Buzzed Off My Hair For ALS

In my life, I have been not so attractive, and I have been quite attractive (not to brag or anything).

Most people would call me cheerful, creative, and free spirited.

Some people, like my husband, call me crazy.

As some of you might remember, I wrote about my father getting diagnosed with ALS at the age of 48 and losing that battle shortly after his 50th birthday.

He was an inspiration because he never complained and his sense of humor remained sharp and strong.

Recently, I’ve learned of a few deaths caused by ALS who were either members of local police departments or close family members of police I know.

And then it was discovered that Bryan Rickards – K9 Officer from Abington- had been diagnosed with ALS in February of this year (after almost a year of searching for an answer as to why his body seemed to be going wonky).

I first met Bryan a long time ago – when I was a Store Detective (security guard – but store detective sounds much more exciting).

I LOVED that job. It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had at a job. I worked for Bloomingdales in the Willow Grove Mall.

Bryan would often stop by to visit (as would many Abington cops when they were bored). He always made me and my co-workers laugh. He was always funny, optimistic, cheerful. And almost always had a crazy story.

I never had a close relationship with him and didn’t see him very much for years after I quit. Then a few years ago I started to see him once or twice a year at k9 events.  Bryan is one of those people as soon as you see him – you can’t help but smile and be happy that he is around.

So when I learned he had ALS – I was heartbroken. And because my father had ALS, it always seems to strike me a bit more because I am all too familiar with the disease.

Lately, I’ve known many sad situations with friends being diagnosed with cancer, friends having strokes, one young death in the family (all w/in a few months).  I’m starting to feel like I can’t do ENOUGH or say enough or pray enough (and I’m not even religious).

Bryan had written on his facebook that he doesn’t regard ALS as a punishment, but more as a gift, because it will give him time to heal relationships that need healing and time for him to make peace where needed.

And that was really the only serious thing he has said. He’s been staying positive. His sense of humor is still as on point as ever. Truly, he is inspiring.

One day, last week, I’d shaved the sides of my head a little bit. And then I decided, “HEY, WHY NOT SHAVE MY HEAD!” in order to raise awareness for ALS and funds for Bryan’s Go Fund me that one of his co-worker’s wife had set up for Bryan and his family.

I even put had the barber shave a little Happy Face into the side because Bryan is trying to remain upbeat and happy, and  – thinking at work, customers would ask  me about it, and I could tell them about Bryan’s story.

Well. This was a bad, bad, bad, idea. It was a good intention, but for me, a bad idea.

Also, knowing Bryan, he probably would much more have appreciated and got a big laugh if I would have put my fake boobs into a pushup bra and wrote BUST ALS across them. Who knows, maybe that’s still an option (it would probably get much more likes and raise more awareness on Instagram than my buzzed/happyface haircut did). To which I thank the very few people who liked it (you know who you are!). IMG_3568

The short lesson of it is that, buzz cuts on girls (even with Happy Faces) does not inspire much conversation with my customers. At a somewhat conservative grocery store.

The cut does not look good on me.

My husband calls me Larry.

Though very kind people say, “Oh, you’ve got the face to pull it off!”

At work the first night, I was so uncomfortable (but never will I be as uncomfortable as Bryan or those struggling with serious illness).  I learned many, many lessons about beauty that night and how it influences people. About how we present ourselves to the public and how it does make a difference. Only three people asked me about my hair/the shaved happy face.

The next shift,  I wore a pink wig. Well. The pink wig got MANY compliments. Many people asked me about it, and I was able to mention Bryan and his inspirational perspective on ALS (as well as his GO FUND ME) much more frequently. Old people loved it, young people loved it. It was met with positive reaction.

Geez, instead of buzzing my hair, I should have just worn a pink wig!

IMG_3557

But that’s what happens to me sometimes (and I’m sure it happens to other people as well) – we get so caught up, we want to DO something. Like last summer when one of my childhood best (and also funniest) friends lost her 17 year old daughter in an accident. I wanted to drive my car (which barely makes it thru inspection and every warning light is lit) half-way across the country to be there.

