Fall TV 2019

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The best part about fall is having all of your favorite TV shows come back on the air! Here’s the list of what I will most definitely be watching this season:

 

Monday, September 9th:
The Kelly Clarkson Show – NBC

Monday, September 16th:
Dancing With The Stars – ABC

Wednesday, September 18th:
American Horror Story: 1984 – FX

Sunday, September 22nd:
71st Emmy Awards – FOX

Monday, September 23rd:
The Voice – NBC

Tuesday, September 24th:
This Is Us – NBC
Empire – FOX
Black-ish – ABC
Mixed-ish – ABC

Wednesday, September 25th:
Modern Family – ABC
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia – FX

Thursday, September 26th:
The Good Place – NBC
A Million Little Things – ABC

Friday, September 27th:
Fresh Off The Boat – ABC

Saturday, September 28th:
Saturday Night Live – NBC

Sunday, September 29th:
Shark Tank – ABC

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Thanks for reading!

 

 

Guns In America

4My stance on gun violence and gun control reform is no secret, and after the shootings this weekend in El Paso and Dayton, I’m deeply saddened. I absolutely do not support our president and the awful things he says. I just don’t think it’s okay that a president can spew such racist remarks, promote hate, and be such a bully to individuals that he should be respecting. It’s not okay that this is the face of our country. Because as a result, people think that way of thinking is alright. And then they go and shoot up places that have a high diversity population, and post their white supremacy manifestos online. What’s happening in our country is upsetting, dis-heartening, and embarrassing, and is also a direct correlation to the racist person that we have in office.

*The above are my opinions. You do not have to agree with them. Regardless of race issues, guns continue to be a prominent and polarizing topic in the U.S. Below are some actual facts about guns in America.*

3Guns in America are growing. The number of civilian owned firearms has grown from 170 million in 1990 to 265 million in 2015. Gun-control legislation can help keep everyone safe, as stricter gun-control laws reduce gun deaths – up to 9 times as less. Focus on the types of weapons available can also help, as the the average number of victims in high-capacity weapon shootings is roughly twice as high as shootings where other firearms were used. 

More guns = more deaths from guns. Not only are the gun violence rates much higher in the U.S. than other countries, but the firearm suicide rate is also much hire. We have 8 times the amount of deaths than Canada, 13 times more than France, 20 times more than Australia and 40 times more than Germany.

More guns = more guns being obtained illegally. 40% of criminals with guns obtain them from a street or illegal source, 37% get them from a family or friend, and 11% from a pawnshop, gun show, or other retailer.

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Opinions from gun owners vs. non-gun owners:

  • 89% of both gun owners and non-gun owners support preventing people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns.
  • 82% of gun owners and 84% of non-gun owners support preventing gun purchasing from people on no-fly or watch lists.
  • 77% of gun owners and 87% of non-gun owners support requiring background checks for private gun sales and at gun shows.
  • 54% of gun owners and 80% of non-gun owners support creating a federal database to track all gun sales.
  • 48% of gun owners and 77% of non-gun owners support banning assault-style weapons.

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This information was published in TIME Magazine on November 5th, 2018, and is still extremely relevant today, almost one year later.

“This is America. Guns in my area.” – Childish Gambino, 2018

6To help support the families of the victims of the El Paso and Dayton shootings, donations can be made to the El Paso Community Foundation, Paso Del Norte Foundation, or the Dayton Foundation. (Click here for more information.)

Thanks for reading.

Source: Guns In America: A TIME and JR Project, TIME Magazine.

Out Of Orange by Cleary Wolters

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If you watched the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, then you are familiar with Alex Vause. If you’ve read Piper Kerman’s book with the same title, then you are familiar with Nora Jansen. The real woman is named Cleary Wolters. After finishing the final season of the series, as well as the real Piper’s book, I decided to round out my obsession by reading Out Of Orange – the memoir of the “real woman behind the glasses.”

Hearing about when she first saw the Netflix commercial – damn. I felt my own heart sink along with her reaction of first hearing the now iconic clicking of the gate. Cleary had no idea that this production was happening. She was still on parole for her crime, unable to legally communicate with Piper, and didn’t know how this would affect her status.

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She then goes back to the beginning of her story and her crimes to show us the full sequence of events. The Netflix show completely leaves out Cleary’s sister, who is an integral part of the story. She is dating the boss, or “God”, as some called him – the one running the drug smuggling operations. That’s how Cleary/Nora/Alex got involved in the first place. The book focuses more on the crime and the details of the drug ring than anything else. The story is long and elaborate, and while I did find a lot of it interesting, I found that it could definitely have been more concise. Regardless, I’m glad that Cleary got a chance to tell her side of the story and set her own narrative.

