Archive for category Life
by Cindy Robinson
I think I inadvertently saved a pigeon’s life over the weekend, or at least saved it from being maimed and minimized its trauma. Let me rewind a little bit first though.
My daughter and I had plans over the weekend which kept morphing and changing into different plans. Our first set of plans for Saturday didn’t work out the way we’d hoped but later in the day we did indeed have some good fun. Kudos to singers Troye Sivan and Nick Jonas for being awesome young men! We love you guys.
As our plans evolved we found ourselves in a different part of Los Angeles that we don’t normally frequent and in an area I normally consider a pretty nice area. We were hungry and opted for a quick stop to escape the traffic and avoid the long search for a new place to eat. We saw a Costco so decided “Yes, quick & easy.”
It was the craziest damn Costco we’ve ever been to! I won’t name the location because I probably know people who frequent this as their regular Costco. It was like all those bizarre people you see in the bad Wal-Mart photos and videos had escaped to Costco over the weekend!
It was a fest for people watching! There was what I assume, a homeless couple enjoying a pizza with their shopping cart of haphazardly packed belongings next to them. They seemed normal enough, until the man got up to go get something and proceeded to make this bizarre series of noises as he walked between the tables and again as he returned to his seat. But then he just engaged in normal conversation with his lady companion and the table next to him while he was seated.
At the table next to us was a big guy with a hearty laugh, ear buds in, enjoying some show on his phone, who enjoyed burping – repeatedly, loudly, and without excusing himself, like he was at home on the sofa in his underwear watching TV.
A couple of tables away my daughter is certain she spied a popular Youtuber who had his hair up in a ridiculous man-bun with a woman’s little claw hair clip. I so wish I had scissors handy but my daughter thought it looked good!
At the table in front of us was an older man with grey hair and a boy or young man who appeared to be an older teenager with perhaps some sort of mental disability. At first the boy was sitting at the table with the man eating their pizza. Then the boy sat on the ground and began feeding his pizza crust to the pigeons which of course made them flock to him. At one point, the man got up and left the table to go get something. Then suddenly the boy had a pigeon in his hands! He’d caught one and it looked like we he was grabbing the wing with force like he had intent to do damage. I just automatically yelled out “What the hell are you doing?” And he released the bird while several large and small feathers remained in the boy’s hand. Everything seemed to go silent for a few seconds and then the normal chatter of people eating lunch returned. The man came back to the table and the boy showed him the feathers he’d gotten. I was just sitting there a bit stunned. The man didn’t acknowledge that he’d seen anything go awry but they left a few minutes later. Then it dawned on me that I’d actually said that out loud and I asked my daughter if I had been loud. She said I was and that people stopped to look for a moment but it got him to release the bird.
Some readers may think “it was just a bird” or “pigeons are totally annoying at Costco” or “well, the kid has a disability”. Just because it was one of millions of pigeons doesn’t mean it’s OK to harass and torture it. Just because someone has a disability doesn’t mean they get to skip knowing right from wrong if they are able to process that information. If pigeons are a pest at Costco it’s only because you, the patrons of Costco have taught them to be that way by feeding them and teaching them to seek food from humans instead of finding it as they should. I’m super guilty of this because I like birds, I like it when they are curious and come near me and I sure as hell wasn’t going to sit there and let some kid torture a bird or anything else for that matter.
As for the kid, he did seem to have some disability but did seem functional enough to know right from wrong if he had been taught that. I guess that was the scary part for me. The older man – father, caregiver or whatever he was didn’t even address the kid sitting on the ground trying to catch the pigeon, didn’t clarify to him anything about right or wrong so if the boy can’t grasp that it’s wrong to harm a small bird maybe some other time he won’t understand it’s not right to harm something or someone else.
We sat there kind of shocked for a few minutes and then we figured the poor bird probably flew off to a tree to shit himself crazy with fear after his little ordeal. I couldn’t help but wonder if other people would say something in a situation like this? I wish I’d said something to the man but they left before I came out of my shocked state. But that is me, if I see something strange happening, I will likely say something about it, whether it embarrasses the people I’m with or not.