My husband said, “Don’t call me to come and pick you up when your car breaks down!” and my best friend said, “I’m working that weekend, so I couldn’t come and get you.” I was quite mad at my husband, but looking back, my childhood friend who had lost her lovely daughter was surrounded by a large family /friends and community and though I know she would have appreciated my support, I could support her just as I’d been doing by keeping in touch with her.

How much we should do, all depends on the person, too. Some people don’t want any attention. Some people don’t really want attention, but they appreciate small gestures. Sometimes it’s hard to gauge. And some people want to bring awareness to their disease (watch the movie Gleason for a very inspiring movie about ALS). There is no right or wrong way to handle an illness. And I’m sure each person has their own unique experience.

But the one thing I have learned, from my father, and now, reiterated by Bryan, is that it is all about perspective. It is all about silver linings. It’s all about finding humor where and when you can. It’s about turning every obstacle into an opportunity; to bring awareness, knowledge, to make someone laugh, to make someone feel valued, to give someone inspiration. Some might want to reach out and be inspiring to the world, and some might just want to be inspiring to those who are closest to them. But I think that the ability to rise above an illness that that is truly a son-of-a-bitch, is really one of the only ways to not let it get the best of you. Not everyone can rise. (Surely, I don’t think I would). But everyone can try. And there are many inspirational people like Bryan to lead the way.

Please consider donating to Bryan Rickards Go Fund Me. If you don’t have the money, please just consider posting it on facebook or passing alone the information, or praying for him and his family.

 https://www.gofundme.com/ofc-bryan-rickards-als-fight

 

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”  -Viktor Frankl

Below is a poster you can copy and ask to hang it at work or anywhere you think it might help.

Brian Rickards

Officer Bryan Rickards has served the residents of Abington Township as a Police Officer for the past 19 years. Officer Rickards and his K-9 partner Ivan, are an award winning team, trained in narcotics detection, and patrol operations certified.

On February 16, 2017, Officer Rickards was given the devastating news that he had been diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Laterals Sclerosis). This is a rare and progressively debilitating disease that will prevent him from ever being able to return to work as a police officer.

Bryan has 3 young children, and could really use all the help he can get. The Abington Township Police Association is collecting money to assist in defraying medical costs both current and future and support his family. All proceeds will go directly to Officer Rickards and his family. There is a GoFundMe page, along with a Beef and Beer fundraiser scheduled for April 8, 2017 have been set up to do just that!

Donations are also being accepted by the Abington Township Police Association (A.T.P.A.), PO Box 211, Abington, PA 19001.

Help spread the word!  https://www.gofundme.com/ofc-bryan-rickards-als-fight

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m Dying (Again)

