Category Archives: rehabilitation

Punishment Must Meet the Crime

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It seems the news is following my blog. This refers to a recent post

explaining how I stuck my ‘foot’ in my mouth in February. I may have

rubbed someone at work the ‘wrong way.’ I think time will help heal

this situation and I am cheerfully talking to the persons involved

while ignoring their one or two syllable responses. (“Yes” and “No,”

are ones most being expressed.)

 

**My ‘punishment’ may or may not ‘fit’ my crime of being passionate

about equal rights.**

 

Now, I see on the news, that college students are really in deep trouble.

They ‘should have known better.’ The Columbus students at Ohio State

University piled many people into their apartment, plugging multiple

technological devices, television, stereo and probably phones charging.

Fifteen students were all standing outside a large and old house, where

the place had caught on fire early this morning. Fortunately, only the

one sleeping on the mattress pushed up to the plugs got minor burns.

 

The fire department member who spoke to Channel 10 news let all the

listeners know there was a mattress pushed up against this messy and

dangerous conglomeration of plugs into an outlet. They are now,

what the newscaster ominously stated, “homeless.”

 

**Their punishment should be to have spend time in a beginner’s

course called, “Electricity for Dummies.” They should have to show

a ‘graduation’ certificate before any other landlords allow them to

rent again. This was a mistake they will never make again. **

 

The second group of college students you may have seen their hateful

video, come from Oklahoma University. They are making national news

for spouting derogatory comments and racial slurs in their thoughtless,

drunken filmed tape. These men from the SAE fraternity, should be

‘ashamed of themselves.’

 

The fraternity boys ‘know better,’ too. If I were their parents, I would

never spend a dime on them again. They would have to find their own

way home from college, the car keys taken away. I could not believe

this insulting SAE group of men.

 

My Dad, brother and first ex-husband all belonged to a different type of

fraternity men. They may have ‘partied’ hardy, but there was definitely a

higher level of integrity. They participated in philanthropic projects and

during Christmas, collected toys, food and clothing for needy children.

My brother and my ex-husband also were participating in the seventies

movement of wanting diversity in their membership.

 

My friend, Melvin when the lunchtime noon break came around and

he saw the news story about the fraternity, stopped to ask me what I

thought of them.

 

Melvin and the guys were watching television in a different direction

from our table. Their t.v. was on the Sports Channel. I assume more

“March Madness” going on. He said he could not believe the college

boys had actually filmed their mean-spirited rant or rap.

 

My friend, Melvin exclaimed,

“What were they thinking, Robin? Are they stupid or what? Now,

you know you need to blog about this one. Preach it, Robin! Tell

them what kind of penalty or punishment they need to serve.

I don’t think picking up trash on the side of the road matches the

hate leveled in their words.”

 

Just in case you don’t wish to search for what is called, “Racist film

by college fraternity men,” I will tell you the content.  It said they

would not want to have any  “N-word”  joining their fraternity. It

goes on saying more nasty stuff. It is posted on many sources of

social media, just look it up.

 

With Melvin’s encouragement a few of us brainstormed, (women

who are mothers.) We came up with the following service to keep

the men ‘on parole’ rolls. This would have to be closely supervised,

parole officers checking in on the guys at ‘work sites.’

 

**We think the young men from the Oklahoma U. SAE fraternity

should participate in both an elderly and youth oriented program.

The programs should serve a diverse community of people and help

the boys to ‘see the light.’ (Melvin, I preached it!)**

 

The places we came up with were for them to volunteer for 100 hours

of community service at an inner city soup kitchen, homeless shelter

or an impoverished area’s nursing home facility. They need to meet

the elderly face to face, help them with more than just surface

projects.

 

We added an extra 100 hours of working at an inner city daycare

facility. We would like them to look at the faces of a wide range of

children representing ethnic groups at a center for children. We

would like them to think about the hateful words they said in their

‘chant.’ Another punishment would be to change dirty diapers.

Well supervised by the daycare center’s staff. Careful use of wipes

and special lotion, so the babies and the toddlers will not experience

any discomfort.

 

The discomfort should be for those young men who felt they could

express themselves in such a disrespectful way towards many

who may never have wanted to join them anyway.

