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Comics, Eczema, and Breaking Bread

So just how do comics, eczema, and bread make for a good story? Keep reading to find out. I promise by the end your taste buds will thank you.

Up First –> Comics

In the United States, through comic books and their development into television and film, superheros are firmly ingrained into the pop culture psyche. If your into the comics, then you certainly have a favorite character. Maybe its their power/ability or their personality that draws you in. For me, I always appreciate their humanity and struggles. It’s what makes them relatable and understandable.

The best way to understand the character is to go back to the beginning. Every super hero has an origin story, the backstory to how they got their powers and where their motivation to use them for good comes from. We really become connected when we see ourselves reflected in the characters. This is why for Native Americans it can be challenging connect, the comics just don’t show our stories. This isn’t to say that the major comic publishers don’t have Native American superheros, they do but the depictions can leave a lot to be desired.

I am certainly not the first to notice this, see writer Vincent Shilling articles on Marvel Native Superheros and Native Superheros and Native Actors. Others have ventured into writing, illustrating, and publishing comics. Lee Francis IV has done all three and even opened a comic book store featuring only Native American comics. In researching this post I also came across Arigon Starr, a creator/writer/artist, and her website SuperIndianComics. For a parent with kids who love to draw, the comic coloring pages on the website are great.

Eczema

In 2013 my daughter was born and so began my superhero origin story. Picture me: a budding educator, fledgling husband, and a very amateur cook. In short, I was not prepared for what my daughter would bring. Yeah sure, my wife and I already had two boys but the girl was different. Here’s how: at around one, just when I thought I had things generally figured out a curve ball gets thrown. At first it was small, so I didn’t put much thought to it. A saying now comes to mind, one I heard on a visit to the pediatrician: “If it gets small and goes away, then don’t worry. If it stays the same or gets worse, see a doctor.”

It showed on her arm, just a blotch at first. It turned out to be eczema, and it would go on to cover all parts of her body. After all these years I understand that her case could have been way worse, and I am extremely thankful to my wife for her persistence and endless search for helping our daughter. After years my wife happened upon the Aron Regimen, named after Dr. Richard Aron, and because we’d tried all manner of remedies and treatments we decided to try it. We noticed results within 2-3 weeks, and continual use provided continual improvement. I’m happy to say she is now 6 years old and has been off the regimen for two years.

One thing that came out of our visits to the pediatrician and dermatologist was that we should also visit an allergist. After being tested the results showed allergies to dairy, eggs, and tree nuts, and after discussion we also decided to forego gluten to see if that would help. The day we received these results is lost in memory, but I do remember the feelings. The feelings washed over me not at the doctor’s office, but rather when I walked into the grocery store. There was a haze as I walked down the aisles and wondered where to go first. I don’t remember what product I looked at first, but I do remember going to the ingredients list and feeling lost. It was something I’d never done before, and now it seemed that everything we ate at home had ingredients she was allergic to.

This was my origin moment.

Breaking Bread

You say: Chocolate chip cookies, pies (of all sort), cakes, cupcakes, and other baked treats. I say: Count me in!

Its been years since I walked into that grocery store and looked at it differently then ever before. Now, I go confidently in. My superhero powers have been finely tuned over the years and I can hone in any ingredients I might need. What’s more, when I get home the powers really kick in as I put the ingredients to use. As with any superhero, my powers grow with each challenge.

  1. Birthday party at school. What to make for my daughter who can’t eat the cake? SUPERPOWER = Vegan Cupcakes!
  2. Breakfast of pancakes or waffles. How to make them when eggs and diary are required? SUPERPOWER = Vegan pancakes and vegan waffles!
  3. My family loves fried rice, but how to eat it when eggs are a main ingredient? SUPERPOWER = Vegan fried rice!

There are numerous other instances I could mention, but for the remainder of the post I’ll point to a few places that have super charged my powers. First, there’s Richa Hingle-Garg. Her story is amazing and so too are her food recipes. You can visit her website VeganRicha.com or pick one of her cookbooks. Some of my favorite are on cupcakes, click here to see. Next, there’s Nora Taylor. You can visit her website at NoraCooks.com, and when you do check out her recipe on chocolate chip cookies. Lastly, Alison Andrews and she shares her recipes at LovingItVegan.com. I appreciate that perspective she brings as she has live in various parts of the world. Check out this pancake recipe when you go.

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Need a J-O-B? You’re Not Alone

The majority of Americans recently observed Labor Day.  The national holiday has an interesting beginning.  The U.S. Dept. of Labor says:

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

I myself enjoyed the extra day off of work, more time to spend with my family.  During the time off I reflected upon the release of unemployment stats – as I write that my eyes begin to gloss over, but bear with me.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the rates were unchanged from the month previous, with about 14 million people out of work. 