I am certain that I’m going to die soon.
I have to have surgery to remove my meniscus.
Now, listen, to any other person, surgery like this is not a big deal.
But I am not like any other person.
I am overly dramatic.
I also have a cardiac history which I was assured was “nothing” only to discover upon waking up after surgery to have my breasts enlarged (by far the most ridiculous thing I’ve done) that I went into bigeminy and trigemniy while under anesthesia. I also have a tendency to turn anemic, and I have low blood pressure.
So now, anytime I have to have anesthesia, I freak out. I still have my wisdom teeth and was advised to have them removed. But they aren’t causing problems, so I don’t want to take the chance of going under.
I was supposed to have a colonoscopy. Nope. It’s not going to happen. I’m never going to do it. Not unless I’m in so much pain that the fear of being in constant pain lessens the fear of dying on the table. Case in point: I had a complete hysterectomy. I took the chance of dying on the table rather than living with the debilitating symptoms.
Now, the interesting thing is: prior to my hysterectomy, I was sick for almost a year. My blood work correlated to the fact that something was causing my extreme fatigue. I couldn’t take a shower without getting out of breath. Could barely walk the dogs without wheezing. After testing, bumping up my iron, things improved. But in the meantime, the tests had revealed a lesion on my liver, a large diverticulum on my duodenum (I still really do not understand what that means but my GI guy said stop worrying about it, so finally, I did), and a cyst on my ovary that never went away and others that had bled and left scars.
I really became convinced I was dying. And with that in mind, I started to question my life choices. I’d read a series of books that had provided many brilliant insights to how my life might have been more…successful. Might have saved me from a whole hell of a lot of embarrassing choices and mistakes that had been chronic. Would have made me a better parent. A better person.
So I threw a book together as fast as I could and called it “Something that Will Change Your Life.” I took a pen name: Moxie Will (because listen, if people can self-identify as different RACES, surely, I can choose a different name).
I’ve always loved the name Moxie, and believed it fit my personality: quirky, colorful, strives to be courageous. And Will: because I truly believe self-determination is the key to happiness. We makes the human race unique is that we are born with the ability to control our own thoughts, our own attitude. But we’ve been conditioned to believe that we are not capable of making our own good choices. That we are damaged and hardwired to fail; we aren’t really responsible for our actions –we’ll be doomed no matter what we choose, so why not choose pleasure as often as possible!
But as I honestly reviewed my life and my choices, I realized my thoughts had been highly influenced by society: Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” video was released when I was 16 years old. And the articles I read in Teen magazines had less to do with respecting your body by NOT having sex and focused more on “the right of young women to choose to HAVE sex.”
But mostly, it was the books I’d read and movies I’d watched: everything had to do with love. Love was the thing that made the world go around. Finding a person to love you was finding someone who would provide you with a soft landing when the sea of life got too rough.
My parents had been a product of their upbringing and the generation that always sided with adults and placed little value on their kids feelings.
Being the curious and outspoken kid I was growing up; I was often in trouble for question authority (I know, can you believe it?). My parents almost always sided with the ‘grownups.’ – so I was eager to find someone to stick up for me, fight for me – someone like the love interest in almost all the books I read and the movies and TV shows I watched.
Obviously, I didn’t die. I ended up having a hysterectomy and came through with flying colors.
Only now that I was better, the immediacy of getting the lessons I’d learned (so that hopefully, others might make less mistakes and have more satisfaction and happiness in their lives) was not so immediate.
And then my fear of looking stupider than I usually do – which could possibly cause my husband to divorce me (which, would then take away my medical insurance!) – which could alienate my children (who are already embarrassed by ¾ of what I do and say), fear and self-preservation wormed it’s way into mindset.
Also, I was no longer the fun girl. I cared more about striving to be good; to be better, than to be out drinking, partying, shopping, being entertained. To me, learning WAS fun. (Oh my god, maybe I have brain cancer). I focused on history and little known books from the 1950’s and 60’s.
I had all these IDEAS. I have binders full of notes. Full of highlights. Full of writing. Yet, I was too afraid to put anything out there.
I don’t really fit anywhere.
I’m not religious, though I very much respect and admire those who practice.
I’m spiritual in a naturey sort of way.
I’m more Conservative in my values. I believe in tradition. Yet, I’m still, under it all, a rebel who questions the status quo. I’m a huge believer in personal freedom. It shouldn’t be about anyone controlling anyone – it should be about teaching people the value of character and courage and common sense, so that when they are faced with temptations of temporary escape and excessive pleasure; they are aware of the long term consequences to their spirit, their character, and ultimately, their happiness.
When I didn’t die from a mystery disease, when I didn’t die from surgery, a part of my rebel spirit did die.
When I had convinced myself I might be , probably was, dying, I felt free to be myself – to continue to rebel!
When I woke up after surgery (and it takes a-while to heal from a hysterectomy) I was very aware of my mortality.
When I was young and a rebel; it didn’t worry me too much; I still had plenty of time to find a partner and/or become so successful I wouldn’t have to worry about where I’d live and how I’d survive.
Then I started to notice the crows feet, my body started complaining, and I had not become wildly successful.
I did/do have a partner, however. He was/is getting a bit tired of my creativity AND his buying the groceries. I had my own money, but it was not very much. Okay, it’s actually so little that I have stopped even going to consignment shops, coloring my hair, and avoid any celebration that requires giving gifts (which, let’s be honest, the whole gift thing is WAY OUT OF HAND, even people who can easily afford giving gifts agree with me). He has been hoping his support will pay off. I think he’s starting to have more hope in winning the lottery.
The bad news is: I need to have surgery.
The good news is: I again, believe I’m going to die during the operation; it gives me an excuse to worry less about making a fool out of myself, and concentrate more on helping people realize what the difference is between a significant life and a superior life, and what long held beliefs and influences are holding them back from true happiness.
The bad news is: I have no plan of implementation. I am not totally focused. I absolutely know I’m going to embarrass myself (that’s good entertainment for you though, right!).
And if I DO die, well hell, hopefully my message will reach many more people much faster and I’ll save the world after all! Or at least the part that isn’t 100% committed to the Kardashians.

