with my phone, checking my email, Facebook, and of course taking comical photos of her because I'm SO bored at this point. "C'mon - get it."

As we're walking down the aisle with our 20 bottles of seltzer and a pound of low sodium discounted turkey, she starts hysterically laughing. "What?...(laughter)...."WHAT?" I said, frustrated because now I'm thinking I have toilet paper hanging off my jeans. I start checking myself and trying to figure out what she's laughing at.  "I've never seen such short legs go so fast!"  I shoot her a look and start shuffling my short legs pushing my cart even faster just to get away from her. Then I started laughing myself and we couldn't stop. People were staring at us as if we were high. As we're opening up the trunk to my car, she starts cleaning and 'patting' the back of my trunk, like making it all nice and tidy. My trunk is empty mind you, with a few wood pieces in it because I trudge along firewood in the winter (which I shouldn't with my car) but I have to. So she's standing there, taking her time, while I have two heavy bags in my hand ready to be flung in the trunk. "Are you DONE?" The giggles start. "Where. is. the. fire???" she says again, laughing so hard that she can hardly breathe.

I'm starting to realize something. I'm learning a lot from my wife. She can actually do errands and enjoy herself. She can take her time, look at sales, fiddle-faddle her way through every fricken aisle, where I'm all super amped up full of anxiety trying to get the hell outa' that place. But if you think about it, this is why I have anxiety. I look at life differently. I see it as "get it done get it done get it done", while Mad enjoys every second of her life. Although she enjoys and finds my anxiety-ridden short legged shuffle amusing, she is also trying to teach me to slow down, because life's too short. And I'm trying to tell her to hurry up, because life's too short. All I wanna do is get our stuff, come home and enjoy each other's time, but in the process, I'm all frazzled over being in the crowded supermarket complaining about this & that, while Mad is just sitting in the long line finding anything and anyone entertaining and enjoying every second. I'm starting to get it now. Ok, I have to end this post because I gotta get outa' here.

"No one can get inner peace by pouncing on it." ~Harry Emerson Fosdick

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