A Homeless Woman and the Woman’s M

On December 15, I walked into the Union Rescue Mission. The place was full of of people I have tried to keep my son away from all my life, drug addicts, derelicts, etc and here I was bringing him into this nightmare. There wasn’t enough beds so a group of us had to sleep in a day room on air mattresses. This is my new life, my new existence. Which includes waking up at 5:30 to eat a breakfast, few if anyone ever eats. It is a world where mothers get their children taken away in the middle of the night and the kids are left to run around during the day with nothing to do. It is a world filled with anguish, tears and the occasional saint who wouldn’t take no for an answer and gave my son a coat that he needed. This is a world of women. No men except the young men who live here with their mothers. This is what the women’s march should have been about. I was literally a few blocks from this march and all the signs had nothing to do real problems women face.

It was literally like walking through the gates of hell. The signs had nothing to do with actual problems that affect women just the right to kill their babies and the right to have sex without having to deal with any consequences that may occur because of their decision. At the Women’s March there were 750,000 people. Yet despite having so many people, none of the real problems women face were all but ignored. None of the women here were at the rally. Instead they were buying clothes for their baby. Or they were asleep on the cold shelter floor because getting sleep during the night is almost impossible. None of the women here felt any of the woman dressed up as vaginas were speaking on their behalf.

The whole thing was a joke. From Madonna stating that she wanted to blow up the White House, to the women dressed up as our reproductive parts and the vulgarity that was widespread, these women were not about trying to secure justice for the real oppressed women around the world. They were mocking those of us who deal with these struggles, here and abroad. This was nothing but a grotesque, pro-choice rally being held in the Los Angeles. But it is understandable why they didn’t want to help us women with children because they are intent on killing their own and living a hedonistic life. They have no spirit of service within them but are totally self-serving. I literally felt sick as I made my way through the crowd. I was on my way to buy baby clothes with a friend of mine who lives at the shelter, and while were muddling our way through all we saw were signs that spouted rhetoric like “P***y grabbers” and other obscene material.

As I sat in a woman’s meeting today, we discussed what were going through in our individual.I brought up how they had a woman’s march and we weren’t mentioned. They were not getting our message out to the people who may not know it. No one debated me. Not one! You want a woman’s march, then come talk to the women here! Go to Saudi Arabia and talk the women there. Go to Boko Haram territory, where they are killing more people, especially women, than ISIS and talk to the women there! The war they speak about is not in Beverly Hills. It is at 545 San Pedro and everywhere else women are falling through the cracks!

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George H.W. Bush Hospitalized for Pnuemonia

george-hw-bushGeorge H.W Bush, the 41st President of the United States, who served from 1989 to 1993, was hospitalized today due to respiratory complications due to having pneumonia. George H.W Bush is the father of former President George W. Bush and former Republican 2016 Presidential candidate and governor of Florida Jeb Bush.  He once served in the CIA as well. President Bush is 92 years old and was hospitalized at Houston Methodist Hospital

Bush was one of the few presidents not to be re-elected following his initial term. Though the Persian Gulf war under him was literally three days,  the quagmire that would become the Iraq war under his son, George W. was started by him which seemed to transfer to him losing ballot votes come the next election, along with his promise not to raise taxes, which he was unable to keep  He didn’t seem to be able to transfer that enthusiasm Reagan aroused in the general public (and which he was a part of as Vice President) to his own presidency.

Despite of this the conservative community still holds him in high regard. His wife, Barbara was also hospitalized following his admittance into ICU Wednesday due to fatigue and coughing as a precaution. President Bush had already told Trump prior to his hospitalization that he would be unable to come to his inauguration. Bush also suffers from Parkinson’s Disease as well. Those in the political field and around the world are sending the Bushes well wishes.

Not That Kind of Homeless

Well it has been three weeks since I have left my home of twenty years. It is still a little surreal to me. It doesn’t seem possible that I could have spent most of my working years working with the homeless to becoming a homeless person. No matter how I try to wrap my mind around that, it will not compute. So was the case when I went to the Weingart Center yesterday.  “The Weingart Center is a non-profit comprehensive human services organization that was established in 1983 after recognizing that widespread homelessness was a new phenomenon facing the city of Los Angeles.” It is also in the middle of Skid Row.

Weingart Center.jpgI took a Lyft to the Weingart Center because the buses were not coming and I wanted to make sure I got there at 7 am when they opened up. When the driver pulled up to the center, I wanted to crawl back in the car and tell him to take me out of this hellish place and fast! He must of thought I was some kind of drug addict or something, I mean who else would take a Lyft to Skid Row? I was sure I had stepped into Dante’s “Inferno.” The mother in me was screaming, “You can’t take Adonai here! Are you psychotic? You are a horrible person and mother to be taking him through this!” As I walked up to the Weingart Center, I thought to myself, “This is not me! I am not like these people. I am not this type of homeless. How did I get here? I do not belong here, my son does not belong here.”

With every ounce of courage I walked into that place. I waited patiently for them to open the doors. “Please open the doors.” I thought to myself. I wasn’t sure how long I could last with the crazy.  I looked across the street, there was a man who was walking haphazardly across it. We weren’t sure if he was going to get himself killed as he stopped mid-center his arms flailing against his chest and talking manically to himself. He made it across. “I’m crazy but I am not that kind of crazy.” I remarked in my head. It was as if I had been transported to another planet.