So stay tuned. Though I don’t have a concrete plan, I DO intend to blog every day until the surgery. To share things I’ve experienced. I plan on writing about Tinder. Sex. (Okay, I guess they are the same thing). All the Liberal Things I’ve Done. Hypocrite City. How Forgiveness is Mostly Bullshit. Why we should stop celebrating everything. And much more…

And if I don’t die; then at least I will be farther than I would have been by keeping everything bottled up until I was able to formulate the “perfect” plan. I will know that, once again, I’m facing life in my quirky, somewhat courageous way, and if my husband divorces me, at least I’ll have two good knees to continue dancing through life. In consignment store (but fabulous!) shoes, of course.

Obama To Talk At Rodon Hatfield, Pa

Obama will be visiting a local company owned by Joel Glickman.

On Friday, November 30, he’ll be at the Rodon manufacturing facility; 2800 Sterling Drive in Hatfield.

Mr Glickman, according to stories, keeps his manufacturing in the USA.

But if Obama is such a cheerleader for the USA – why did Obama make Jeff Immelt  (CEO of G.E.) the President of his jobs council? GE hasn’t paid taxes and ships jobs to China! Can you say total HYPOCRISY?

Is Obama still on the campaign trail? Why isn’t he in Washington “rolling up his sleeves” to bring both sides together in regards to the “looming fiscal cliff…”

Why? Because he’s all about photo ops – not hard work.

Instead of tackling Entitlements, he’d rather start class warfare and rage against the wealthy. Dis-unity causes people to be angry and look for a solution – and then Obama promises to be that “solution.”

Oh yes, taxing the 2% will keep pay Washington’s bills – for 8 whole days. Wowza.

Obama is no different than Bush when it comes to crony capitalism. Bush was about banks & finance – and Obama puts all tax payer money into Green Companies owned by big Obama bundlers/donaters.

Hey, at least Bush put money into companies that are still around – unlike Obama who has wasted billions on bankrupt green companies. Here are the top 15 Bankrupt (that OUR money went to financing thanks to Obama) …

Coach Andy Reid and Obama are total failures who continue in a position of power because people refuse to acknowldege reality,they follow blindly and continue to believe in luck.

Believing  Obama will lead this Country into prosperity is about as smart as believing Andy Reid will lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl.

Male Democrat Attacks Female Romney Supporter at Synagogue

This summer, I attended an Democrat Event at Congregation Keneseth Israel. The Obama administration has treated not only ALL Americans horribly with his failed policies, but the Jewish population he has specifcally pandered to while his actions (returning to Palestine Borders, Disrespecting PM Netanyahu (click here for more details) 

To say I was shocked at the large turnout despite how Obama has treated Jews, would be an understatement. Did you know Hitler was so confident in the snow job he did on the public, that Jews could leave the country freely…and yet, they chose to stay, so blinded…

The Jews motto after Hitler is “Never Again!” – and yet – they see ALL of Obama’s actions against Israel – and his help of the Muslim Brotherhood and they fall all over themselves to kiss his feet.  Zombies? Stupid? Ignorant?

I think a mixture of all 3.

I stood outside holding a poster listing things Obama has killed (like jobs, the economy, coal, the USA citizens (one a teenager)  killed in a Drone attack) – and the very “tolerant” Left had some very hostile things to say to me…and one man got physical with me (see the video below). The Drudge Report and Breitbart.Com posted the video to show the intolerance  and hypocrisy Democrat war on Women, anyone?) – but even though I, along with several people, sent the video to local newspapers and news stations  they didn’t touch it. The better to help Obama – and hinder Jews.