For these 14 million Americans that were at home, they had no choice.  I wondered to myself the feelings that these folks must go through.  Each has their own story, and certainly they are all worth hearing, but I decided to speak to a close friend who is among those 14 million. 

Mike Teran is a recent graduate of Florida Atlantic University.  He graduated with a B.S. in Economics and a minor in Business Administration.  He’s currently been searching for a job for 4 months.  The following are the questions I asked him and his responses.

How is does being unemployed make you feel? 

Being unemployed makes me feel unproductive, I feel like I’m not contributing to society while unemployed.  I feel like people view the unemployed as being lazy, stereotyping, without realizing what the facts are. 

How have people treated you? What have they said to you? 

People have said to me to stop living off the govt and get out there and do something with myself.  People have called me lazy and said that I really don’t want a job. 

Do the comments make you feel? 

It upsets me because people don’t see me making the effort, trying constantly by submitting applications on the computer for 8 hours a day.  I can’t tell someone to hire me.

Regarding the process of interviewing, Mike had this to say:

I get discouraged by constantly interviewing but not getting any job offers.  I wonder if it’s something about me, if I’m not a good candidate for a job.  I’m frustrated by the whole process of interviewing, then getting shut down by not getting a call back from an employer.

For Mike Teran and 14 million other Americans, Labor Day wasn’t a holiday.  It was another day with worry and anxiety.  It was another day without a J-O-B. 

Where do we go from here?  President Obama is set to announce during a speech to Congress this Thursday his new jobs plan.  Regardless of what is said that night let us not forget Mike Teran, nor the other 14 million Americans who are out of work.

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Friends – Everybody Needs Them

It is easy to forget, when you have known a person for many years, what a pleasure it is to have known them for only a moment. Brushing up against the very essence of our being – LIFE – and almost having it go away is a horrible notion. And yet it is not just a notion at all, it is the foundation of humanity. We are here only for a finite time, bound by the rules of gravity (which effects us in reverse coorelation to time spent on earth) and the flesh and blood that is our body. I must say, that realizing all this isn’t done overnight nor is it done by one’s own undertaking.

The process usually begins like an enjoyable dream. There you are having a peaceful and fulfilling day, surrounded by all that you believe is important at that very moment – the dream takes hold. Then, like a dream ended prematurely, you are pulled into the reality of the minute. Seconds grasp you and pull you along, towards an hour of uncertainty. The dream has ended and to harshness of awakening hits at full force. We all dream at one point or another, and we sometimes share those dreams with others – dreams of fantasy and reality – and sometimes we keep them to ourselves. Its important to not laugh at the dreams of others because without dreams what would we have that’s our own.

The flesh and the body now being realized, the dream has evaporated into the cool night. The seconds tick by, events unfold around you, the actions of others impacting your life. Then you react, the mind takes on a streamlined focus. Assess the surroundings, account for variables, process signals and relate to context, formulate course, act concisely. The seconds tick by turning into minutes. The longevity of this reality weights heavy, whereas the dream was as light as a feather. When into minutes, the mind again refocuses. Assess previous action, account for new surroundings, variables, and context, formulate course of action (longer term), act decisively. In the minutes is where care must be taken, because now the mind is reopened to its various terminals. Repetion of the message is a must.

Those minutes, in comparison to the seconds, seem to zip by. Before you know it you’ve arrived at your destination, your part is done. Now the minutes mature, becoming hours. Here is where the mind recaptures itself fully, now able to explore possibilities which were ignored in the seconds and minutes. Now is the time for reflection and reattachment, the dream is rethought but not quite the same as when experienced. You can feel yourself once again, embracing what was forgotten just previous.

There are no best friends in my book, only those who I’ve become so close to that they’ve become family.

Seconds ——> Minutes ——> Hours ——> ???

——-> DREAMS <——–

Let us never forget those dreams, because the seconds fade, the minutes disappear, and the hours dissipate.

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Moving

Moving, a simple prospect really. We do it everyday, from the moment we wake to the second we close our eyes at night. As such, one would think that the concept wouldn’t be all to difficult when applied towards moving of residence… One would think!!!
I’m moving from Hollywood, Florida – land of beautiful South Florida, with its endless beaches, cool breezes, and countless entertainment options
I’m moving to Tallahassee, Florida – a place so distant that its practically in another state, seriously it only takes about 20 mins to get to Georgia, a place wrought with perils of youth simply called a college town
As of now I’ve no place to live and I have to be out of my current apartment within the next 2 weeks. Luckily I’m visiting Tally later this week and I’ll get a chance to check a few places out.
Back to the original thought of moving, whodathunk I had so much stuff to move. Couch, dinning table, other various living room furniture, bedroom set, bed, random collection of stuff that has accumilated over the months, kitchen ware… and on and on.
So I guess the point of this post is to say that let us all be that much more thankful that when we wake in the AM that all we have to do is move our own body. Also, moving across a state is never easy and U-Haul charges waaay too much!