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Courtesy of LA Times

A planet full of tents. Some of them were nicer than others. Some actually had furniture in them. Others looked like small makeshift tents. But you could tell even on Skid Row, even among the homeless population, you could see there was a feel of status among them. Coleman tents and air mattresses would fill one tent while plastic and tape would create another. Rich and poor among Skid Row residents. Meanwhile I was living an apartment/hotel. It had a shared bathroom and kitchen but the room was yours. If there was status among the people with the tents then I fancied myself a Queen. I had a real roof over my head. After I would leave Weingart Center, I would be going back to my temporary shelter.

The woman told me to come back on Monday. So Monday morning I will go up there once again. All in hopes to find a place to stay. I keep telling myself “I am not that kind of homeless.” But if I want to find a home I just might have to admit to myself, I am that kind of homeless.

“Death in Paradise” Review

Name of Show: Death In Paradise

Broadcast by: BBC

Rating: *****

*-Awful  **-Poor   ***-Fair    *****-Good   *****-Excellent

Recently I have been watching more BBC on Netflix than any other “channels” that they offer.  

BBC back in the day used to be quite pretentious and if you had not graduated from Eton or Oxford, you wouldn’t understand half of what was going on. However, with their more recent shows like Sherlock,  The Fall and others, BBC has seemed to “Americanized” their television. Meaning they have “dumbed it down” so even us American cousins can understand the show. American actors like Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully fromthe X Files) who plays Stella on The Fall are joining the likes of BBC. The BBC is still intelligent and thought provoking, but somehow the characters are more relatable. Maybe because they are more well-defined than American tv characters are, but whatever the reason BBC is the place to go if you want quality television.

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Richard Poole (Ben Miller) 

Death in Paradise is a show that actually takes place in the Caribbean. It takes place on the fictional island of Saint Marie. The show starts with a murder of an uncover British officer and the British authorities at the London Met have sent one of their own to oversee the investigation. The man they send is Detective Inspector, Richard Poole. Richard Poole is an awkward little man who hates the Caribbean, if you can imagine that. He despises the heat and misses the cold of England and his “snug in his pub.” He is not the easiest person to get along with but he definitely grows on you. When he catches the killer, he thinks he is going to be going back to England only to find out he has been placed permanently on Saint Marie with French detective and former undercover cop, Camille Bordey played by French actress, Sara Martins.

Initially, the two cannot stand each other. Richard Poole has no great affection for the French but as the series continues they start to form a friendship. The take on all the murder mysteries that Saint Marie offers and do it without modern conveniences like a forensics lab and the like. Which means they have to rely heavily on old fashioned police work.  It is like Murder She Wrote meets Fraiser (or as Kris Marshall who plays Humphrey Goodman in the third season, taking over for Richard Poole, puts it Columbo meets Scooby Doo) It has the surprisingly whodunit of Murder, She Wrote and the smart humor of Frasier (and given that Frasier Crane is an Anglophile it makes sense that “Frasier” had an English feel to its humor.) But Kris does have a point when he points out that every episode ends with everyone gathered together as Poole (and then Goodman) reveals who committed the murder much like Scooby Doo.

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Camille Bordey (Sara Martins)

“Death in Paradise” is easy to watch. It is funny yet smart. It has no overt sex scenes. Even though it deals with murder, the violence is minimal and the cussing is almost nil. It is the kind of show you can watch with your children without feeling reluctant about them viewing some of the scenes. Because it is the Caribbean there are a couple of episodes that deal with voodoo, but it is not a glorification of the religion just part of the story line.

The interesting  part of the show is how easily the characters interact with each other without making hullabaloo about race. During the last eight years racial tensions have increased dramatically in the U.S. but on Saint Marie where you have a large Creole (Black/French) population as part of the story line it seems almost immaterial. During season two you could see how much Camille and Richard have grown to really care about each other, despite him being an uptight British man and she being a free-spirited French woman. Just when you think they are about to be together, he is gone. Enter the Kris Marshall part of the series.

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Dwayne Meyers (Danny John-Jules) 

Of course, Richard and Camille are not the only two on Saint Marie.  You have Dwayne who is a cop for the Honore Police Department, but we are never quite sure what his rank is. He is however, the go to guy. He knows the island like the back of his hand and when you want information he can tell you who on the island can give it to you. He is not a by the book guy but he is not dishonest. He loves the ladies but also gives 100 percent to his job.

Lastly there is Fidel Best (Gary Carr) and the Commissioner (Don Worrington) who make up the rest of the team. Fidel starts of as a shy, family man who becomes a confident Sergeant and eventually moves on to brighter and better things. You also have the meddling police commissioner who makes sure the team does not step on any of the big wigs toes in Saint Marie. Unless it is Judge Stone,he wants her arrested for anything after she threw him in jail. We also cannot forget Catherine, Camille’s mother who runs a bar on Saint Marie and is forever trying to set her daughter up with one man or another. But the most talented of all, is the lizard. He steals whatever scene he is. He started off as an annoyance that showed up in Richard’s house one day and has never left. And even when his beloved master moved on, he just took up residence with Hugh.

Altogether, it is a well thought out, well-written, television show. The characters are not some cookie-cutter, stereotypical characters we have all seen a million times over. Whileit is easy to get lost in it, it is not so mindless that you don’t need to think at all. All in all, it proves to be what entertainment is all about-to take you a place where you have never been and transport you there for just a while. If you haven’t seen “Death in Paradise” on Netflix, it is time you check it out and any other BBC offerings they may have. You will not regret it.