The Republican Jewish Coalition is having a  Townhall Meeting at the same location. I do hope I see some Democrats who I saw during the summer, that have woken from their Zombie sleep and finally realized Obama is NO friend to hard working Americans, and certainly no friend to Jews and Christians.

Save the Date: Thursday, November 1
Join us for an important Town Hall Meeting
The Jewish & Pro-Israel Community at a Crossroads –
Critical Issues & Choices Facing the U.S. & Israel in 2012
featuring; Senator Norm Coleman Former, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks.

Registration begins at 6:30 pm
Program begins promptly at 7:00 pm

Congregation Keneseth Israel
8339 Old York Rd.
Elkins Park, PA 19027

For more info about the Townhall Meeting, click HERE

Breitbart Lives On via Jimmy Arone

Jimmy Arone and crew at Tea Party Picnic

How can you not immediately like someone who wears a Breitbart mask at a picnic?

Meet Jimmy Arone – a bonafide Hollywood Conservative who received a call from Andrew Breitbart in January of 2009. Jimmy and Andrew became friends – because, how could anyone with a heart and a sense of humor NOT be a friend to Andrew (thereby proving that Progressives are heartless and lack a funny bone.)

Jimmy wrote several articles for Big Hollywood. Go to Breitbart.com and plug his name in the Search feature and Jimmy’s articles pop up.

Breitbart FEARLESS T-Shirt

Jimmy reached out to me after discovering my blog. In an effort to continue Andrew’s legacy, he’s created t-shirts to honor Andrew; to show America that Andrew Breitbart is still HERE and he lives among the best of us.

Jimmy sent me a Breitbart T-Shirt.  I love it. I love it, I love it, I love it. Not only because it’s a statement, but also because I know that the person who created it knew Andrew, loved Andrew, and continues to champion Andrew’s fight.

I’m now ordering a black t-shirt (he sent me a white one) because I know I’ll be wearing my first t-shirt EVERYWHERE! And it is white. And I like to eat anything BBQ.

Black FEARLESS t-shirt

For info on how to show you are a FEARLESS Breitbart warrior – scroll down to the end of post. But first, please read Jimmy’s story about how he went from a Liberal to a Conservative and how he came to be friends with Andrew:

 

How did you come to be politically aware/involved?

I grew up right outside the great city of Boston, where the three most important things in people’s lives are sports, politics and revenge. Politics are kind of in my blood. I can recall, as a kid, very passionate discussions, between the adults in my life, whenever the subject reared it’s thorny head.

It was a wonderful thing to experience and I believe those conversations have served me well over the years when talk turns to politics.

Jimmy Arone

I’ve been involved as an activist for many years on a number of issues. The key for me has been to educate myself best as I can, take a stand, then take action. When I led the fight against the proposed expansion of our local regional airport back in the early 90’s, I was at city council meetings on a regular basis. Wore the badge of gadfly with honor.

How did you meet Andrew and what did he mean to you?  

I believe, I first became aware of him during an Internet broadcast, in the fall of 2008. He was debating a radio talk show person named Nicole Sandler and the way he handled himself with her and the host, was just a thing of beauty.

She was nasty, rude and seemed so angry. Listening to Andrew that night was like listening to a great verbal prize fight. He totally outclassed and outscored her with his knowledge, coolness and wit. And eventually he knocked her out. I was an immediate fan.

One morning, in January of 2009, shortly after the launch of Big Hollywood, I got an email from Andrew along with his phone number and the words, “call me”. I was taken by surprise but after I called and we spoke for about 15 minutes, I knew I was gonna to be ok. He talked to me about a group of like minded people, who worked in the entertainment industry, that I would soon become part of. I knew that he, along with a small army of new friends, would have my back from there on in.

Not long after our phone conversation, at his invitation, I became a contributor and wrote my first article for Big Hollywood, ‘Conservatives: A Love Story’, in which I shared the story of my moving from the Left to the Right.

Andrew was a good man, who I am proud to call my friend. He inspired me and continues to inspire me. To stand up for the principles which I believe in. To fight the good fight.

To be FEARLESS.

For people who want to continue on fighting his fight, what advice would you offer (i.e.: What would Andrew do?)