I didn’t even intend to write about it, and it doesn’t really fit with most of the things we write about at Life On The Scene, but after a few days it’s still sitting in my thoughts going “damn, that was kind of crazy!” so here it is. I just hope the pigeon is OK.
For the past couple years, our lives have been in turmoil after the economic crash finally caught up with us when the company I worked for for 8 years closed their California footprint and I was laid off. We ultimately lost our house, put our entire lives in storage except for the bare necessities and headed to a remote desert town to live with family & friends until we could get back on our feet. I accepted an entry level office job because that’s about the only type of office job there was. My salary was about 1/3 of what it used to be.
Our story isn’t very different from thousands of families across the country, and truly, ours pales in comparison to the hardships many suffer. We are blessed to have health on our side! At this time, we need the help of a village to move forward.
After an infinite amount of resumes went out over the last couple years with very few results, I finally secured another position in healthcare at a slightly higher pay scale than I had previously.
If you would consider donating, please visit our Go Fund Me page here
We’ve found a house and furiously working to secure it but have fallen a bit short on funds to do so. I’ve been saving whatever I can but the approval came on the house sooner than expected. With an average of half a dozen other families applying for each house we found, we can’t let the opportunity pass us. We’re hoping you will donate just $10 to help us achieve our dream and start the next chapter in our lives where my daughter can finish out high school in a nice school, maintain those honor roll grades in preparation for college.
We will also need a refrigerator (I haven’t owned one in DECADES as previous houses always had them) and a couch, because our old one wasn’t worth keeping in storage. I will also need to hire some moving help (volunteers anyone??) to move the big stuff like washer, dryer, beds, dressers.
We look forward to being part of a thriving community again and helping others! We thank those who have generously donated and hope that just a few more people will donate and help us reach our goal. I also look forward to being able to resume some freelance photography and blogging to help boost the currently depleted savings.
Honestly, I don’t completely read most articles on Duran Duran these days (even though I’m a lifelong fan) because I already know most of the information being shared, it’s someone being slanderous toward the band or a fan complaining about the injustice of their Duranie fan life. I skim the articles. Yes, I’m a skimmer unless it really grabs my attention and today this article on Duran Duran by Ariane Sherine grabbed me. I read the entire thing!
I’ve read many thoughts over the years since the song “Ordinary World” was released at the end of 1992 about how it has saved people from their dismal existence and given them hope for a better life to come but Ariane’s story was a little different. In fact, she was downright bullied by her peers and sought refuge in a band that was beyond her generation’s interest. As fate would have it, she fell into friendship with Duran Duran over time and judging by her article, they gave her inspiration and encouragement to pursue her dreams.
Her story was engaging because it wasn’t filled with the sensational details, merely a story of some nice guys she met who mentored her, offered friendship and also happen to be musicians in one of the world’s biggest bands of the 80’s. It offered a human perspective on the tribulations of being a teenager and the softer side of musicians as mere humans. While her big break to appear on their Pop Trash album never happened, and she felt slighted (which is a common entertainment industry happening – promises of things which never come to fruition, or powers that be axe an idea or song) she found her footing in writing instead and succeeded.
Parts of it felt a little familiar to me as my dream has always been to become a major photographer but as life often does, it throws you curveballs and things don’t go the way you dreamt they would. Having children and no longer being married dictated the need for a regular, constant paycheck in my world so photography went on the back burner, a passion to be enjoyed and pursued when time allowed.
While Ariane never got her album credit, I do have mine. I was fortunate to have one of my live photos of John Taylor included in the CD artwork for his 2002 solo CD Metafour, my image is the 4th from the left in the photo to the left of this text. As I write this, I don’t have all of my resources in front of me to grab the image with the photo credit but it’s there (and if I have time to update later, I will add it).