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New Goings On

So at the behest of a professor, as well as to begin writing on what is happening in my life, I’ll be writing more on this blog. Regular updates will hopefully (fingers crossed!) become the norm.

So as the title suggests, there are new goings on in my life.
– For starters I’ll be moving in a week or two up to Tallahassee, Fl. I’ve been accepted in the Gubernatorial Fellows Program within the Governors office. A world of change awaits, as I still do not have a place to live nor do I know yet which government agency/department I’ll be working in. I’m so excited (and I just can’t hide it) about this! The process really put me thru the wringer, and even now that thats done I still haven’t gotten a chance to exhale. Getting a place to live, sorting out life in Hollywood before I move, actually moving… All this adds up but makes for an enjoyable summer.

I’ve got more to say on that subject, but all in good time. For now I’ll close out this post with hellogoodbye

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AAAAAAAEEEEEEEEIIIIII

Well I’ve been missing for a while, huh?
Goes to show that you never know what the heck each day brings.

Update:
– I am now in league this the ruling class of the world, that is White PPL.
– I know I’m risking putting this up, but hey they already pasted the Patriot Act (no not the New – England version) so what does it matter now.
– I will give updates as they become available and do so when it is least dangerous

Let us not for get who put us inside these walls to begin with, we didn’t do it to ourselves.
They did it to exclude us from them and so that they know at all times where we are, or at least where we live.
I pull no punches, this is it from them. They’ll take what we have at the drop of the hat and yea I’m not afraid of that happening.
Why???
Because they aren’t taking what’s truly important to us, only what they perceive as being important.

Once again, victory is ours and we remain unconquered!

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Tough Times

Lets talk about it… Boy is it tough these days. To me it seems like this is the year that many people I know have moved on. It was just their time, thats something I know. But it’s still sometimes hard to swallow when so many go in such a short time. I’m talking about that other certain thing about life, death. When one really thinks about death it makes you contemplate life.

Thoughts run through my mind > Did I live a life that was good and worthwhile? > Did I do all that I could to make sure my family is going to be ok? > And so on and so forth…

One thing is certain for me, death is not something I fear. I believe in many things that one is that death isn’t the end of my soul, just the end of my body. I know that I will live on, is some way or another and that is why I do not fear death.

But that aside, it is still hard when you loose people who you have known your entire life. I guess its the human side of us who is selfish and wants to hold on to them but even realizing what I know its still hard. We could talk about life and death forever but what do you believe? Do you think its cut and dry as some religions say? > Or is it more complicated?

Something I also know, love those who you have and be calm when they are gone because one day you will be with them again.

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Radio Waves


People listen to radio all the time, yet most misunderstand its true implications. What do I mean by that? Well, all I really mean is that we go from station to station, usually switching when a commercial is on, stopping when we hear something we like. But thats just the top of the ice berg, what we miss is all that goes on aside from just hearing music or a deejay talking.

First the is the content of the commercials, do you have any idea as to how much companies or whoever puts into those adds? On the most listened to stations it can be upwards of $50-$100 for a 30 second spot! Now think about how many times an add plays, that all adds up.

Second, there is the station itself. “Your listening to WMDS-whatever” or “This is deejay so-and-so on WOAD-whatever”. The station is always promoting itself to you the listener. Sometimes they’ll be at community events or giving away tickets to some concert, but always they are wanting you to listen to their station.

Lastly, there is the government. The FCC to be exact. We all have some vague notion of what the FCC is or does but no one actually knows it all. Well, neither do I but I do know that the FCC dictates the content of what you hear. They license radio stations and allow them to broadcast. They fine or even revoke that license if they don’t approve of what is said.

Through it all, the only thing that matters is YOU! Thats right, you. Everything is tailored to the listener and if you aren’t listening then the radio station isn’t profitable. So just remember that when you tune into a station and realize that more is going on then just the latest top hit or news flash.

That said, I’d like you to listen in to a radio show which I will be apart of this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. EST. http://www.nativeamericacalling.com go to the listen live link and hear what I have to say about the topic which is going to be discussed. Tommorrow I’ll blog about what was said and if you should feel the urge, then I urge that you comment.

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