Live life. With passion. With energy. With humor. Each day, do the best you can. Love your family along with your country. Don’t take things for granted. Today is all we’ve got. Tomorrow…only God knows.

Andrew lived life balls out…that works for me.

Is the USA half empty or half full and how can we make it better?

I am, for the most part, an optimist, so I tend to look at things as being half full. To make anything better in life, a person should have a good attitude, work hard to the best of their ability. The stakes for the future of our country have never been higher. As the great Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill, once said, “All politics is local”. Find a way. Get involved. No excuses.

One issue that is most important to you right now. 

No question, the presidential election in November 2012. In all probability, it will be very close, so it will be important for citizens, to educate themselves, participate and vote. As Dennis Prager has stated on many occasions, “This election is about more than just defeating President Obama, it is about defeating the Left.”

Favorite food

I’ll go with a nice thick juicy NY steak, a hot buttered baked potato and a simple green salad. Maybe something chocolate for dessert. Although, a couple of thin crust NY style slices of pizza are hard to beat. Add an ice cold Dr. Pepper (lots of ice please) and I’m a happy guy.

Favorite music

Aw man, that’s so tough. I love all kinds of music. From Sinatra to The Beatles to Paul Weller. Beethoven, Vivaldi, Howlin’ Wolf, Etta James, Sam Cooke, Chris Connor, Keith Jarrett, Nat King Cole, you name it. Movie soundtracks. Depends on my mood…what’s going on that day. Could be Chet Baker, Bobby Darin, Paul Westerberg, one minute then something from Motown the next. The Supremes, Righteous Brothers, Curtis Mayfield, then maybe a taste of Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Van Morrison, Dave Clark 5, The Beach Boys or The Who. And blast it!

Favorite movie

The same as with food and music. What am I hungry for? Without a doubt, in 1961,’The Guns of Navarone’, started the ball rollin’ for me, when I was 8. Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, David Niven, magic up there on the silver screen. For me, goin’ to the movies was like goin’ to church. I went to see that movie every afternoon on our Christmas school vacation. Drove my poor mother nuts. Years later, when I became an actor, she kind of understood.

1973, it was Scorsese’s ‘Mean Streets’. Same thing, went to see it 54 times. My mother thought I was insane but after that film, I just knew I was gonna be an actor.

Other favorites include, ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ ‘On the Waterfront’ ‘Mister Roberts’ ‘The Apartment’ ‘Hud’ ‘The Dirty Dozen’ ‘Cool Hand Luke’ ‘Wait Until Dark’ ‘The Party’ ‘In the Heat of the Night’ ‘Midnight Cowboy’ ‘The Friends of Eddie Coyle’ ‘The Godfather Part I & II’ ‘Inside Moves’ ‘O Lucky Man!’  ‘A Woman Under the Influence’ ‘Chinatown’ ‘Taxi Driver’ ‘Rocky’ ‘Network’ ‘Being There’ ‘Raging Bull’ ‘Once Were Warriors’ ‘Wings of Desire’ ‘Lost in America’ (think I’ll stop there with the hope that come November we’ll remember and once again we’ll find America).

Jimmy Arone, created these T-shirts, from an original collage, as a way to honor his friend Andrew. To let Americans  know, the spirit of Breitbart lives on, he is EVERYWHERE and he is FEARLESS!

T-shirt info:  If you are interested in purchasing a FEARLESS  T – they come in Black/25.00 (with white ink) or White/20.00 (with black ink) S/M/L/XL. A PayPal account is available for payment.

For more info contact Jimmy at this email: jimmyluckyseven@gmail.com

 

Politics For Stoners

An odd thing happened while shooting my video today – the first time we shot it, it became very cloudy and faded in and out. It’s never done that before and I probably would have just chalked it up to a hiccup in the camera. HOWEVER- some crazy things have been happening in our house, making us think it’s haunted…and then…today…suddenly our Flip Camera started wigging out…!! Creepy!!!

We shot is a second time, and it was perfect. If our plates start flying around the room – I’m totally outta here!

The first video is the “good” one – the one below is the foggy/creepy one. If anyone is familiar with the flip Cam and has an explanation – I’d love to know before calling in a priest to chase the spirits away!