Category Archives: Uncategorized

Farewell to Robin Williams: a thank you note

Lisa Jakub

robin

Robin Williams died today.

It seems surreal to write that.

But since writing is the way I process the incomprehensible — I find myself writing.

Everyone is tweeting and facebooking and calling into radio shows about what a great talent Robin was.

Yeah. He was. But that wasn’t what I adored about him. It was the fact that he was an incredibly kind human being.

When I was 14 years old, I went on location to film Mrs. Doubtfire for five months, and my high school was not happy. My job meant an increased workload for teachers, and they were not equipped to handle a “non-traditional” student. So, during filming, they kicked me out.

It’s devastating, at 14, to have your formal education terminated. I felt like a freak and a reject. When I arrived at work the next day, Robin noticed that I was upset and asked me what was wrong. I…

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Seventy Years Ago Today: Utah Beach, Normandy

Hugh Nibley [off the record]

Photo of American soldiers onboard a ship approaching the coast of Normandy. American soldiers wait onboard their ship as they approach the coast of Normandy, June 6, 1944. Photo: National Archive

There was a big French battleship blazing away right next to us, and the Germans zeroed in on us with their 88s as we put the rope over the side and started to swarm down into the landing craft. As soon as I got down the rope ladder, the very spot where I should have been waiting on the ship was hit by an 88, and half a dozen tankmen were blown up. The chaplain I had been talking to was wounded. 

The landing craft went in as far as it could, and then there were still a couple of hundred yards – quite a way to go yet. I climbed in the Jeep and revved her up. I had packed it with sandbags so we could get some hold on…

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When you are brave, remarkable things can happen….

Not The Perfect 10

When you are brave, remarkable things can happen....

I can’t say that I’ve achieved great things in my life, or that I have done anything particularly remarkable thus far. I try to be a better, more courageous version of myself every single day and I’m not sure anyone could ask for more from me.

When I suffered with depression I found it difficult to function and I existed in a state of fear. Now that I’ve left that darkness behind me, whenever I start to feel afraid or nervous, I think of those who have gone before me, who displayed immense and unyielding bravery in the face of the most unbearable situations, and I’m instantly humbled. This kicks me back to reality, and I feel utterly grateful for all of the blessings in my life, which I’m guilty of taking for granted far too often.

My Grandfather, Percy Beard, was a Royal Engineer World War 2 Veteran, who…

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The 4th of March 2014 – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C.

Forgotten Correspondence

(found, stained with tears and crumpled into a ball, at the foot of it)

My dear Mary Lou –

My trip to The Nation’s Capital (that’s the official name according to all the souvenir shops) is going so well. I’ve seen so much, all those sights. I’ve seen so many people, all in fresh-pressed, dark-colored clothes, all walking fast like they’ve got an important place to be.

I’m sorry you couldn’t make the trip. I guess you could blame it on being the older sister and mom needing you around the house, but I’ll thank you for your kindness and your generosity. I wouldn’t have made it without your sacrifice.

I’ve spent almost the whole time down at the National Mall. The guidebooks say you can get through it all in one day, but I’ve gone three days straight and I haven’t made it halfway through yet.

They…

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How the Grinch Stole Grammar!

Stroppy Editor

(With apologies to Dr Seuss)

Every Who down in Who-ville liked English a lot
But the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!
Whenever he thought of the language, he’d languish
In horrified anger and furious anguish!
But the funny thing was that beneath all this hate
He somehow believed, well, that English was great.
But it wasn’t the English the Whos wrote and spoke –
No! THAT made him scowl! Made him fume! Made him choke!
Made him choke!
Made him choke!
Made him CHOKE! CHOKE! CHOKE! CHOKE!

So what on earth was it the innocent Whos
Were doing so wrong with the language they’d use?
If you were to walk into Who-ville one day
You’d see lots of people with fine things to say.
They’d joke and exclaim and they’d promise and sing,
They’d chat and debate – yes, they’d do anything
That this wonderfully versatile…

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The Memorial Day America Will Never Celebrate

V e t P o l i t i c s

By Jay Kirell

Memorial Day 2014.

Another year, another start to the summer vacation season where America takes a day off to remember those who died in war.

Flags will be flown.  Words will be spoken.  The dead will be honored.

Being one of the many who served overseas that didn’t die in war, (but came reeeeally close) I have a unique view of death and how we, as a nation honor it.

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Zombie What Ifs IV

Jack Flacco

If you’re new to Monday Mayhem, you’ll appreciate that I not only delve on the dark side of zombiehood, but also on the lighter side. And if you’re one of those folks who’s been reading me for a while, then by today’s title you’ll recognize where I’m going with this post.

Zombie Hunting License Zombie Hunting License

That’s right. It’s that time again, folks. It’s time to put your thinking caps on and help me escape the zombies. Are you ready to indulge in some serious undead running? It ain’t gonna be pretty. Not today.

How it works: I present a scenario filled with zombies, and your job is to figure out a way to escape. Of course I’ll give you my answer telling you what I’d do, but it doesn’t mean that’s what you would do. That’s up for you to decide. And if you missed them, here are the first three parts:

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Guns are not the issue, People are the issue

19F – The Night Venezuela Finally Imploded

Caracas Chronicles

Penned-in protesters in Altamira, awaiting their fate. Penned-in protesters in Altamira, awaiting their fate.

Tonight, Venezuela is seeing a spasm of violence that’s unlike anything the country has experienced since 1989. Information is fragmented, since an almost complete media black-out is in place, but you don’t need the media to hear your neighbor’s screams.

Caracas, Valencia, Merida and San Cristobal in particular have become virtual war zones: National Guard units and National Police have been shooting tear gas canisters and buckshot sometimes directly at protesters, sometimes into residential buildings and, raiding any place they think student protesters may be hiding. Alongside them, the government backed colectivos (basically paramilitary gangs on motorbikes, a tropical basij) shoot at people with live ammo.

But of course, this is no war zone: in a war zone you have two sides shooting at each other. Tonight one side is doing all the shooting, the other side is doing all the being shot at.

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Movie Theater 101

Small Town Famous

Long lines at a movie theater have always been a pet peeve of mine. Call me impatient, an asshole, a jerk, or whatever insults you may carry, just leave a message after the beep. If you want some tips on how NOT to be when going to a movie, keep reading…

Rule #1: Always Look Ahead Of Time
There are several methods to look up movie times now days. The internet and news paper are your best bet. Or you can do it old fashion and call up your local theater and listen to the pre-recorded message. Never show up just randomly. You’ll always miss a movie by 15 minutes or the next one wont be for 2 hours. It always happens and you know it always happens so don’t trust your gut because it’s always going to be wrong.

Rule #2: Never Bring An Infant
I know I know…showing…

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