Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spady, Suicide and Depression

Click here for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline

I am once again faced with the sadness of reading about a famous person’s depression and suicide. Like so many others I woke this morning to read of and hear about the tragic death in Paris, France of Chef and CNN show host Anthony Bourdain.

I watched his show maybe once, ever. But knew of him through interviews and commercials. Its not my knowledge of his death that saddens me. Its the suicide. Along with the death earlier this week of fashion designer Kate Spady we are all reminded of how fame, fortune, and accomplishment are not enough to fend off the terrible grips depression can have on people. It’s power can feel overwhelming. And it can take lives leaving behind a wake of incomprehensible grief for those who knew the deceased. As in the examples of Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spady, Tyler Hilinski in January, and Robin Williams a few years ago; one doesn’t need to personally know someone to be effected.

I have never attempted suicide. I have thought about it.

The betrayal of my ex-wife and the associated circumstances that lead to our divorce after 28 years of marriage caused me to fall into an almost deadly depression. For nearly 2 years I struggled to make it through each day. I cried every day. It got so bad that crying become a necessary comfort. I remember times when if it got late in the day and I realized I hadn’t cried that day, I would make myself cry because I felt I had to cry to feel normal. The will to continue living is weakened in such circumstances. The will to end it and stop the pain grows. Obviously for some ending it all becomes the solution they see as their only option. I felt that way, way to often. It’s frightening to think back on those times now.

If I could say anything to help those suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts it would be these two things. Not all people care about you. But some do. Some do very much. The other thing is that you can find salvation, literally, through God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

When I discovered my ex-wife’s cheating and she confessed it and then all the lies and false and incomplete stories came to light I knew right away I would need help. I knew the feelings in me were too strong and too destructive to try and cope on my own. After meeting with and rejecting several counselors and counseling services I turned to my church. My church provided a counseling service I had previously never known about. It provided me a new friend and sound wisdom in the face of irresponsibility and illogical behavior I was faced with every day.

I prayed every day. I read the Bible. I read lots of books. Most of the books I read were self-help books or biographies of successful people I admired. Not surprisingly I kept finding in these books a recurring theme. God was at the center of many people’s success. So, while I always felt I led a good life and believed in Christ; I made a more deliberate effort to pray, read the Bible and eliminate from my character and my behaviors things that were in conflict with God’s teachings. I am also not ashamed to admit reading the Bible and studying it taught me how to accomplish so much more in life and in my relationships. While I had led a good life. I was still doing much wrong, that I didn’t realize. I’ve done much better since. I will continue to improve.

The other thing about depression is that friends and family tire of your depressed state. Initially you can find all the support you can handle. Everyone has a sympathetic ear and kind words of wisdom and support. But as your depression lingers or if it goes away and returns many of these same people ostracize you. They stay away. They no longer want to be part of your problems. You have worn them out.

It’s easy to understand, to a point. Nobody wants to be around a sad person all the time. This sad or depressed person can bring you down and effect your own life. But, there is a difference between a negative person who is always grumbling and having a glass is half-empty view on life versus someone who is depressed. If you are the friend or family member of someone who is depressed, I urge you to hang in there. Don’t turn away from them. And realize you can positively change their life for the better. The perpetually negative half-empty glass type of person is someone you want to avoid. But the depressed person can be helped. If you were there for them at the start of their depression. Be there at the end. You and they will reap the rewards of a closer relationship in the future.

I lost friends and family through my depression. They are gone now and probably don’t care that I have rebounded and am a happy person again. I have found love. And while I now know that falling back into the spiral of depression is something I am susceptible to doing, I am wiser for having come through it and can fend it off on the occasions when it creeps back into my conscious.

So help those that you can. Share God’s word. And if you are suffering yourself be proactive in combatting your depression. Take steps. The pain can go away and happiness can be your end story.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is: 1-800-273-8255

 

Nazis, Communists, Homeless, and Bums and other Things I don’t Understand

Today’s world is becoming increasingly hard to understand. Here is a list of my thoughts in no particular order.