In the 7th and final season of OITNB, one of the COs shoves a condom full of heroin down Alex’s throat to hide it. Funnily enough, that’s how many of Cleary’s co-workers transported drugs. She details her first trip, where her colleague puts the heroin into the pinky of a rubber glove, ties it and cuts it off, dips it into some yogurt, and swallows it whole. He does this over and over again until he’s consumed it all, each capsule containing enough heroin to kill him immediately if accidentally released inside him before he has a chance to go through digestion. Cleary, however, has the heroin she is moving sewn into a man’s suit. They later adapt to a method where it is sewn directly into the lining of the suitcases. (This was the 90’s, so prior to drug sniffing dogs.)

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Piper is a not as big of a character in most the book as one may think, starting out just as the role of “cat godmother and babysitter” for a while in a platonic way. It did, of course, evolve into something more, but she is still a secondary, maybe even tertiary, character in the drug operations. I think it proves how someone small in your life can have such a big influence. Piper can blame Cleary for getting her mixed into the business that led to her year in prison, but it brought her wild success. And in return, Piper also put Cleary on the map; I would not have read her book or even known her name had it not been for Piper Kerman and Netflix.

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Overall, I’m not sure that Cleary Wolters is one of my favorite authors. The further I got into the book, the more I disliked the way Cleary writes. It’s scattered and sometimes repetitive in a strange way. For example, she’ll describe swallowing a vicodin down with a scoop of her miso soup, followed by the fact that she ordered sushi and miso soup. I almost wondered if she wrote a draft, and then an editor told her to go back and add more detail, and she just did that in random areas. Not to mention, I feel as though the cover and title did not accurately reflect the contents of the book. It’s not until page 234 that she finally sees prison time, and the book is somewhere around 300 or so pages. The story is almost the prologue to Pipers, and I just think that could have been portrayed more. Not to judge a book by its cover or anything. And like I said before, I very much enjoyed hearing her side of the story.

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Honestly, maybe if I was more of a cat person, I would have enjoyed this book a little bit more.

Thanks for reading.

Support LGBTQ Causes

Looking to get more involved in the LGBTQ+ community? Here are many amazing organizations and causes that are always looking for more support:

 

GLSEN-Safe-InclusiveGLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network): The leading national education organization, promoting anti-bullying through campaigns and gay-straight alliances in schools across the nation. Volunteer or donate at glsen.org or 212-727-0135.

hrc-foundationHuman Rights Campaign Foundation: A civil rights advocacy group who focuses largely on LGBTQ rights, marriage equality, and legislation changes that include hate-crimes and anti-discrimination movements. Volunteer or donate at hrc.org or 202-628-4160.

Lambda LegalLambda Legal: A defense and education fund that supports civil rights and provides legal services for the LGBTQ community as well as individuals living with HIV and AIDS.
Attorney’s can join the Cooperating Attorney Network within the organization, and anyone can volunteer or donate at lamdalegal.org or 212-809-8585.

PFLAGPFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays): An organization that promotes the health and wellness of LGBTW people and their loved ones through support groups and scholarship programs. Sign up or donate at pflag.org or 202-467-8180.

SageSage: A social group that provides health services, housing, and employement opportunties for LGBTQ senior citizens. Get involved or donate at sageusa.org or 212-741-2247.

Stonewall Community FoundationStonewall Community Foundation: A fundraiser to support LGBTQ non-profits and organizations in NYC, which includes scholarship programs that support refugees and asylum seekers. Donate at stonewallfoundation.org or 212-457-1341.

stonewall initiativeStonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative: The official and only charitable giving organization of the Historic Stonewall Inn, promoting tolerance and acceptance in communities across America. Get more information or donate at stonewallinitiative.org or 646-242-8382.

Take Back The PromTake Back The Prom: A DoSomthing campaign where thousands of students share stories and sign petitions to demand change from schools who still have discrimination policies. Students can access the Anxiety Line by texting PROM to 38383, or donate at takebacktheprom.com.

The Trevor ProjectThe Trevor Project:  A confidential hotline that provides crisis and suicide-prevention services, as well as resources for parents and educators. Volunteer to be trained to become a lifeline counselor or volunteer, or donate at thetrevorproject.org or 310-271-8845.

 

Now go get involved! Thanks for reading!

5 LGBT Historical Figures You Should Know

Even though Pride Month has officially ended, it’s still important to remember the people who paved the way for us to celebrate. My company’s internal Pride magazine has continued to show focus on the trailblazers that paved the way for the rest of us. So, here are 5 historical LGBTQ figures that you should most definitely know about:

 

harveymilk460Harvey Milk
The first openly gay elected official in the U.S., Harvey Milk was a civil and human rights activist who served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. His work in advocacy for the LGBTQ community was only beginning when he was assassinated less than just one year in office.

Bayard RustinBayard Rustin
A close adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin marched with on Washington as a black and gay man to fight for civil rights. He was one of the most effective influencers of the civil rights movement, and was nicknamed “Mr. March-on-Washington”.

Michael_DillonLaurence Michael Dillon
robertaBorn with the name Laura Maud, Laurence Michael Dillon was the first person to undergo FTM gender reassignment surgery.  He was a British physician, but when his story was revealed to the world, he fled to India and became a Monk. Roberta Cowell is also noteworthy, as she was the first to undergo a surgical MTF transition.

