For as long as I can remember I’ve been required to complete some sort of form before my entrance into a school, hospital or doctors office. So why is this practice suddenly considered a personal attack on freedom? I have a few ideas.
Well, for whatever reason, people seem to be relating this procedure as a personal infringement on their rights as an American citizen. Hmm, I wonder where they could have gotten that idea?
As some of you may already know, I work in the healthcare system where I am in the presence of the public on a daily basis. Feel free to send words of encouragement.
So, as you can imagine, my days have been a real joy ever since people decided that every question presented, including NAME, has a hidden agenda. Items that have been routinely asked for DECADES I might add!
There seem to be (2) questions that set people off on a personal protest, lecture or comments on everything unfair. Let me introduce you to race and ethnicity. Again, why?
Um, first of all, it’s evident to anyone with eyes if you’re black, white, orange or blue and secondly, you do have the FREEDOM to not answer the questions. Places do exist where options are not a thing, and this isn’t one of them.
Recently a new patient completed his form and vigorously crossed out ALL of the race selections to write A M E R I C A N across the page. Where does one begin?
Do I ….
a) Inform him that “AMERICAN” is not a race or an ethnicity unless you are in fact a NATIVE. Based on his white hair, blue eyes and Fighting Irish jacket, I’m going to risk stating that his ancestors were not the hot guys in loincloths at the first Thanksgiving.
b) Ask WTF does that mean? Outloud!
c) Earn an Oscar nomination for exhibiting an extreme level of control while in the presence of an ass. Is there a category for “best poker face?”
See you on the red carpet folks! I have bills to pay ya know.
Next up are the folks who REFUSE to complete the ethnicity portion of the form, which is fine, and again, you have that right. In fact, there is even a little box that says DECLINES TO PROVIDE.
NO ONE, especially me is forcing you to reveal your heritage. However, one does not have to be Nancy Drew to solve that mystery or at least come close. I don’t think I’ll ever understand what makes people tick.
My faith in humanity weakens when I think about the passion associated with these “protests” and how that energy is wasted on something so senseless. Ugh!
Do they realize that their name, address, social security number, phone numbers, employer information, marital status and the name of a family member for an emergency contact have just been delivered on a silver platter, which dramatically weakens their argument and provides enough evidence to trace their roots back to a cave? Dear Lord!
Use your energy wisely and as always, Enjoy the Ride!
It’s time to be inspired by the passion, the message, the power and the determination that can not only be heard, but can be felt through the voice of Lillie McCloud. Personally, I have never heard this song and if I’m being honest, it’s not something that I would seek out for my playlist…until today. Age is just a number folks!
May you all have goosebumps while you Enjoy the Ride!
Music has always played a part in my life. I really can’t remember a time when there wasn’t some sort of music in our house, including my mother’s rendition of Reading & Writing and Arithmetic which was used to get us out of bed. Poor thing couldn’t carry a tune if it had a handle.
My dad’s contribution to our listening “pleasure” came through the likes of someone by the name of Boxcar Willie, who according to Wikipedia was an American singer, who sang in the “old-time hobo” music. No doubt this is what lead to my despise of country music.
Then there was my oldest sister’s influence of the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple. Sneaking into her room to see the Sticky Fingers album cover was a highlight of my childhood. The zipper really worked!
As kids we were always putting on musical productions in our garage. We made a curtain out of sheets, while our broom handles doubled as microphones. Good times! Our first big show included Proud Mary by the legendary Tina Turner. My sister, who was the oldest of the crew at the age of 10, gave herself the titles of producer, director & choreographer of the show. She was ruthless! During our rehearsals she tapped her red yardstick on the cement floor while pacing the room waiting for one of us to miss a step giving her the added pleasure of screaming START AGAIN. To this day when I hear that song I am compelled to do my routine and I have.
My preteen and teen years were loaded with a very wide variety of tunes. I loved Donna Summer, Evelyn Champagne King and the soundtrack to Grease just as much as Van Halen, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick & Cars. It all depended on the mood and the moment. Some moments I would like to forget, like the time someone most likely some stupid boy brought me to tears. This provided my friend’s older brother and biggest crush, the ammunition he needed to BLAST Van Halen’s Jamie’s Crying from his garage as I walked home from school. I can’t hear that song without acknowledging my first love/hate relationship.
The 20’s were loaded with dance music. I loved sharing the 80’s club scene with the King of Pop Michael Jackson and the Queen of all things 80’s Madonna. These icons were definitely staples in my musical life at that time. Along with shoulder pads & BIG flammable hair of course.
My 30’s…hmm, clearly a dark period in the music department. I had to surrender to the listening choices of the little ones, which included the screeching sounds of Barney the Dinosaur, Binyah Binya the Jamaican Pollywog or whatever other shows were keeping them entertained at the time. I don’t know about the kids, but I can still sing every song! Things started to look a little brighter when my daughter became obsessed with N’Sync and my son insisted on listening to REM’s Man on the Moon on the way to preschool. There is a God!
Currently I am all over the place with my musical selections. One peek at my playlist would clue you in on my wide range. There are days when Al Green is at the top of the list and then there are those days when Alice In Chains blaring is absolutely necessary to decompress during the car ride home. After all music is what feelings sound like…right?
Today I’ll admit that nothing fills the musical section of my heart more than seeing my nephew Ty and his band MACH22 living their dream through their passion for music. They recently had the opportunity to open for Slash with Myles Kennedy, the Conspirators and Foxy Shazam at the House of Blues in Atlantic City. As if that weren’t enough…
They were also hand selected by Slash himself as the Grand Prize winners of a nationwide contest hosted by Guitar Center. This was quite an honor considering the amount of competition! All of these achievements are coming on the heels of launching their first album American Swagger. I’m looking forward to this addition to my playlist.
Music makes the world a better place, so crank it up while you … Enjoy the Ride!
The suspense is over folks! The Oscar goes to Life With The Top Down for her stellar performance as a balloon handler in Philadelphia’s 93rd annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. Insert a standing ovation and roars of applause while the camera pans over to my I won I won I won face.
It was all I imagined it would be and so much more. I would like to thank my dear friend Susanne for her consistent pleas on Facebook for volunteers to represent the SPCA. And also for signing me up before I even said yes! If it weren’t for your ability to beg, plead and forge my name, I would not be beaming from ear to ear today. 2012 is the best Thanksgiving on record.
I would also like to give a HUGE shout out to my daughter for joining me in the shenanigans of the day. Not to mention getting up early, taking pictures and limiting her eye rolling. But, most of all for being by my side as I fulfilled this dream.
Living your dream is not an easy task to tackle. It doesn’t matter if you’re climbing mountains or carrying a 40 foot latex Lorax through the streets of Philadelphia, there will be obstacles and lessons along the journey. Some good, some bad and some……
The day started with getting UP at 2:00a.m., out into the bitter cold by 3:00, dressed in an orange jumpsuit with gold “hair” looking as if I escaped from Disco prison and inflating balloons in the street … all by 3:45 a.m. For the Love of God I never in my life thought that sentence would come from me!
Honestly, there is nothing more disturbing than approaching an alleyway blanketed with deflated cartoon characters. It looked like a crime scene for christ’s sake! Once the shock wore off we were put to work.
The night before the big show it was brought to my attention that I would also be part of the “Inflation Team” just something else to beef up the resume. Actually volunteering for this team landed the SPCA a nice donation by the parade coordinators. Life is good! The pleasure was all mine as I assisted in the resuscitation of Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Hungry Caterpillar and of course The Lorax.
I met so many amazing people on this journey. The SPCA volunteers were a genuinely compassionate group of people who were a pleasure to have in my company. Living the dream surrounded by good people was a perk.
We were interviewed by WPVI 6ABC, where I graciously answered the question “Is there anyone here who always wanted to do this? with a very enthusiastic “YES! me…it has always been my dream!” Nothing confirms crazy like silence from a News Reporter.
Next up was Sam Champion from Good Morning America. This time I stayed back while Susanne & Emily took center stage with Sam. He was so nice, genuine and very easy on the eyes in person. It was very exciting!
While they were out hobnobbing with celebrities, I chose to spend some quality time with an Auguste a/k/a a Clown. I’ll admit I was a little jealous that they were on National TV. Hey, this is my dream right? So, what does one do when she’s green with envy? She roams the street looking for her own celebrity, in this case the Christmas Clown. If you’re gonna live it, you gotta do it all….including Christmas Clowns. I’ll admit our relationship was brief. We didn’t exchange names or numbers, but with both walked away with a little extra spring in our step.
While spending some time in our trailer, sipping on an endless supply of hot coffee & cocoa, by trailer I mean Septa bus with hot beverages supplied by the Red Cross, I had the pleasure of meeting “Simon.” This young man was with the wonderful crew of hardworking men who provide these latex beauties for parades all across the country.
He came in with a big “Hello, how’s everyone doing today” “Are you all having a good time?” No one was spared hearing about my dream, including Simon. I told him my tale of living the dream, when he opened up to me about his dream of wanting to try out for Xfactor, he was a singer. I said “show me what you got…sing me a song.” After some intense begging, he took my challenge.
This brave young man began to snap his fingers, tap his foot and provide us all with an AMAZING version of Lady In My Life by Michael Jackson. It was indeed a memorable moment that will not be forgotten anytime soon. Not many people can take on an icon like MJ, but this 18-year-old did and he nailed it! The rest of his story is for another post. That’s all I can say is, I’m much whiter than I thought.
FINALLY around 7:30 we headed out onto the street to get the Lorax ready for his debut. We didn’t actually get into the parade line until around 9:00, which meant standing in the cold for over an hour while we held the balloon. At this point one of the other handlers offered me a swig of vodka from her flask. Seriously? I told her ” I can’t drink, I’m operating heavy equipment.” forgetting she also had a damn rope! Just imagine getting a DUI for walking a Lorax while intoxicated…come on.
Once we began our journey down JFK Blvd., greeted by thousands of people screaming Happy Thanksgiving and chanting Spin It! Spin It! Spin It! I was beaming like a glowworm.
We willfully met the demands of the crowd by running in circles with the balloon.They roared with enthusiasm as we scored a perfect 10 for our performance. Meanwhile with every “Spin it” I peed a little…mind you, this went on for hours. NOTE TO SELF: Wear A Diaper.
As we approached the Grand Stand our Captain informed us we will be on TV, so this was our moment to shine just a little brighter. This is when it occurred to me that I lost my Disco hair 4 “Spin Its” back and I was walking in soaking wet pee pants! It’s not exactly what I imagined, but the dream must go on.
I put on my camera face, gripped my rope a little tighter and handled that latex Lorax like a boss!
Live your dreams and Enjoy The Ride!