And conversely, I can also relate to feeling a little slighted. In 2011, I attended a Duran Duran concert in Los Angeles that was being taped for future use and was also broadcast live to millions of viewers around the globe on YouTube. By the time the concert ended, my phone was buzzing like a bomb about to explode as messages came in from friends around the world that had seen me in the front row during the broadcast of the David Lynch directed extravaganza that became Duran Duran UNSTAGED. In November of 2013, Duran Duran UNSTAGED was screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The band presented it to an ecstatic audience. Wait, I was part of an art exhibition and didn’t receive my red carpet invitation? Well, it isn’t like I performed on stage with them like special guests Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, Mark Ronson, Kelis and Beth Ditto of Gossip did but I am seen a handful of times throughout the art film along with a plethora of people I know! The movie has gone on to be screened in many European cities, across the United States and I believe there is even a screening coming up in Russia soon! Also, beginning on October 14, 2014 you can watch Duran Duran’s UNSTAGED from your own home as it will be available On Demand nationwide in the U.S. and Canada so I’m (OK, we!) are coming to a TV near you in the next couple of weeks! While I’ve traveled the globe with them in their movie over the last year and will be popping up on TV screens everywhere in the coming weeks, I, and many others didn’t get any credit in the film but it sure was fun being there!
Duran Duran are also finishing up their latest studio album, due out in 2015 so be sure to check in on Duran Duran at their Facebook page to find out when it will be available on iTunes and when the band will hit the road to tour in support of it!
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been going on for a few weeks now, and to date, has raised more than $1.7 million dollars and international awareness of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, has skyrocketed!
For those who aren’t familiar with ALS, the ALS Association offers this brief description of the disease on their website – “ALS was first found in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease. Ending the career of one of the most beloved baseball players of all time, the disease is still most closely associated with his name. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.”
With the joy of a successful fundraising campaign going viral also comes great backlash. There is no shortage of disparaging comments to go along with the great cheers for those raising funds for ALS and other charities of their choice this summer. Many aren’t happy to see water being so carelessly tossed around and the spotlight being taken away from other charitable organizations.
To be perfectly honest, I have enjoyed watching many, many videos of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in particular Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Shemar Moore, Aerosmith, Kate Hudson, Susan Sarandon and Tom Hiddleston to name a few. I’ve also enjoyed seeing several of my friends take part as well. It has been a welcome relief after the shocking news of the death of comedic genius Robin Williams last month. I needed the silliness and laughter.
In the true international fashion of today’s social media, I was nominated for the #ALSIceBucketChallenge by my friend Steve in England. I accepted – my daughter and my niece were thrilled to be armed with buckets of ice and water to douse me! I chose to stand in a vegetable garden so the water we used would also help our veggies grow. I used the challenge to donate to ALS, as well as some local animal rescue groups in California that I am familiar with and support, Treasured Tails Canine Rescue, and Precious Paws. I also donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in support of mental health awareness. I encourage everyone to donate to these organizations. Whether it’s a monetary donation, your time or needed supplies these charities or others in your area will appreciate your efforts to make your community a better place!
I nominated my friend Doug in California, my friend, guitarist Tim Farriss of the Australian band INXS and singer Billy Idol (who has a new album and autobiography out this autumn but we’ll get to that in another post!). We look forward to seeing your videos guys!
Here’s my video below
The United States of America is broken. We live in a country that is failing its citizens. Growing up I learned about the different political parties representing our country, that each has its own ideals based on their moral beliefs. We learned the purpose of having a fairly equal representation of those parties in our governing offices is to work together, to compromise on issues affecting our country and its citizens – things like healthcare, wages, housing, and protecting our population.
However, our political parties of today have long forgotten the art of compromise, their primary goal is only to further their own agendas and keep the pockets of those already rolling in wealth well lined. Our parties no longer work together to help the American people. They merely work against the opposing party to prevent any positive change for the American people without any regard for the impact these decisions will have on Americans.
An article recently posted on PBS.org pictures hunger in America, showcasing how a variety of families survive on their meager earnings and the small amount of government assistance each receives. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/art/picturing-hunger-in-america/#the-rundown . The article also highlights how those in need spend endless hours waiting to get any assistance they are applying for. How is an unemployed person supposed to effectively search for a job that will sustain them when they spend half of one day waiting to turn in paperwork to apply for food stamps only to be told they need to wait further to actually receive the aid if they are approved? Then that person spends the better part of another day waiting to turn in paperwork for the next type of assistance they may be applying for.
Back in December Congress voted to end the extension of unemployment benefits for more than one million Americans. The rug was instantly pulled out from under anyone on unemployment. Instead of receiving a bi-weekly unemployment claim, they were mailed a surprise letter indicating their claim had ended, even if they had money remaining on their claim. While I understand, and support one of the opinions behind this move – to get those off unemployment that are just milking the system, its overall effect has been to send more Americans into the system of applying for benefits, increasing the burden on our already overtaxed economy.
I am one of the more than one million Americans affected by this vote. I was laid off by my employer of nearly 8 years in 2013 when they decided to close their California office and move operations east. In addition to constantly applying for as many jobs in my field as possible, I have spent the better part of the last two months seeking assistance of every kind possible that I could locate with almost no results. I started with dialing 211, the United Way, which is supposed to be a collective listing of resources that a person in need can contact in their area. The people that answer the phones are woefully under trained. I called twice in fact and each time they looked up resources by my zip code and simply told me there wasn’t any rental assistance available in my area and they also weren’t helping with gas bills right now. They neglected to tell me that there is an entire list of resources available on my county website and that while some agencies are approved to offer rental assistance, they are out of funding right now and the same goes for utility bill assistance. I only discovered that these resources existed because I am a tech savvy person. What happens when an elderly person or anyone who isn’t tech savvy calls and receives the same answer? Does that person just give up because they were told there aren’t resources available?
While I am finally being called in to interview for some great companies in Southern California, those who are hiring are also being very thorough and going through long lists of applicants to decide who is right for the job. Long gone are the days when you’d interview and be hired on the spot or within a couple days, organizations are now taking weeks to make a decision.
During my research for great resources to help sustain my household during these challenging times, I entered a contest on 102.7 KIIS FM, Los Angeles hit radio station hoping to win a $1,000 prize. I discovered there is also a Ryan Seacrest Foundation and sent in my information to them. I never heard back from them, even though I provided information on the deadline I was facing.
I’ve reached the point where I am losing everything. The long list of resources who’s primary goal is listed as preventing homelessness don’t have any assistance to offer, decisions on jobs applied to are moving forward slowly so I am losing my rental home of six years.
I’m a college educated administrative professional with strong computer skills combined with great social media and freelance photography skills looking for a job in the Inland Empire area of Southern California along with a needing a new home that will accept me, a child, cats, dogs and an alligator lizard.
It seems the only true assistance out there today is community, people helping people as our government and assistance organizations continue to fail us. Today’s headlines focused on the story of Shanesha Taylor in Arizona, a homeless mother of two, who left her young sons in the car while she went into a job interview. While I don’t condone leaving young children unattended, why aren’t there more readily available resources in this situation? How is she supposed to get a job and take care of her family if there isn’t child care to support her so she can go on an interview? Luckily for Shanesha, Amanda Bishop stepped in and set up a fundraising effort on youcaring.com and quickly raised $70,000 for the mother of two. http://ktla.com/2014/04/01/homeless-mom-arrested-after-leaving-kids-in-car-during-job-interview/#axzz2xhHpgbUy She’s one of the lucky ones who had a kind stranger step in to help her during her time of need.
So I’m asking each one of you that read this to please help those in need around you, even if you don’t know them. We’re all battling something but if more of us work together, lives can be saved, lives can be improved. Be grateful for what you have and share your extras with those who need it.
The world-famous KROQ is hosting a contest to win a pair of passes to experience Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood. Click the following link to enter. Enter To Win A Pair Of Passes To Experience Grinchmas At Universal Studios Hollywood. The contest closes on December 23, 2012. Winners will be notified via phone by the KROQ promotions department. What a great way to keep the kids or out-of-town visitors busy over the Christmas Holidays!
