SPONSOR: www.linkedin.com/in/jimdascenzo/ Jn 14:23 Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him.
The thing about Veteran's Day is: it should be celebrated ALL. THE. TIME. Why? Oh, I don't know, maybe because these people did it all for us, you dig?
They fought on front lines -- they flew reconnaissance missions -- they protected Americans at home and abroad -- they kept allies safe the world over.
They stood on walls...secured posts or borders...kept the peace during violent clashes...aided fellow military personnel (healthcare, safety patrols, food service, etc.)...deciphered encrypted codes...translated important communications.
They manned phones or ran offices or performed and flied paperwork. Maybe they played in a military band that lifted spirits or honored the fallen.
Perhaps they cleaned the latrines or paper-clipped applications.
Maybe they served on weekends only; or for two years; or three or four decades. From lowest to highest rank; from all branches of service and in whatever capacity they fulfilled their duty: veterans are heroes. Period. All of them.
If they didn't do what they did, you couldn't be doing what you're doing, Capisce?
So, even if it's November 12th ... or a random Tuesday in January or April; please thank a veteran.
They certainly deserve it, yesterday, today and always.
#ThankYouVeterans #GodBlessTheUSA #Pray #Peace
SPONSOR: www.linkedin.com/in/jimdascenzo/ Lk 17: Jesus said: "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you."
It’s such a huge adjustment, really; going from high school to college.
I mean, the move alone is a major modification to life as you know it. Everything you knew before of regular old existence at the homestead is turned completely upside down, physically and, you know, in the feels.
Some take to it more quickly than others. For example, I’ve heard of certain contingents of humans who make the transition early in year one, or, if not, certainly by the time the first semester of sophomore year begins the next autumn.
Stupid well-adjusted, overachieving mutants. Whatever.
Any who, as I was explaining, while there are those who slide into this deal smoother than Rickey Henderson used to steal bases, there are some other earth-dwellers for whom that hill of a challenge seems more like Mt. Everest.
Say, student athletes, for instance.
I think it stands to reason that this climb up the higher educational plane can be even more demanding on them.
I mean, not only is the season longer, the training more intense, the competition fiercer and the coursework tougher, but also, many of the previous rules simply don’t apply anymore.
Such as: I can’t serve as a timer from the pool deck and have the best vantage point in the house like I did for four years of high school … not to mention an additional decade of club and summer swimming.
Wait, what? You thought I was talking about my kid having a hard time adapting to college life? Um, no. That guy’s a rock.
This I should’ve known when, after crying for three hours straight during his first session of three-year-old pre-school, I happily returned to reclaim him, Kyle deadpanned (quite disgustedly, in fact): “You’re back already?” Foreshadowing of ferocious independence.
Indeed, friends, separation anxiety is a one-way street in my casa –and I’m the only one driving down that deserted highway, you dig? I digress.
It’s not easy going from “Swim Mom 2018” to “And You Are?” in one fell swoop.
Then again, friends, always be careful what you wish for.
Last week, I found myself back on deck---and it was no Bueno, yo.
Having been dumped out of the car by my husband, I wandered into an open natatorium door only to find out I WAS STANDING BEHIND THE OPPOSING TEAM of divers, who were warming up.
As was I.
Because, as I slip-slid my way across the tile in my boots and goose-down parka, I decided very quickly that I didn’t much care for the college deck. I began melting (it’s like 947 degrees F in there) as I stammered, “Forgive me; I beg your pardon; I apologize; Please excuse me; I AM SO VERY SORRY…” about 47 billion times.
Covered in sweat, mortification, and the sheer dread that my son might catch glimpse of me, I considered dropping to the ground and sliding across my belly the rest of the way; you know, all stealth and what not.
And just when I thought I was in the clear at pool’s edge, Kyle’s coach yelled, “Well, if it isn’t our #1 fan!”
Humiliated, I apologized again and slunk into a chair …. four counties over. I watched the meet through binoculars. Did I mention I’ve had a complete face transplant so no one will ever recognize me again?
No worries, though; I’m totally getting the hang of college life. By the time Kyle gets his PhD; I should be completely transitioned.
Kimerer is a Trib/Vindy columnist who’s now in the swim witness protection program but you can still reach her via www.patriciakimerer.com
SPONS: www.linkedin.com/in/jimdascenzo/ 'Whoever keeps the word of Christ, the love of God is truly perfected in him.]
I'm not particularly fond of the way the day's been shaking out to this point. Tsk.
And, at the risk of being one of those annoying "I'm-telling-you-everything-I-see-hear-feel-and-think-every-second-of-every-day-of-my-life" social media posters ... I just thought I'd share that it's been a poopy one. This is why:
I've been thinking about "THEM" a lot today. Surely you know to whom I refer.