 

The amazing and positive result of this film coming out in the media,

was college students and other people gathered on campus. Many

joining hands, some putting their hands upon each other’s shoulders.

There were a few past SAE fraternity men who came forward, were

vocal and expressed displeasure at the film. The group consisted of

more than one race in their unified peaceful demonstration.

 

The result of their protest was at least two young men were expelled.

I hope their punishment will be to do some of our suggested activities

mentioned above. This would help clear their conscience and hopefully

‘clean the slate’ they muddied.

 

Going from the sloppy electrical mess some college students

resulting in their now smoky and damage apartments in Ohio

to the Oklahoma University debacle, you can see a very huge

downward slope in behaviors.

 

The news moved on to this sick subject.

 

The last headline story, you may just wish to skip.

 

It is always a tragedy.

 

One that seems to happen at least once a week.

 

I wish I knew the statistics on boyfriends, family members

or caretakers who harm

young children.

 

The most recent story horrified me. I worked for a couple of years

at a battered women’s shelter, where usually the woman were the

ones who were hurt. There were also children’s stories which made

me sob at night. This ‘hardened’ woman will share the fact that

yet another person, in the U.S. raped and killed a little baby. The

most recent case was in Arkansas. The little baby girl was only

8 days old.

 

By the way, you don’t want to search this subject. There are

many stories, one after another on this subject. Steven Smith

in Ohio, on Death Row, asking for parole, a man who raped a

6 month old baby girl, Autumn. A woman who raped her

10 month old son.His name was Ashley, like the character

in the movie, “Gone with the Wind.”

 

I quickly closed the pages of articles on this subject.

 

**Everyone was thinking the death penalty for these persons.

Another table beside us, with some young men from Heavy

Bulk pitched in, agreeing with many in consensus.

I feel the person who does anything to a defenseless person,

child or elderly, should have their sexual organs taken away.

(Since women do this crime, sadly, I could not just use the

word, “castrated.”) The person should not get to just take

the drugs that ‘kill’ their deviant sexual appetites. This is

too dangerous, the consequences too extreme. I would not

want to trust them to take the drugs. Surgery is all I could

think of. . . I don’t advocate the Death Penalty. **

 

I am not sure how the justice system will handle any of

the above cases.

 

What I sometimes hear as a defense, but am in disbelief of, is the

thought of “freedom of speech.” (As in the SAE fraternity case,

Oklahoma University.)

 

Anyone venturing a ‘judgment’ or opinion?

 

 

 

“You do the crime, you pay the time.”

 

 

Sit-Com Stars in Hallmark Movie

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On another post, we had just been talking about 1989, when a few

of our favorite funny situation comedies originated. I could not

believe my ‘luck’ when I turned on the Hallmark Channel to find a

movie with a catchy title, “The Christmas Con.” There is an ensemble

cast of six famous actors from more than six situation comedies.

They show their talent and  versatility in this meaningful Hallmark

movie.

 

I will sketch the plot in, along with giving you the ‘who’s who’ of t.v.

series actors. If you are a fan of television trivia games, you may be

able to ‘keep up with me,’ in this essay about performers who have

been around television for years: one since 1982. Although the title

isn’t very pretty nor the story as simple as some Hallmark Christmas

movies are, it tells a meaningful story of hope and forgiveness.

 

There is a collection of outstanding, amusing actors who played

character parts in this story of ‘redemption.’ The movie has two

characters, an ex-convict who needs to change his way of dealing

with people, passing through his life ‘taking’ and never ‘giving.’ The

second character must face his addiction, he has to fall flat on his

face, embarrass himself, go to jail and then, find his way home.

 

The actor who plays the character of an alcoholic man, came from a

caring family, dramatic show, “Party of Five.”  My two daughters loved

the whole cast of this show. They would know this man who later left

this show to play an irascible red-headed doctor.  Although, you may

or may not,  have known the popular teenaged-cast of “Party of Five,”

he was, “Will Mc Corkle.” Then you may have seen him as the red haired

“pain in the butt” doctor from the serious show, “E.R.”  This character

was the head of the “E.R.” as, Dr. Archie Morris. “Archie” was disliked by

most everyone, (nurses and the E.R. hospital staff) which showed quite

a range of talent in this role played by Scott Grimes. It was nice to have

known him as a likable man in the first show, then respect his portrayal

of a ‘by the books’ doctor who sometimes went ‘head to head’ with John

Stamos, who played another type of character on “E.R.” Scott Grimes

went from “E.R.” to act in a few television movies, along with another

series, “Band of Brothers.”

Interestingly enough, Scott Richard Grimes made a ‘soft rock and roll’

album, (also described as  ‘popular rock’) called, “Sunset Boulevard.” He

wrote all of the songs and sang them, too. I have not checked this out

but it was favorably reviewed, in its genre.

 

Then there was the character of the  endearing ex-convict with a ‘heart

of gold,’ who plays Santa Claus, making a promise he nearly is unable to

keep for the son of the red-headed man. Scott Grime’s plays a father/

ex-husband who is unfortunately battling alcoholism. His son asks Santa

Claus to bring his mother and father back together again for Christmas.

 

Santa promises to bring this estranged father back ‘into the fold,’ becoming

part of the trio the boy considers his ‘family.’ The ex-con is played by Barry

Watson, who both my daughters had major ‘crushes’ on, while he was the

oldest son in a family of seven members being raised by a minister, known

as, “Seventh Heaven.” Barry Watson left “Seventh Heaven,” to battle in his

own personal ‘real life drama,’ Hodgkins Disease. My family, son included,

had Barry in our prayers for a few years. His attractive long-haired look in

the family show changed to a gaunt, bald look when he was interviewed

during this period of time. The producers allowed him to ‘spread his wings,’

by being behind the camera, in his writing plots and helping set up scenes.

 

There is a memorable scene, in The Christmas Con,” which paints a fairly

accurate picture of an A.A. meeting, where Scott Grimes’ meets Santa Claus,

out of costume. I feel capable of analyzing this subject, due to my own personal

experience of being married to an alcoholic, having attended one year of A.A.,

two years of Alanon, and taking my three children to Children of Alcoholics

meetings.

 

The man who is Santa/Barry’s best friend is played by, Jaleel White, who

portrayed the dorky, inept character named, “Steve Urkel,” in “Family

Matters.” His character has mended his ways of conniving and trying to

trick others, while also being a good and supportive friend to Barry’s

character. He gets to also romance Barry’s ‘sister,’ in the movie, using his

charming demeanor. He looks ‘nothing’ like Steve Urkel, has grown into

a handsome man.

 

John Ratzenberger’s in the cast of this Hallmark movie, playing a Grandpa,

and you know where he came from?  “Cheers,” where he was “Cliff Clavin,”

the mailman, the one who sometimes kept the bar stool warm for hours.

He was the stocky man’s (“Norm’s”) best friend, “where everyone knew

their names.” This series lasted from 1982 -1993. No wonder we felt these

actors were part of our family! John R. went on to make a few different

television movies, played guest character roles on shows and my ‘grandies’

love him in such familiar children’s animated films as the “Toy Story” series,

“Monsters, Inc.” and “Cars,” where he plays (‘voices’) a rusted-out truck.

 

Another familiar character, where you may wonder, “Where have I seen

this attractive black woman before?” She has a unique character part,

as a female preacher in a church.  By the end of the story, you realize this

does not exist. It is a boarded up church, having been condemned. The

recognizable woman, who you don’t immediately ‘place’ or figure out

where she came from, is  talk show hostess, Wendy Williams. She ends

up being a fantastic singer, when she is caroling with church folks in a

neighborhood. I felt she was the Guardian Angel for Barry’s ex-convict

character.

 

The last famous displaced series player, is the actress, Melissa Joan Hart.

You got to know her as a teenaged witch in “Sabrina the Teen Age Witch,”

if you had children in the 90’s. (This ran seven years, 1996-2003.) Along

with Melissa’s more current role on  the show, “Melissa and Joey.” In the

Family Channel show, she is a town councilwoman and Joey (Lawrence)

is playing her ‘stay at home’ Nanny/Housekeeper. Can you believe Joey

was on The Johnny Carson Show, singing at age 5 years old? He is NOT

in this Hallmark movie, but was in one with Melissa Joan Hart, a few

Christmases ago.

(Yes, the plot for “Melissa and Joey,” resembles the one of “Who’s the

Boss?”)

 

Melissa’s character believes in her brother, the man who has just been

released from prison. You don’t feel he was a dangerous criminal and

are sympathetic to his character. (He had been a ‘grifter’ or ‘con artist,’

hence the name of the movie…)

Melissa and Barry make a believably good sister and brother team.

Melissa Joan Hart debuted as the director of this movie, which is a

new position for her to be in.

 

When Jameel’s character meets Melissa, he shows his debonair side,

which eventually they become close and they make a ‘cute couple.’

Their characters go about playing the ‘normal’ fantasy of carrying out

Christmas routines, as they decorate Melissa’s house, listen to Santa/

Barry’s quandary. Both Jaleel’s buddy character and Melissa’s sister

character cheer for the miracle of fixing the nearly irreparable marriage

and family together again.

 

Yes, I told you part of the ending.

The journey makes it worth watching.

The cast of recognizable people who have become part of our ongoing

landscape of television. Those people who come into our living room,

visit and stay awhile. They become more familiar than big screen

actors.

There are a few ‘surprises’ and twisting turns leading you to the

expected and satisfying ending. I didn’t tell you anything you didn’t

know since almost all of these movies come out ‘safe and sound.’

 

Hopefully, instead you will want to watch this more. Since it is the

way they handle the simplistic story, how they fulfill their duties as

characters which will help you admire Scott Grimes, Jaleel White,

Barry Watson, Melissa Joan Hart, John Ratzenberger and Wendy

Williams. In my mind, this is an ‘All Star Cast’ of television experts.

 

This is a treat to see, savor and remember. It shows me Christmas is

a time for all possibilities imaginable to come true.

 

Incredible Excuses for Sick Days

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The Harris Poll performs a national online poll of 2203 hiring Managers and Human

Resource Department’s Professionals and 3103 workers. This was carried out this year

from August 11 trough September 5, 2014. You won’t believe some of the strangest

set of “poor excuses” ever!

 

Here are the TOP TEN most unbelievable, but true, excuses for calling in sick:

 

1.  I just put a casserole in the oven. I need to stay home to take it out.”

2.  I had to have some plastic surgery; it needed ‘tweaking.’

3.  I fell asleep on the toilet, my feet and legs fell asleep and this caused

me to fall and break my ankle.

4.  I was at the casino all weekend- still ahead, so won’t be in on Monday.

5.  I woke up in a good mood. I didn’t want to ruin it by coming into work.

6.  I had a “lucky night” (if you know what that means) and didn’t know

where I was when I woke up.

7.  I got stuck in the Blood Pressure machine and can’t get out in time

for work.

8.  I had a gall stone, I just want to allow it to heal holistically.

9.  I caught my uniform on fire when I tried to dry it in the microwave.

10.  I “accidentally” got on an airplane and am leaving the country.

 

When I use Number Five, I call it a Mental Health Day (to myself) but

I use the ‘too sick to come to work’ line.

 

The HR Department personnel and the Managers mention that

1 in 5 employers can tell a ‘fake’ excuse and have fired employees

for their lying to them.

28% of Call In’s compared to 32% Call In’s last year, 2013.

I was not able to understand this statistic. Sorry!

 

 

Do you mind sharing one of your most imaginative excuses?

Hope this list gave you a chuckle or got you smiling today.

They sure were wild and crazy, laughable and lame.

In the ‘good old days’ the regular excuses were:

“I am a little under the weather”

or

“I am feeling queasy.”

 

Slurred Speech

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The Dark Side of Comedy

While laughing and coming up with a wide selection of old time shows

that were either variety and/or talk shows, we came upon a somber

moment. My coworkers and I had listed The Jackie Gleason Show, which

included a funny character named, “Crazy Guggenheim.” We had also talked

about how many of the talk show ‘hosts’ or ‘hostesses’ held cigarettes

in their fingers or had a amber colored beverage in their glasses.

Who doesn’t remember Dean Martin, for example, having a drink in

his hand?

By the way, Frank Fontaine portrayed Crazy Guggenheim on both the

Jackie Gleason and Jack Benny shows. He died of 58 years old, about

to donate a check for heart disease studies. His heart attack was

a shock to those who loved him. He knew how to sing well, having

filled a whole album of the songs he sang, while Jackie G. portrayed

his famous alter ego, “Joe the Bartender.” Frank F. was famous for

his slurred speeches, his drunken behavior and his bug-eyed look

and facial expressions.

We thought that it was interesting how times ‘had changed’ and

decided there were “pro’s” and “con’s” to the past.

Let me insert a famous line from the movie, “A Night at the Opera,”

(1935):

“Let there be dancing in the streets, drinking in the saloons, and

necking in the parlor.”

This line was spoken by Groucho Marx, in his portrayal of the film’s

character, Otis B. Driftwood.

We know now that famous people are just like us, in many ways.

We also realize that, although there were “Time” and “Newsweek”

magazines trying to bring to the forefront of the population,

the downfalls of alcohol, drugs, gambling and smoking, there were

many disregarding the after effects, side effects and we did not

have such a stigma attached to these ‘bad’ habits. Two of us at my

lunch table on Thursday, became rather sad and quiet. They were

reflecting on recalled deaths of family members due to smoking and

cancer. One of us had experienced abusive, “mean drunks” for parents.

We decided that addictions, such as these, are still not considered

as ‘big of a deal.’ Society, in some ways, continues to ‘brush them

under the table.’

Even the subject of rehabilitation has had its lighter comedic film

moments. People either laugh, due to the antics and situations that

don’t seem real or out of being uncomfortable. It is hard to explain

why we laugh when someone runs into a wall, falls off a roof, or

trips and does a pratfall.

Treatment for the addictions, in the form of actually facing that

these ARE diseases, is important. Still, we felt a little sad

about the fun we had, when young and felt ‘invincible’ and our

lives, for the most part, had been impermeable to the aging

results of sometimes almost impossible challenges.

Slurred speech, in the ways a person sometimes cannot help it,

while in persons who have had a stroke, live with the challenge

of disabilities and speech delays are NOT FUNNY! We would not

laugh, hopefully, when someone has a speech ‘impediment!’

We still felt a little ambiguous, as we thought back upon the

variety of comedy skits that made us roar with uncontrollable

laughter. Melvin admitted to sometimes, while in the armed

forces, being drunk and thinking it was funny when his buddies

and he pulled pranks while drunk. It is considered a serious

offense, and if caught, these days, you could be court-martialed!

Melvin remarked, that in the ‘old war stories’ of the past, often

there would be stories of men ‘letting off steam.’ We also agreed

that the Viet Nam war movies, seemed to include a prevalent use

of drugs.

Who can forget Crazy Guggenheim’s humorous lines, his leaning

into a person, while breathing out his alcoholic breath? Who

cannot forget when there have been famous movies, with drunken

scenes, sometimes with innocent types of sloppy behaviors?

Who can forget the drunken orgies in “Animal House?”

Who has seen and enjoyed some teenaged or college-aged

movies (or personal memories) where it was very funny being

drunk or being around people who were high?

Who did not laugh (if they are above 40 years old) at Cheech

and Chong’s movie, “Up in Smoke?”

Adding, “Arthur,” with Dudley Moore and The Benny Hill Show,

to the mix, we had international connections of drinking in

movies and television shows.

I have seen Doris Day, Sandra Dee, Humphrey Bogard, Elizabeth

Taylor, Richard Burton and other classic actors and actresses

who have done scenes where they portrayed alcoholics. Some

were quite dramatic and serious roles with “mean” and “sloppy”

drunken roles as their focus. Yet, some were fun ‘romp’ movies

where the drunks were silly.

A lot of comedies include either drugs, alcohol or addictions,

going over the top in their portrayals.

There are also famous movies with the dark and angry side of

the picture:

“Days of Wine and Roses” and “Leaving Las Vegas” come to mind.

We have moved forward in some ways, then stepped back, too.

After all, we still have three “Hangover” movies…

I still will watch comedy sketches with the Saturday Night

Live crew, some who are great at making me laugh, acting

silly while stumbling around and falling down drunk.