Grinchmas is open daily December 15-31, 2012. Enjoy the opportunity to play in real snow as you watch Whoville come to life as the Who’s sing Christmas songs. Enjoy celebrity readings of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and get a family photo with the Grinch and his dog Max.
Local Venice, California resident and business owner, Golden Globe winning actor, Robert Downey Jr. came out in support of the inaugural lighting of the Venice sign on Friday night. He was joined by the Venice Chamber of Commerce , City of Los Angeles Mike Bonin, and Councilmember Bill Rosendahl.
The historic Venice Sign has been refurbished and is a landmark in the beach community. The traditional white lights were swapped out for holiday red & green. Councilmember Bill Rosendahl and Robert Downey Jr. flipped the switch together as the crowd counted down amidst a sea of cheers to kick off the Holiday Season.
Activities included: Complimentary egg nog, coffee and hot chocolate, Mr and Mrs Santa Claus, Arts & Crafts booths from Control Printing, Venice Art Crawl artists, the Venice Sign coloring station for kids,free candy canes and complimentary holiday doggie treats by Venice Pups and Hungry Dawgz of Dogtown. Live music was provided by the band Venice who performed a variety of Christmas classics along with original holiday tunes prior to the lighting of the Venice Sign. It was a family (and pooch) friendly evening that is sure to grow into a wonderful holiday tradition in the years to come.
Readers, have you ever tried this? It looks like a really great trick to get a classy looking bun if you have long hair. I think I need to give this a whirl the next time I come across a sock that’s lost its friend somewhere in the laundry abyss! What other hair tips have you found to be successful that others may not know about?
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society reports the latest statistics for 2012 – “the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about 1 in 8. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 36. Breast cancer death rates have been going down.”
Early detection by getting annual mammograms for women over the age of 40, along with self exams on a regular basis combined with better treatment regimens have led to higher survival rates over the last few years.
Cancer is a terrible disease and I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t been affected by it. During October there are a plethora of events and ways to support breast cancer research and awareness across the country and around the globe. Whether you choose to volunteer, donate money or educate others on cancer awareness, it all adds up and helps save lives.
Supermodel Yasmin Le Bon and Laura Whitmore are Avon’s Breast Cancer Crusade Ambassadors. For every promise made on their website, Avon will donate £1 to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. You can also enter to win a celebrity t-shirt on the site! Take a look at Avon’s behind the scenes video of Yasmin and Laura as they prepare for the photo shoot and discuss their experiences with cancer.
80’s British pop band, Bananarama, featuring Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward are currently touring the USA having joined forces with the Hard Rock Cafe to celebrate 30 years of music and the launch of the Hard Rock Cafe breast cancer charity PINKTOBER 2012. Remaining tour dates include stops in Los Angeles on October 11th, Seattle on October 13th and it wraps up in Las Vegas on October 15th where you can hear classic hits like Venus and Cruel Summer. 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Noreen Fraser Foundation to raise funds for breast cancer research. For more information on the PINKTOBER events check out the Hard Rock Cafe events page.
Other Southern California breast cancer awareness events include the annual Bowling for Boobies event sponsored by the Busted Foundation who aids women that are suffering financial hardships due to medical expenses from breast cancer treatment. The Foundation also educates women on their options to help them attain the broadest possible support network during their treatment. Orange County native, Melissa Henry has been participating in and supporting this fun evening to raise money for breast cancer resources since 2005. Bowling For Boobies® Los Angeles Fundraising event takes place on October 21st at Jillian’s on Universal Citywalk and they are only half way to their fundraising goal with 11 days to go! You can make a difference when you donate to support these great causes by making a promise, buying a t-shirt, or dancing the night away to classic 80’s hits. Every $1 counts.
Happy Earth Day 2011! In what ways were you kind to our planet today? Are there things you do on a regular basis to help sustain our resources? Are there extra things you did today to honor our earth and promote being green to others?