THEM of THEY fame. Quoted so often by so many for having said---well, everything. You know the group. As in, "It's like they always say..."
"THEY" are routinely credited with spouting ever logical, sensible things such as:
"Now, you wouldn't want it to be Christmas every single day. Then it wouldn't be special."
All due respect, I think "THEY" are evil cyborgs from the planet StupidHeadFace. What? They just discovered it; it's like a mini-sphere. Meh, either way.
I, for one, wouldn't mind Christmas every day; not at all. What's the down side? Too much joy? Too much good will toward men? Too many cookies?
Well, maybe too many cookies. We might all gain about 98 gazillion pounds a year if Christmas was EVERY day. Hmpf.
Then again, there'd be no summer sunshine. No spring buds bursting open. No amazing scents and colors of autumn.
There'd be no Easter...which is the whole reason Christmas came to be in the first place. Hmm.
Okay, okay. Maybe it shouldn't be Christmas like EVERY SINGLE CONSECUTIVE DAY. But I wouldn't mind giving it a nice, three to four year trial run?
Happy run-of-the-mill-but-still-a-gift November day, all.
Signed, Your Pal,
The Big Old Stupid Head Face
#LifeIsPrecious #EveryDayIsAGift #HangInThere #Pray #Peace
SPONSOR: www.linkedin.com/in/jimdascenzo/ Mt 11:28 Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
It was six years ago today we lost my mother-in-law, Evon Kimerer.
She was a mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother, a Christian, a teacher, a sister, an aunt, etc. etc. ... and one very tough cookie. She was a no-nonsense gal who was an incredibly independent spirit and was a definite leader, not follower. She was a strong woman, yo.
And even when she was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease many years ago, she was unflappable. She hit it head-on with purpose, moxie, and grace. Evon was one special lady.
Thanks for all you did for so many, Grandma K. I know you're proud of your family members left down here missing you very much.
SPONSOR: www.linkedin.com/in/jimdascenzo/ Jn 8:31 If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, says the Lord.
The irony is not lost on me, November. You erratic, inconsistent, tricky, slippery little bugger, you.
There is hardly a more contrary, divergent month than the 11th, my friends.
If November was a comedian, he'd be Don Rickles.
You remember Don Rickles; he was a pioneer in the realm of sarcastic comedy. Many of his insults were and remain legendary. Rickles was so funny and you'd invariably find yourself cracking up at his jokes…even though they always came at the expense of someone's feelings. So, while you were amused and entertained, you also didn't necessarily feel good about it; know what I mean?
Yeah, that's November, all right. I like to think of it as the Sour Patch Kids of the calendar year, yo.
I'm sure you've seen the commercials where the candies come to life and do some horrible, awful thing then redeem themselves through an act of kindness.
For instance, in one spot, they tie a tuxedo-clad boy holding a corsage to a bus stop bench by his pony tail so he'll miss his ride to the big dance. But then they send him a limo so he can make it to the prom, after all…even though he must take the bench with him, you dig? Half good; sorta nice; kinda swell. But not quite.
Indeed, those "first they're sour, then they're sweet" little critters are evocative of rotten, unpredictable, beautiful, heart-warming, all-over-the-place November. I mean, is it friend or foe?
Who can deny its cold, stinging rain and those nearly barren trees that have long since shed their brilliant orange, red and yellow foliage. In fact, all that remains of the once dazzling colors are crispy brown leaves which either litter your yard or trip you like a banana peel as they scatter the wet pavement. They get me EVERY year. #ImAKlutz
Grrr. And brrrr. And Hmpf.
Dumb old November with its ridiculous, dirty end-of Daylight Savings Time trick that makes sunrise so late and sunset so early. Ugh. It's like giving your circadian rhythm a hangover for four months. Blech.
And just when you're ready to write November off as second worst after drear-filled January; it shows its softer side.
Like a random sun-soaked day perfect for decorating the outside of the house for you-know-what next month.#MostWonderfulTimeOfTheYear
Or the 547 new scents of candles Bath & Body Works unveils every November. Mmmmm.
Let's not forget it's Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. I'm all for anything that brings research, attention, and money to the cause of ending that nasty disease. Besides, I love me some scruffy facial hair on the gentlemen. #Movember
Then there's the big November Daddy of 'em all: Thanksgiving…and with all that good, gourmet grub comes the official holidays kickoff. NO, HALLOWEEN IS NOT AN OFFICIAL HOLIDAY IMHO … Sorry to my pals Ashlea and Jodi. Wink and hugs.