 

In Seattle and other cities, you have to pay to park your car on the street beside the curb for a short period of time. But you can pitch a tent on that curb and pay nothing.

 

In Seattle, and other cities, if you stay in that parking place too long you will be ticketed and have to pay a fine. But that tent can stay on that curb/sidewalk indefinitely and pay nothing.

In Seattle last year the city paid over $200-million on homelessness last year and the problem got worse. But rather than take a new approach Seattle’s City Council and Mayor are preparing to spend more and do the same things.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan proposed a plan that will provide beds for 500 homeless people each year above what is already available. But with 10,000 homeless people living on the streets of the city and the homeless population growing at 44% over the previous 2 years many more than 500 people per year who are homeless are coming to Seattle; resulting in a net growth in the homelessness population under Durkan’s plan.

The same people this week who are applauding ABC for firing Roseanne Barr (and her whole TV crew and cast) for offending people with Barr’s ugly racist Tweet about Valerie Jarrett are the same people who protested the NFL’s new anthem policy last week and protested lead anthem protester Colin Kaepernick not having a job in the NFL.

Roseanne can Tweet a 2a.m. drug and alcohol induced racist comment, but dozens of national political pundits across the country speak of white privilege, and white people keeping down the black man and other clearly racist claims and nobody bats an eye.

Men are repeatedly and deservedly berated for cheating on their wives. But studies show that women who work out of the home (nearly all women) cheat as much as men and nobody ever condemns them.

People drive in the right lane of a multiple lane freeway inhibiting merging traffic when no right lane exit exists for miles.

Democrats say Republicans are NAZI’s, or condemn the GOP because many Neo-Nazi’s vote Republican. But many admitted Communists and Socialist are part of and vote for Democrats. And Communists and Socialists have killed, murdered, and falsely imprisoned FAR more people than NAZI’s ever did.

Many American youth advocate for Communism, or Socialism while ignoring the historic train wreck of such societies not to mention the current, present-day examples of Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba, the Czech Republics and other authoritarian regimes like Iran.

Democrats say they are for the common people. But they actively advocate, protest and march for the removal or restrictions on the common people’s Constitutional Rights. Under fire by Dems is the 2nd Amendment, free speech as guaranteed in the 1st Amendment, free to exercise of your chosen religion also the 1st Amendment, freedom of peaceable assembly (unless you agree with them) also 1st Amendment, the sixth Amendments right to a trial by jury (choosing instead to condemn and ruin lives via mere accusation on Social media), and of course the 9th and 10th Amendments are to be ignored completely.

President Trump is hated by 1/3 of the country and at least disliked by 1/2 the country despite all the good that is coming out of his Administration such as lower taxes, a strong economy, rising worker’s compensation, record low unemployment, continued low interest rates, rising home prices, illegal immigration border crossings at 40 year lows, a renewed respect for military and law enforcement, peace talks with North Korea, recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capitol, defeat of ISIS, and more.

He’s doing a good job.

Countless people spending hundreds of dollars they can’t afford, enduring tremendous pain and permanently scaring their bodies with tattoos.

Liberals continue to perpetuate the myth that homeless people are poor unfortunate people who but for the grace of God go I; when abundant evidence continues to show that the lions share of homeless are people who by choice live on the streets bereft of personal responsibility.

One successful parent is ostracized by adult children for having imposed fair, responsible discipline in their youth; while those same children embrace the other failing parent who imposed no discipline whatsoever, lied, cheated and spent the family into financial ruin. Examples of such are wide and varied. We’ve seen it a lot.

People lament the loss of personal responsibility and family values all while church attendance continues to decline.

People are ticketed for j-walking but in Seattle you can openly indulge in drug use.

Homeless are called homeless and not BUMS which is a much more fair and accurate description because calling someone a bum is mean but calling someone homeless is compassionate.

Having compassion for the homeless is what we’re all supposed to feel according to Liberals even though compassion solves none of the homeless’ problems. We are not supposed to be tough on the homeless and expect more of them because that’s mean, even though doing so would solve a lot of the homeless’ problems.

President Trump is engaged in Peace talks with North Korea and is being criticized for engaging with a tyrannical Dictator.

Drivers do something wrong, like cut-you off, and when you honk your horn they flip you off like you did something wrong.

Men wear shaggy beards that women…for the most part don’t like…and the men wonder why they can’t get a good woman.

Slow walkers. They’re everywhere!

You smile or say “Hi” to someone who walks right by you and doesn’t acknowledge you in any way.

People not recognizing that illegal immigration is a bad thing for our country. 55% of illegal Immigrants that are here are on welfare. Those that are not on welfare are working jobs that would otherwise be filled by Americans or legal immigrants. The people whose jobs they are taking are generally the least educated and most needy in our society. And illegal immigrants are more willing to work for lower wages thus forcing the wages to remain low for everybody else…especially legal Americans.

Failing to recognize the lives of Jesus’ apostles as concrete evidence of his divinity or of their mass psychosis.

People who endure the long, cold rainy Northwest Fall and Winter and complain that its too hot after a few days of 70 or 80 degree temperatures.

And lastly, I don’t understand why those who share my thoughts, feelings and lack of understanding of today’s world won’t share them or theirs more publicly.

Thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

Tell Homeless to Leave

At some point America has to wake up and accept that some age-old values really do have merit and benefit. There are a lot of things that I could be talking about with the preceding sentence. But for now, I am talking about how to deal with homelessness.

I live near Seattle, WA and drive through the city at least 5 days per week. What I’ve seen over the past 5-8 years is a city that used to call itself The Emerald City become something more akin to the Brown and Gray City…or whatever color you would most frequently assign to trash. Because trash is everywhere. And its piles are only growing.

The former pervert Mayor Ed Murray declared a homeless “state of emergency” in 2015. And since that time the number of people who live on city streets, and under overpasses, and in traffic mediums has only grown. Little has been done, and what little that has been done has actually been decreased since Murray resigned in disgrace after numerous allegations of him molesting teen boys decades ago.

What is most disturbing about Seattle’s homelessness is the increased brazenness of those who occupy our streets. As reported in this story from FOX News, many homeless are bragging about not paying rent and living off the welfare services and the generosity of others: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/04/09/homeless-residents-brag-about-makeshift-mansion-near-seattles-famed-space-needle.html

The city’s leftist political leadership and charitable organizations have tried lots of things. But one thing they haven’t tried is making homelessness and vagrancy the crime that it ought to be. I’m fully prepared to take the hateful comments that will follow the preceding statement. Because such thoughts are what have perpetuated this national disease.

Let me ask those who would condemn me for my tough statement by asking, what about the current situation shows love and compassion for those affected? Do you actually think letting people live on the streets is good for their well-being? For their health? For their soul, if you believe in such things?

All this so-called compassion and tolerance for the problems the homelessness create shows no tolerance or compassion for those negatively effected by the filth, the crime, the drug needles strewn about the city, the aesthetic decay of the city, or any of the big cities across America ill with this problem. To the contrary. All that’s shown for those who want to stop this Liberal Holocaust is contempt.

Here is what I’d like to see. Start arresting the drug users and dealers, and thieves and vagrants, . If the jails fill up, then incarcerate them in make-shift fenced, and guarded internment camps. Provide them tents, food, and medical care. Deny them drugs or freedom until they have served time enough to get off their addictions or found housing upon their release. Again, I expect a lot of hate coming for such comments. But again I ask, how is what I’m proposing not better, significantly better, than what these poor people are currently enduring?

Expect more of them. Expect them to be humble. Expect them to seek help and be responsible for their own well-being. If you expect more from them, I am 100% confident most of them would live better and would stop being the blight on our city that they currently are.

I would never deny a hungry person food, or a sick or ill person medical treatment. But that doesn’t mean I have to let them live where ever they want, doing whatever they want. We used to have standards. It’s long past time that we embrace those values again and stop tolerating decrepitude.

I pray my proposals are right and helpful.

Thanks for visiting.

(1) Video Production in Seattle-Customers – YouTube

We’re not listening to each other

Can anything be heard over the screaming?

When did all this start? When did our American society become so divided? And when did our people become so angry with each other?

A pessimist might say it began at our nations founding when a two-party political system was established. Founding Father John Adams, our nations 1st Vice-President and 2nd President as well as co-editor/author of the Declaration of Independence warned us against such a system. John Adams said: There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic intotwo great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.

Some might say division of cultures with the Civil War was never resolved and those divisions continue to this day.

It’s hard to argue that men and women think differently which is why most men are Republican and most women are Democrat. So, perhaps our slow decline began in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Prior to then our nations leaders were chosen almost exclusively by white men whose interests and ambitions were not too different one from the other.

True political division was seen in the 1960s and that might be the beginning of all of today’s troubles. It is when many historians say America’s government stopped trusting its people, and people stopped trusting its government culminating emphatically with the Watergate scandal.

I tend to think today’s specific problems began more recently. In 1992 after 12 years of relative progress in worldwide peace, the end of the Cold War, racial relations, and economic well-being we elected Bill Clinton President. Republicans were furious at losing the White House to a small state Governor with serious personal-morality flaws who took the highest seat in the land having received only 43% of the vote. They saw it as a stolen election with Ross Perot taking what they felt was rightfully the votes of President George H.W. Bush. And to make sure the anger and resentment was shared equally on both sides of the political aisle Democrats were enraged eight years later when in 2000 Bush’s son won the Executive Office in the closest election in history. Historians have calculated that George W. Bush beat Democratic nominee Al Gore by less than 200 votes in Florida only after a Conservative Supreme Court ruled that the Florida vote recounts must stop. And the win in Florida gave the whole nation to Bush.

Yelling and pointing fingers

Barrack Obama won election in 2008 as the most leftist President this country has ever had. And no matter what any pundit thinks the cause, no Republican, not John McCain, not Abraham Lincoln, was going to win in 2008. The economy was in shambles, we were at war over seas, and more importantly the pendulum had swung back to the left as it tends to do in this country every 8-to-10 years. But having the first black President with a decidedly left ideology made the extreme right in this country “Angry”; most of the anger was for genuine disagreements in Obama’s political stances. Sadly some was racist. But I truly don’t believe racism was the primary reason for opposition to Obama. Democrats think its was the only reason. After all, what did Obama ever say or do that wasn’t spot-on perfect? 😛

As an older white man I hold a pretty unique point of view on society and race relations. While not exclusive, I am one of a very small minority to have lived and experienced the variety that comes from three very different and divergent cultures. I was raised in an upper middle class almost exclusively white city of Bellevue, WA. My parents and grandparents were all American born with German ancestry. Our traditions followed the American-European traditions of my ancestry in faith, (we’re Christian) in politics, food, dress, celebrations, etc.

At age 23 I married a black woman. For 28 years I was closer to her black family and their traditions and customs than I was to my family and traditions. And yes they varied. Not a lot. But the differences and certainly the beliefs were distinct.

Sadly my marriage ended, and while not entirely or even largely, I believe my ex-wife’s ardent devotion to Barrack Obama (as with nearly all other black Americans) and my opposition to him began to divide us ultimately leading to the dissolving of our union. Her total commitment to him was so unmoving that I strongly believe she began to look at me differently and more critically.

Does finger-pointing and yelling ever lead to resolution?

I have since been blessed to meet and love a Mexican woman and to receive her love in return. It’s been an adventure and sometimes a challenging one learning her culture and traditions. But it has been instructive.

Here is the single most obvious societal and cultural fact I have learned about my life with whites, blacks and Hispanics: WE ARE SEPARATE. We may live side by side, and in most large cities in this country we do. But we are as separated as if we lived oceans apart. Not surprisingly blacks like to hang out with blacks, whites hang out with white people, and in my view to an even MUCH larger degree Hispanics congregate with other Hispanics. And while I have no experience living with and co-mingling with Asians I don’t think its a stretch to say Asian people like other Asian people. Right?

Black, Asian, White, Hispanic

So is this a problem? Obviously the answer is yes it is…and simultaneously no it is not. It’s a problem because we all reflect to some degree or another that which we are most frequently exposed to. And if our exposure is limited to our own minority (or majority) ethnicity, traditions, beliefs and cultures our actions, words, and beliefs will be reflective accordingly. And the problem with that is we tend to look at other cultures and traditions and beliefs as different (which they are) and bad or evil (which they are not). They’re just different.

I’ll give you one personal example. My beautiful Mexican lady and I have celebrated 2 Christmas’ together so far. And MY tradition of Santa Claus being part of Christmas is not only not celebrated by my lady-love, it’s actually a point of antagonism. Mexicans don’t celebrate Santa Claus; nor do most other countries or cultures in the world. She explains that the Mexican tradition is to teach children that Baby Jesus brings them gifts on Christmas eve. She looks at Santa Claus as evil because it takes away from the true meaning of Christmas, which is to celebrate and worship the birth of our Lord and Savior. She feels so strongly that she won’t even use gift wrapping paper or holiday cards with Santa depictions. Conversely, I too celebrate the birth of Jesus. But I look at Santa as a magical tradition dating to the true story of Saint Nicholas and representing everything that is good…love…generosity…sharing…charity. Our loving, peaceful life together depends on each of us respecting each others traditions. I can’t expect her to ADOPT all of my traditions. Nor can she expect that of me. But in this example and other unmentioned ones our survival as a happy couple requires that we listen to each other and accept the differences and embrace as many of them as we’re able.

How is this different from society at large? I maintain that it isn’t. Based on what I’ve seen in these three different races and cultures that I’ve experienced in my life I think its foolhardy to expect blacks to change who they predominantly choose to hang out with and get their points-of-view from. Same with Hispanics. It’s the same for white people…but liberals seem to think this fact makes white people racist. It doesn’t. It makes them normal human beings.

So finding a solution to the political and racial tensions in this country is as simple as finding collaboration between two people enjoying Christmas together and with family. As simple as a man who loves football and a wife who doesn’t co-existing 5 months out of the year. As simple as a rock-n-roll fan and a country music fan cohabitating. Open your present from Baby Jesus Christmas Eve and then tear into the stockings Christmas morning. Watch your football alone or with friends while your non-football fan wife goes shopping or to the Salon. Listen to your Rush, Led Zeppelin, Journey or Fleetwood Mac on your time while your partner listens to Shania Twain, Garth Brooks, Rascal Flats or Sam Hunt on their time. Then take turns when your together or don’t listen to anything at all…except each other.

It’s clique, but its true. The things that unite us as Americans far outweighs the things that divide us. Be generous, be accepting, compassionate and empathetic. When faced with people who think differently than you listen and avoid anger. Some may think more emotionally; some may think more logically. Some may base their thinking on their beliefs and traditions and what they’ve been taught. It’s important to remember its different from what you’ve been taught. And you will never change their mind yelling and pointing fingers. You might win them over if you just accept them, wish them well, live and let live.

May God be with you all and bless your  lives.

Call for Video Production Services: 425-687-0100

 

Yes, Virginia … I believe in Santa.

santacoke

Published on this day, 120 years ago, it’s meaning and poetry is still tremendous and beautiful.

You may have heard the expression, “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” But you probably didn’t know from whence it came.

It came as an editorial in the New York Sun Newspaper September 21, 1897 in response to a letter written to The Sun by an 8-year old girl named Virginia.

Like so many children then and now, the youngster was disturbed by friends telling her there is no Santa Claus, and she was asking an authority she could trust for an answer.

Click on the link here to read the entire editorial from 1897:

Source: Yes, Virginia … – The New York Sun

Oh, how I would dread to be a parent to tell my kids there is no Santa Claus. To do so removes dreams and magic from a child’s life that they can never get back.

Most other cultures don’t know of or celebrate Santa Claus. In Mexico, for instance, children are taught that Baby Jesus brings them gifts Christmas Eve night. And still others will deny Santa Claus because they believe, to believe in Santa Claus diminishes the true meaning of Christmas, which is to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.

I understand these facts. But I still believe in Santa Claus because my father told me so; and because as a 53 year old child I still feel and enjoy the magic of such a belief. To deny Santa Claus doesn’t validify Jesus; just as believing in Santa doesn’t deny Jesus. To me, its just a matter of joy and putting that joy into my life and the life of my children and hopefully, someday Grandchildren.

San Diego versus Seattle

Shot from the Cabrillo National Monument, this shows downtown San Diego and the San Diego Navy Base.

A couple of years ago I was blessed to meet and love and earn the love of a woman who calls San Diego, CA her home town. In the nearly two years since we started seeing each other my girlfriend, Maria Elena, has told me repeatedly of her love for California’s most southern major city. She has repeatedly expressed her desire for us to travel there for a visit and to consider it as a future home when the day comes and should we ever marry.

Many happenings in my life have prevented us from making that trip, including the saving for and recent purchase of my new home in Federal Way, WA. While I always wanted to accommodate Maria Elena’s wish to visit San Diego and meet her family that lives there. I just couldn’t make the time or spend the money; until finally buying my house 2 months ago. We almost immediately scheduled our trip to her home town. And last week we spent a wonderful 6 days there.

Given where I am in life and my circumstances the possibility of moving away from my home state and city, Seattle, is a consideration I’ve long given thought to. As such making some comparison is interesting for me.

First, the most obvious, the weather. While Seattle and the Puget Sound has just endured the worst rainy season in its recorded history San Diego weather is much as advertised. It’s SUNNY! And being right on the ocean its comfortably warm nearly all year-long. Temperatures were in the mid 70s the whole time we were there…and for those reading this at some later time…we were there in late June 2017. Compared to Seattle’s typically dreary June San Diego was a much-needed bit of Wx relief. However, go only a few miles inland from the coast and the heat hits hard. Temperatures were in the mid-90s when we made such a trip our last day visiting and we were only 15-20 miles from the airport in downtown San Diego. Inland from San Diego is desert heat. And it can be oppressive.

The beach at Coronado was beautiful and right across the bay from downtown, a mere 15 minute drive.

The other most noticeable characteristic of San Diego was the lack of traffic congestion. Despite being in and around town all through a busy week during all times of day the closest we came to a traffic jam was nothing more than a traffic slow down…and it was short and brief. We never stopped moving, and very seldom stopped driving at the legal speed limit. This in spite of the fact that 2014 census data shows San Diego with an in-city population more than double that of Seattle. In Seattle, I-5, I-90, and especially I-405 can be clogged to a stand still at nearly any time of the day or night or day of the week. You are literally not certain of a full speed trip unless you’re on the road at 3am. And even then…things happen. I’m telling you it was heaven.

Lastly, like Seattle and all major U.S. cities San Diego has a homeless problem. But unlike Seattle the trash and the filth left by those who CHOOSE to live on the streets is nowhere to be seen in the downtown core. The comparatively minimum amount of street living was only on the downtown’s outer limits. Again, its remarkable given the huge difference in total in-city population.

Whether San Diego, or some other sunny locale will be my future home remains a BIG question. But from my one visit I can say confidently that San Diego’s placing high in nearly all the “Most Livable City” rankings is easy to understand. It’s easy to see why. I shall return.

Call us for affordable video production, 425-687-0100.