We do our best to be green and engage in activities around the home that are better for us and better for our planet. We recycle like crazy, we ride our bikes all the time and walk a lot too. We take our own bags to the grocery store and I save run off water to use when watering the outside plants. As of the last month or so, our yard is feeding us a bit too as our orange trees have finally taken off this year and I’ve got more oranges than any one Mom knows what to do with!
As Earth Day draws to a close, I’m fairly stoked about how the day ended up. I live in an old house, a quirky place that is woefully not environmentally friendly. It bakes me in the summer and freezes me in the winter. I am a renter though, so I am also limited in the changes I can make. There has been one task, that regardless of whether it falls in my hands or those of my lackluster landlord that had to be taken care of – our fence in the backyard. I can’t even begin to accurately estimate how old it truly is, built sometime shortly after the ice age I believe. It isn’t safe in general, certainly not when my young daughter is out in the yard playing near it and most definitely not effective in keeping our little Chihuahua safely in the backyard.
It is so old that literally, over the winter months, when strong winds blew, various sections took turns falling. Over time my landlord did get them all standing again (oh the great joy of having to walk your own dog on a leash in your own back yard). However, standing is about all that was achieved. Many of the boards were so loose it was more like a gate than a fence and no repairs were done on other sections of the fence – only those areas that completely abandoned their upright positions.
One day on my way to work I noticed a neighbor was replacing most of their fence so I stopped by and asked if they had a plan for their old lumber. I said I’d be happy to take it off their hands if they didn’t need it. They happily gave me the pile of wooden fence slats. While they are old, many cracked & worn, they are far newer than the ones from the ice age which currently cross my backyard.
Recently I started working on the fence and got a little way into securing some boards when my drill ran out of juice. I went in search of the battery charger only to discover it was nowhere to be found. Suddenly a memory came back to me of the day I was sorting through old things in the garage and had stared at the Black & Decker charger with absolutely no recognition coming to light in my busy brain. Perplexed, I wondered to myself why on earth I had this charger because I didn’t recall having any Black & Decker products. I do believe I accidentally sent my drill charger to the Goodwill bin!
I wasn’t quite ready to part with my $30 to buy the replacement charger I found at Lowe’s and Home Depot. The entire new drill with battery charger only cost me $38 to begin with! I tried various other chargers around the house but none did the trick. Then I remembered I still had my old drill that no longer worked somewhere in the garage because I hadn’t found the best way to recycle it yet. I dug around and found it. Guess what? The charger for the old drill fits my new drill perfectly! Hallelujah!
Today was a day off from work for the Easter weekend. I decided it was fence day! I spent about three hours out in the backyard working on the fence today. I started with the best boards of the freebies I had received and fixed the worst areas. I dug mini trenches along the fence line and lightly pounded the boards into the ground a bit for extra support, then drilled screws into the boards to adhere them to the support beams. I didn’t have to take down the old fencing because my side is kind of the backside of the fence so now we have a dual layer of fencing.
After I had a fair amount of it done, I let our naughty little Chihuahua, Susie out back with me to test it out. Buddy our foster Chihuahua helped me much of the time because he isn’t set on escaping through the fence like my little she devil Susie coaxing you with her sad brown puppy eyes. Really, she is the sweetest little dog most of the time except when she tries to escape! She ran along the fence heading for those familiar openings and found they were no longer there! Ha ha ha, Mama wins again!
It was a fun project to work on and best of all it came together on Earth Day – the only thing I purchased was one small box of screws. I reused a neighbors old boards and I also reused many screws that had been in the old fencing on our property. I spent about $5 to repair my fence and make it safe for the dogs to run in the backyard!
Oh yeah, my dog is recycled too! She escaped euthanasia at the animal shelter because we couldn’t resist her sweet face. Recycled dogs are the best! Remember, adopt don’t shop when you are ready for a new furry family member. Your local shelter is overflowing with animals hoping to be your new best friend.