Friday, February 16, 2018

Affordable Health Scare


A gentleman posted this receipt to his Facebook page.

It illustrates what he has to pay for his one month supply of insulin.

Three, little vials.

$808.00!

He says he now works a second job so he can afford the insulin.

The real shame in this matter is that he HAS health insurance.

With a major insurer: Blue Cross Blue Shield.

His dilemma is that he has to pay out of pocket up to $7K!

WHAT THE #$@!!!!!!!???

I know very few people who can afford to pay for rent/mortgage, utilities, homeowner's insurance, earthquake insurance, car payments, car maintenance, food AND a monthly, eight-hundred-dollar insulin tab!

MADNESS, I say! MADNESS!

Until we demand that our elected, government officials pay for their own healthcare, they'll never give a damn about ours. As a whole, we, the people, MUST get to the polls and kick out EVERY, SINGLE representative who doesn't do what we want them to do.

Hell, that's how their rich donors do it!

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Obamas in Portraiture

Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley 2018

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama by Amy Sherald 2018

Today, the Obamas' official portraits for the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery were unveiled.

Immediately, I recognized Barack and liked what I saw.

I looked at Michelle's and to be absolutely honest wasn't quite sure I was looking at Michelle. I suspect my taste in portraiture leans toward damn near exact replicas of the subject.

The artists commissioned to paint the Obamas are the first black artists to ever be granted such a privilege. Ever.


Barack's artist is Los Angeles native Kehinde Wiley.


Michelle's artist is Columbus, GA born Amy Sherald.

On Facebook, I praised Kehinde's portrait and passive-aggressively poo-pooed Amy's.

Since I didn't think her portrait looked enough like Michelle, I summarily dismissed it.

And that was immature of me to do since I had no idea what her artistry is about. My response to it was visceral. No thought at all.

After reading this New York Times profile of Amy, I realized I needed to take a closer look at her portrait of Michelle. And when I did, I saw something different.

I saw Michelle.

No, not an exact replica, but I saw Michelle.

The NY Times article also compelled me to see that Amy is an INSPIRATION. She paints because she believes it's her reason for being alive. And because she doesn't think she knows how to do anything else. Haaa! Doesn't that sound familiar?

I applaud Kehinde and Amy for being the first artists who look like them to be invited to share their immense talent on such a national scale.

It never ceases to amaze me the lofty heights one can reach with a lot of discipline mixed with a little blood, sweat and tears.

Climb on!

Climb on!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Mardi Gras in L.A.


Last night, I attended the annual Mardi Gras party hosted by actor Nick Ballard and his lovely, expectant wife, Natalie.

It's always a good time at the party, because I get to meet some new, cool folks.

I met another cat from Indianapolis. Mr. Andre Hall.

He told me he graduated from Broad Ripple High School, which is closing as a high school soon. He also said he attended my alma mater, John Marshall High School, but after it had been transformed into a middle school. It, too, is closing.

He also said he attended Purdue University for two or three years, then broke out to begin an acting career. His stint on Tyler Perry's Love They Neighbor is where I first saw him, but I didn't realize that 'til I just looked him up.



I also talked to another of Tyler's actors. Gavin Houston. He's one of the stars of Tyler Perry's The Haves And The Have Nots.

He and his wife girlfriend significant other were great! I really sensed how much of a team they are together. And in this town, especially, all of us need such an ally. See an interview with him HERE.

Next year, I think I'll just have to check out the real Mardi Gras in New Orleans! Nick makes the event sound like one helluva great time, filled with great food and drink (the Hurricane)!

Yep, I'm there!

Friday, February 9, 2018

What I Know For Sure

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In my humble opinion, this world is comprised of two kinds of people.

Those who can withstand heat.

And those who can't.

Yesterday, Hollywood lost a film producer/exec who couldn't withstand the heat.

So, she killed herself.

Her name was Jill Messick.

I had never heard of her until yesterday. And when I first read the title of an article about her suicide, my heart dropped.

All I could think was, why?

Her family believes her demise is the direct result of simply not being able to take the attention thrust upon her by Rose McGowan and Harvey Weinstein in this #MeToo movement.

I suspect Jill received ugly messages from people who believed she was complicitous in protecting Harvey Weinstein. And was also probably worried about her livelihood being affected adversely because of the media attention.  Heck, maybe she had already taken a career blow, which pushed her over the edge.

At present, only her family knows the particulars. I have to admit, I hope she left behind a note. A note that we, the public, get to read some day.

What I know for sure is that very few people can handle the feeling of being a lone wolf against the world. People need community. And for many, that means lots of community.

People need unsullied reputations.

People need to know that life is difficult.

Sometimes.

Or oftentimes.

Curiosity truly has me wondering about the specifics of what caused her to end her life.

And I want to know because I'd like to learn something from them.

And/or because I'm nosy.

There are people who truly can't stand the heat.

So, they elect to get out of the kitchen of life.

Yep, lots of people get out.

And among those people is...

#HerToo.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Cluttered Mess


I can't stand clutter.

But truth be told, damn near everybody I know who has a garage has a garage that's filled with clutter.

And damn near everybody I know who has a garage wishes the garage wasn't!

Goes to show that most folks want to fill every empty space they find.

Wherever they find it.

I like minimalism.

Probably to a fault.

I can't stand clutter.

And that's that!

Perspective


I took one look at this illustration yesterday, and my immediate thought was one thing, then I read what others thought who viewed it, and opened my mind to other thoughts.

It's amazing to me how we can see the same thing, yet see something different.

I saw a black man attempting to hold another black man back from climbing a tree as a white man helped another white man up the tree.

Someone else said she saw a black man clinging onto another black man as he was being pulled him up the tree. I've gotta admit, I like her perspective better than mine.

Heck, what it all boils down to is perspective.

Whether we like what we see, or dislike it,

It all comes down to perspective.

At 54 years of age, I clearly see that whatever serves me is how I choose to view everything!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Respectfully Agree To Disagree


Years ago, a bride invited me to her wedding in San Diego. She is the sister of one of my gay friends from New York City. When she invited me, she told me that, if I came to the wedding, I couldn't bring a male partner. She didn't believe in same-sex unions. She told the same thing to her brother, who did have a partner. He was highly insulted that his partner couldn't attend with him, so he decided not to go.

I went.

Alone.

And I had a great time.

I wasn't offended by her request. And I wasn't offended because, to me, it was HER wedding. And her wedding should have been precisely as she wanted it. I could either attend, or not. No biggie to me.

Shortly after the wedding, I told one of my sisters about the bride's wishes.  And she told me that if I were to have a marriage ceremony with someone of the same sex, she wouldn't attend the event.

She made it clear that she, too, didn't believe in same-sex unions.

Truth be told, her statement didn't upset me, either. Not in the least. And it didn't upset me because I truly believe in respecting the beliefs of others as I'd want them to respect mine.

People don't have to agree on everything.

But their disagreement should be respectfully communicated.

The video below has polarized viewers. Some believe the mother is horrible. Others believe the son is being too thin-skinned.

I watched the video, and I truly listened to both parties. And I respect what each had to say.

Sometimes, what we want, and what others want, are in direct opposition.

It's best for our psychological well-being to accept that fact, and keep it movin'.

If anybody I know chooses not to attend any event I invite them to, I'll accept their decision without resentment. My event would still go on. And I'll still set out to have the time of my life during the event.

Agreeing to disagree is fine with me.

As long as the disagreement is communicated respectfully.

Simple as that.