There's that extended Thanksgiving break when I get to see Kyle Kimerer for about seven extra minutes; the annual running of all my favorite Thanksgiving episodes of "Friends" and of course the online shopping deals on Black Friday/Cyber Monday (I refuse to shop on Thanksgiving or the day after in actual stores--terrifying), not to mention the community vibe of Small Business Saturday. Support your own, a'ight?
All that, plus listening to Christmas music and watching the Hallmark channel's "Countdown to Christmas" with far less judgement? Okay, November, we cool.
Besides, at least you ain't January.
Kimerer is a Trib/Vindy columnist who's thankful for so much…especially her Pop. Check out all the other peeps and stuff that make her "One Grateful Girl" at www.patriciakimerer.com
SPONSOR: www.linkedin.com/in/jimdascenzo/ Romans 8-Brothers and sisters: If God is for us, who can be against us? He did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all...
At the risk of hurting my friends who love it (especially my sweet Ashlea and my new pal Jodi), I don't like Halloween.
That is to say, I don't like being creeped out or having the bejeepers scared out of me ... on Halloween or any other day, by the by. I like my bejeepers where they are, thanks just the same.
I mean, I DO like seeing all the little ghouls and goblins come up to the door in their adorable costumes. Adorbs.
And, yes, it's sorta cool listening to scary music for a day ... or laughing hysterically when I catch a random showing of "Friday the 13th Part 495: Jason Takes the Bronx Zoo" or whatever.
And, okay, fine...jack-o-lantern carving and pumpkin seed roasting ARE really fun...and yummy.
Sure, sure, EVERYONE likes candy; DUH!
But invariably, some idiot uses the day as an excuse to do some horrid thing to an animal or another human...and I hate that about Halloween. Although, I guess that's more about the idiot than the day itself.
Oh, fine; maybe I like Halloween a smidge...are ya happy? Now, scram, I gotta turn on my porch light and pull out the 24 bags of candy I've been hoarding for the little sweetie pies tonight!
#HappyHalloween #BeSafe #HaveFun #Pray #Peace
SPONSOR: www.linkedin.com/in/jimdascenzo/ Mt 11:25 Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
I recently had this "moment of clarity," as it's often called.
It happened relatively early on a Sunday morning in Buffalo.
I was driving along the interstate with much on my mind: family issues, work pressures, worries about the state of the world, in general, you might say.
It was such a juxtaposition. On the one hand, I was SO happy because I got the chance to spend a nice hunk of precious time with my kiddo that weekend. And that, to me, is everything.
And, on the other hand (that rotten old other hand!) ... all this anxiety was welling up in me like Mt. Vesuvius about to KAPOW!
The pavement beneath me was bumpy and course; no doubt due to harsh NY winters beating it mercilessly. And the sky before me was so dark and imposing that, if it was a little chillier, I'd swear there was snow in them there clouds.
But as I pressed on, suddenly, the sky lit up like a million Christmas trees. It was autumn sunshine to the kerzillionth wattage, you dig?
Almost as if they'd been waiting for their spotlight, the trees lining both sides of the four lane highway danced in brilliant oranges and yellows. They were all but perfect; it was spectacular.
And that's when it happened -- I could almost reach out and touch it; so much so that it actually gave me goosebumps.
I felt -- you know -- Him. I suddenly got it.
Here I was, in the middle of all this beauty, on my way to see my favorite human ... and all I could focus on were the dark clouds and uneven asphalt.
I actually said out loud. "Right. I'm in the moment." And, at least for that brief instant; I was. Here's what:
Every day is its own beautiful gift, filled to the box rim with precious people and wrapped up in the magical moments shared with them, Capisce?
So, I grabbed that mental snapshot (it's not the one you see in the photo, that was from the previous day). I don't snap and drive, yo.
The point is, it was a sign. A reminder that, although there will always be clouds lurking, in the end, the sunshine prevails. He promised and I believe Him.
Enjoy all your moments today ... and everyday. #BeInTheMoment #LifeIsPrecious #EveryDayIsAGift #Pray #Peace
SPONSOR: www.linkedin.com/in/jimdascenzo/ Te Deum-We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the glorious company of Apostles praise you.
Everything I need to know, I learned from "Legally Blonde."
Well, not really.
To be fair, I've gone down this path before with some of my OTHER all time fave flicks including, "Moonstruck," "Shawshank Redemption," and "Shrek."
Yes, "Shrek." It's surprisingly insightful; only an ogre would disagree. Either way.
"Legally Blonde" may not be my actual life road map but it's certainly a handy compass in a pinch.