Simon NkoliSimon Nkoli
Experiencing extreme discrimination, Simon Nkoli was a South Africa native that was one of the first Black anti-apartheid activists to publicly identify as gay and HIV-positive. He was diagnosed while in prison for protesting, and eventually died of an AIDS related illness.

herculineHerculine Barbin
Assigned female at birth but later reclassified by law as male, Herculine Barbin was the first person to be labeled as intersex. Herculine eventually changed their name to Abel, and died by suicide at the age of 30 after much medical scrutiny.  (Note: There are no confirmed pictures of Herculine Barbin, so the above picture may not be accurate.)

 

gay   Thanks for reading!

For more information on these amazing people, please visit:  
milkfoundation.org/ ;  
kinginstitute.edu/rustin-bayard ;  
http://library.transgenderzone.com/ ;  
www.sahistory.org.za/tseko-simon-nkoli ;  
Herculine Barbin, By Michel Foucault

Podcast Favorites #6

podcast  The pods don’t stop! Here are even more my favorite podcast suggestions: (#1#2#3#4, #5)

 

420 FRIENDLY:

MJ today daily

Marijuana Today Daily – For any headline that is cannabis related across the U.S., here is your resource. This daily dose of top stories and breaking news along with other relevant information will certainly keep you in the know. Host Shea Gunther celebrates the achievements made in the cannabis industry and leads you to longer online articles as well if you are interested in some of his briefed topics. Under 10 minutes long and released each morning, it’s a good quick listen.

 

Stoner Horoscopes

Stoner Horoscopes – This podcast only comes out monthly, and has a separate page to follow for each separately horoscope (which is nice, so then you don’t have to delete the horoscope episodes that aren’t yours). It’s always a quick and lighthearted listen, wishing you good fortunate and recommending different strains of cannibals to bring you positivity.  It’s definitely a little hippy dippy, but I enjoy it.

 

CELEB PODCASTS:

Chelsea HandlerLife Will Be The Death Of Me with Chelsea Handler – If you are a Chelsea Handler fan, then you know that her new book just came out. Chelsea combines her book tour, lessons learned from her therapist, and her life stories to pull together this podcast. It’s very relevant, liberal, and important information and ideas that should spark a lot of good discussion. I’m a big Chelsea fan, and am spreading her new words to live by: “The world is only getting browner and gayer, and if you don’t hop on board, you’re gonna miss the fucking bus.”

 

Justin Long

Life Is Short with Justin Long – Just like many other celebrity podcasts, Justin Long interviews his colleagues and friends in a free-spirited environment. This podcast often includes his brother as a co-host, and has a very very very catchy theme song. The show isn’t entirely original, and reminds me of other celeb podcasts. However there are a lot of big named celebrities and if you like Justin then it’s still worth listening to.

 

IMPORTANT ISSUES:

Out and Up

Out and Up – I’m going to be honest here. This podcast has a great message and some good content, but it’s a little dry and hard to get through. I’ve often picked it up and put it back down, as not every single guest is a natural given story teller. Even still, these stories are important and should be heard, and as a member of the LGBTQ community, I have intentions to continue to support.

 

 

#tellblackstories

#TellBlackStories – I’m going to continue to support this podcast as well, but here is some more honesty. The words and stories in this podcast are truly awesome, but the audio quality needs a ton of work. Often the different individuals talking are at wildly different volumes, and you either can’t hear one or are deafened when the other starts talking. If you are able to listen, the interviews are so great and highlight different struggles and obstacles that powerful people have overcome. There’s so much left to uncover as well in future episodes, but they need to get the audio worked out.

 

New Pod On The Block

New Pod On The Block – Don’t try to tell me that boy bands are not an important issue to be talked about, because they are! Hosts Josh and Mike are huge boy band fans, and they bring us through all our 90’s favorite things. From liquid dreams, to the best bops and bangers, you will be reliving some of your best memories. 98 Degrees, Backstreet Boys, N*SYNC, Boyz II Men, and so much more – they are all waiting for you.

 

The podcast love is real, so please comment or send me your favorite podcasts!

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

Summer Movies 2019

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Here is a list of movies that were already or are going to ticketbe released this summer that I may or may not try to see. 

*Disclaimer, the last time I set out with a list of new movies to watch, I only watched two out of five of them. I’ll make an effort to finish that list, and I will certainly try to hold myself more to the commitment this time.*

 

booksmartBooksmart – May 24th

maMa – May 31st

rocketmanRocketman – May 32nd

men in blackMen In Black: International – June 14th

murder mysteryMurder Mystery – June 14th

yesterdayYesterday – June 28th

once upona timeOnce Upon A Time In Hollywood – July 26th

good boysGood Boys – August 16th

bernadetteWhere’d You Go Bernadette – August 16th

 

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Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading.