Never Forgetting – September 11th

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Most everyone who was alive on that day, remembers where they were and what they were doing. For me, it was one of the most difficult days of my life. Most Americans and much of the world were grief-stricken, confused and angry. It brought us together in a way I’d never seen in my life.

I, like many bloggers, took part in a Project 2996 and in the ensuing years, wrote tributes to victims of 911. But as the years have passed, the enthusiasm for never forgetting has waned. Conspiracy theories have taken the place of reverence and our national cynicism has returned. That makes my heart hurt. But people move on. It’s hard to maintain grief. It’s easier to be self-involved, skeptical and worry about your manicure than to carry the weight of a national tragedy. I’m not judging, just observing.

Even I struggle with what to say to commemorate this awful piece of American history. It seems it has all been said – and there is little I can add, if anything.

I suppose all I really want to say is that I still think about that day. I still grieve for the people who died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time – and for the family and friends they left behind. And I hope that all Americans take at least a moment out of their day on Sunday to say a prayer for the people that we lost and for our country and for each other.

God Bless.

Annie

Thoughts about Dallas

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  • We have to stop killing each other.
  • We have to stop believing that killing each other solves anything.
  • We have to realize that anger unfocused only makes things worse.
  • Are things any better because these husbands, fathers and war veterans are now dead?
  • If you find these deaths cause to celebrate, what does that say about you?
  • How does protesting an unjust death by committing an unjust murder make things right?
  • Is this some kind of competition, where the only goal is the even the score?
  • Whose wounds are now healed because of this?
  • When did we stop valuing all lives?
  • How did we get to this place?
  • How do we get out of this place?

If you want to read about the fallen officers you can here and here.

Or share your story via Twitter #bluestories

Please pray for the police officers and their families and everyone impacted by this terrible event. And that we can find a way to heal without further violence.

Orlando

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There are no words

Only tears

There is no wisdom

Only pain

Theories…

spiraling out of control

Opinions…

Flying like petals on the wind

give

No comfort

No answer

No solution

The time is now

For stillness

For opens arms

For understanding

For gathering our humanity

Into a loving embrace

Turn off the noise

And open your heart

Listen to your brothers and sisters weeping

Turn to that

And give them comfort

This is not about you

Or your causes

This is all our tragic loss

Feel it

Let it enter your heart

And

Just

Feel

It

 

Much love and blessing to the victims and their families. I weep for you.

Annie

Ten things the 2016 election cycle has ruined for me

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I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a political junkie but I try to keep my inner junkie inside most of the time. However, come election time she scratches her way out to join in all the fun. This year was especially something to look forward to because well, it wasn’t going to be the same old same old. Right? And just when I thought I might really enjoy this election cycle, not only did things go off the rails, there are no freaking rails.

And instead of all the fun I looked forward to, the cycle has simply ruined things for me. Following is my list:

The color orange. It’s not that orange was my favorite color but now I can’t look at it without seeing Trump’s orangey pink skin. You’d think that “one of the richest men in the world” could afford a better tanning bed, spray tan and make up artist. He probably should stop purchasing his products in CHYNAH.

Cheetos. And other favorite orange food—dreamsicles, tangerines, papaya, mangoes, orange lifesavers, orange Jell-O – and I can’t even look at raw chicken.

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The word great. Likewise the words: terrific, fantastic, really, winning, best, hell even the word, word has lost all charm and appeal. And liar, loser and lying have virtually no meaning anymore either.

Election years. I have always enjoyed presidential election years because of the drama, surprises and unpredictable situations you never see coming. This year however, it is nothing but a flat out slug fest between candidates, supporters and media outlets. It’s ugly and keeps getting uglier. Even when you think you’ve hit rock bottom, somebody unearths a new bottom. And it’s about as much fun as root canal without anesthesia.  Although we got a little comic relief when the Libertarians added live stripping to their convention. What’s next? Lap dances by candidates?

The myth that most people have common sense. Seriously, can anybody believe that common sense is a live and well in America when the presumptive candidates are the two most reviled people in the country?

 

Taco salads. This picture: taco salad
Is he going to eat that thing or molest it? Either way, feeling pretty sorry for the salad, no matter its fate.

Hair. Whether it’s the old man comb-over, the grandma shellacked bullet head, or the Muppet style shag, all hairstyles are dead to me now.

candidate hair

Facebook. Social media always has political stuff but generally is easy to scroll right past. And I’ll get in there sometimes and bat things around myself. But this year it is wall to wall and there’s no scrolling past it. That’s all that is in my feed. From erroneous, crazy, gross, vile memes, to trolls swarming, name calling, to non-stop propaganda on every topic under the sun – it’s a jungle out there.

The Internet. I used to love the Internet. Each day when you logged on you never knew what you were gonna get. These days though you can’t swing a dead politician without hitting a story or meme on trump, trumpers, trumperism, trump tweets, trump train, anti-trump, nevertrump, alwaystrump, “what’s trump done this time?,” neverhillary, onlyhillary, who’s hillary?, indict hillary, feeling berns…. Where are those cute cat videos that used to be so popular?

Reality TV. It’s not that I’m a big fan of reality TV but I once found it somewhat amusing. But since reality TV is running for president, the spoofy goofy nature of the medium isn’t quite as funny. And definitely amusing. And I find myself constantly muttering, “Is this a joke?”

What about you? Are you sick of this already? Has this election business ruined stuff for you? Are you looking for good cat videos? Feel free to add to the list or voice your gripes in the comments. The election cycle isn’t even close to over yet folks, and we’ve got a long five months ahead of us – give us strength.

Remembering our Fallen

Memorial Day is often thought of as just another three-day weekend, a chance for barbecues, awesome sales or even a day at the beach. I like all of those things too and will probably participate in some of them this weekend. But I also like to take some time to reflect on the hundreds of thousands of men and women who  gave their lives so that we can enjoy our freedoms. Please pray for our fallen and their families.

 

Elizabeth Keen is Alive – For Now

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Well it appears that my question from my previous post, was answered.

Indeed, Lizzie Keen is alive. Her death was faked with the help of Mr. Kaplan and once again with reiteration of the theme of this show of ‘keeping Lizzie safe.’ I have to say I feel vindicated, at least a little. I just knew Liz wasn’t gone for good. Although, like many of you, I expected her to show up in the Fall season opener, rather than in the finale of this season.

A question of paternity

And naturally, as soon as they answered the ‘Is she really dead?’ question they laid another on us – ‘Is Alexander Kirk really Liz’s father? I, like many Blacklist fans, harbor the belief that Red is Lizzie’s real dad and will probably cling to that belief until the show’s writers prove otherwise. I don’t believe that Kirk is anything other than a red herring brought in to confuse us and Liz. What do you think?

Other cliffhanging questions

Also the show left us hanging as to the fate of Tom Keen and Mr. Kaplan, who was last scene with her face in a not too happy Red’s hands. Would he really dispose of his loyal and reliable cleaner? And what of Tom? Has he finally used up his last of nine lives? I think we’ll be seeing him again. Perhaps Mr. Kaplan will have to fake his death too.

In the meantime, I’ll have to comfort myself with reruns from this season, hunting for hidden clues that eluded me in the first viewing.

What about you? Do you think Mr. Kaplan is toast? What about Tom? Did they kill him or is he just stashed in a Russian prison, catching mice and cockroaches for dinner? Is Alexander Kirk Liz’s father, or is this another head fake from the writers? And will the rescue for Liz occur in the new season opener or are they going to make us work for it?  Feel free to share your opinions and theories in the comments.

Is Elizabeth Keen Really Dead?

lizzie keen

I don’t know about you, but I am addicted (there I said it!) to the NBC show, The Blacklist. For four seasons I have watched while the ever story telling Red Reddington has dazzled and dazed me, causing me to ask countless questions, like:

  • Are you Lizzie’s father?
  • Who is Lizzie’s mother and was she really a Russian spy?
  • Can you answer a question without telling a story to illustrate your point?
  • Why do so many women find you irresistible?

Is this another fake out?

Over the four seasons of the show we have been faked out. We originally thought that Tom, Lizzie’s husband was just a cute, somewhat nerdy elementary school teacher. Only to discover he was a Russian spy or is that agent, then to find out that Red hired him, to now discovering he is Liz’s true soulmate. A once heartless killing machine who has found his soul thanks to true love. And then sadly to lose the love of his life and the reason for his salvation on the day their daughter is born.

But has he? Is Lizzie Keen really dead? I have my doubts. Just like I did when she was a blonde for a whole season. Or when all clues pointed to her becoming a sort of surrogate daughter in crime with Red.

Her funeral is in the next episode, how might they bring her back after that?

The next episode is to center around Liz’s funeral and then the requisite pursuit of her killer. Which personally I found a little confusing because I thought she died because of complications from the car accident and delivery. But you know, it’s episodic television, so okay.

Anyway, here is my theory:

Liz isn’t really dead but in order to protect her from the shadow agents/group pursuing her presumably because of her Russian spy mother’s sins, the whole world must believe she is dead for the time being.

Once Red and the whole special FBI task force has located the real threat to her, it will be revealed that she has been living in a FBI safe house in Oklahoma, donning a red wig and Birkenstoks.

She only seemed dead and looked dead because the doctor, who we already know was friends with Liz injected some super magical drug that made her look that way. The body used in the funeral will turn out to be a double or even made of wax. I mean who’s going to check to be sure?

Naturally, Tom will feel a bit miffed for having had to raise Agnes on  his own for a year or so, but he’ll be so happy that he doesn’t have to be a single dad, that he’ll soon forgive her.

Though of course they won’t be able to jump into Tom’s boat and set sail for the happily ever after. Somehow Agnes will become the center of some plan or Tom will be tempted to return to his own life. Or Liz will mount her own investigation into who her mother and father really is.  Heck, maybe that’s what she’s doing now, while everybody, including Red thinks she’s dead.

What are your theories?

So there you have it, my theory. Do you have one? Do you like me, think that Lizzie is still alive only to reappear at some later date, or is the Blacklist just becoming its own spinoff and morphing into a whole new show? Feel free to float any theories you like in the comments.

A lollapalooza of great links to start off the week

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Birth vs Battle by David Corbett suggests that conflict ain’t everything in a story.

The Cyber Exchange Principle from the Writer’s Forensic Blog explains the Locard Exchange – the basis for using forensic evidence in crime detection.

An Almost Perfect Murder by Sue Coletta. Fascinating case study of a surgeon who almost got away with murder.

11 Tips to help you build your online community by Cat Michaels provides sage advice for building your platform.

Do You Know Where Your ISBNs Are? by Joel Friedlander, is a good nuts and bolts on ISBNs plus a free download.

How to write a great love scene by  Jessi Rita Hoffaman, provides some great tips on avoiding the schmaltz and getting to the gold in a love scene.

Who really killed JonBenet Ramsey by Garry Rodgers is an in depth analysis of the case and who the likely killer was of this sweet little girl.

Just for fun – I guess the shelf life for Shades has reached critical mass

And for laughs: Jimmy Fallon does a helluva Trump impression and this made me laugh out loud.

And just to get your week starting off right a little music.

TRUTH IS RELENTLESS

I wanted to share something from my good friend and spiritual blogger, Sharie. She writes straight from her heart and if there is anything we need more of in this world, it’s heart.

Sending Joy

“When truth has come all pain is over.”  A Course In Miracles

“I will spend this day relentlessly choosing Truth.”

Together, let’s trust that there is a Higher Being that lives within us and loves us beyond words. 

Let’s trust that our purpose and our function is happiness and nothing else. And if we can’t believe or trust in this yet, let’s decide it doesn’t matter. He, Who carries us and our own true Self cannot be disturbed by something as trivial as disbelief. For the truth of our existence comes from the Love and the Heart of God’s own Divine Plan. The Plan was set in motion long ago and nothing so small as fear or doubt can stop the Truth. 

Truth is  relentless, constant and eternal.  Our limited thoughts and lack of understanding, may cause us to fear or doubt that this is so.  We may fight it or try…

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