I do LOVE this film to the point of watching it EVERY SINGLE TIME I come across a broadcast of it on some random cable network. In case you're a recluse who's been living 20,000 leagues under --well, anything-- for the past few decades, here's the gist:
"Legally Blonde" is a 2001 comedy starring Reese Witherspoon as the beautiful but jilted Elle Woods who follows her college boyfriend, the ostentatious Warner Huntington III, to Harvard. After they earn their undergrad degrees, Warner (a Governor's son and political hopeful) informs Elle that, while they've been having fun for the past four years, it's time for him to get serious about his future. BT Dubs, it will not be including the buxom blonde.
Devastated, she sets out to win him back by proving she's "good enough" for his blue-blood, snobbish, high-society New England family. She works hard, is accepted into Harvard herself and tries to prove her worth to the undeserving jerkface, who's already moved on with an ice princess from his family's elitist circle, Vivian Kensington.
Hilarity ensues, of course, as do some great messages.
Appearances are just that. Sure, Warner's handsome, charming, and refined, but it certainly doesn't make him a stand-up guy. Yes, Elle's gorgeous and perky and always perfectly pink, yet that doesn't mean she's not smart. Also, just because their professor's client looks guilty of murdering her rich, much-older-than-she husband, doesn't necessarily mean she did. Book covers never tell the whole story, yo.
Don't chase after someone who rejects you, especially if he/she is a complete bonehead. If someone acts like -or worse, flat out tells you-they don't care about you; BELIEVE THEM and move on. Now. End of discussion.
If you work hard enough, you'll accomplish greatness. Everyone is shocked when party-girl Elle buckles down to study for the Law School Admission Test. But she's determined and passes. Even after she is admitted, folks doubt her. Upon seeing her in Boston, Warner says: "You got into Harvard Law?" Her reply is classic: "What? Like, it's hard?" Addendum to this rule: don't let someone else's lack of confidence in you shake your own.
Stand by your convictions. When all hope seems lost for Elle and Warner's professor's client, Brooke Taylor-Windham (an aerobics guru on trial for murdering her hubby). she stands by the defendant's claim of not guilty. She knows Brooke from taking her classes and believes in her heart that Brooke's innocent. She will not be dissuaded and rationalizes: "Exercise gives people endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't shoot their husbands; they just don't." Makes sense to me.
Don't ever let anyone take your dog away from you. EVER. That's all I have to say about that.
Have faith. In addressing her Harvard graduating class, Elle advises them to "Have faith in people but most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself." Word.
P.S. A PK life lesson? Have true FAITH; you know, in the Big Guy. His book is a solid reference guide, Capisce?
Kimerer is a Trib/Vindy columnist who's old and can't master the "Bend and Snap" but encourages you to check out her perky insights at www.patriciakimerer.com
SPONSOR: www.linkedin.com/in/jimdascenzo/ Ps 119: Lord, teach me your statutes. I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts.
I know I'm not the only one thinking about this.
There are TV shows, films, documentaries, studies and conspiracy theories aplenty about it wafting around out there.
Literally and virtually, everyone is wondering to what extent Artificial Intelligence (AI) will ultimately evolve -- and when computers will stop becoming the understudy and take over the starring role in life on the third rock.
On the one hand, think of the positives. I mean, we already have cars that drive and park themselves; houses that heat, cool, light and lock themselves; vacuums that clean the floors of empty houses. We can see strangers on our porches from 150,000 miles away. We can track our family members via their cell phone signals. (Safety or intrusion? Fine line. I digress.) Also, technology has clearly improved to the point of life-saving in terms of medical advancements: think earlier disease detection; better treatment options; powerful preventative measures, etc.
It's obvious that droids make life on earth for the humans easier, better, and arguably much more enjoyable and full, at least, in many instances. Sure, if properly cared for and programmed, they live indefinitely and make very few errors. Yes, they streamline many processes and expedite tons of experiences. They enable us to go far, far into space and deep, deep into the earth and seas. And on and on.
But the thing of it is, is: they ain't people, yo.
And it's the human element in this AI equation that can never be replaced. We made it in the first place; hello? Without us to monitor, temper, regulate, and maintain (not to mention fund) this gem of concept -- it ceases to exist.
The biggest reason AI needs to stay second fiddle to the homosapiens? The empathy factor. AI regards humanity as a product line ... a commodity, whereas the people of earth think of humanity as -- you know, the people of earth.
AI might be able to keep you safe, warm, comfy and even tuck you in at night; but it'll never be able to cradle you softly, wipe off your tears, and chase away your bad dreams. At least, not without an actual person orchestrating the process, a'ight? Take comfort peeps, AI can't do squat without us. BAM!
And remember, we, too have a caretaker up there --- the same someone who gave us the I to create the AI. And we sure enough can't run it --or anything else-- without Him, Capisce? #HaveFaith #Believe #PeopleAreBetterThanComputers #Love #Pray #Peace