Welcome back to another Friday morning surf on the righteous wave that will deliver us to that pristine shore otherwise known as the weekend. This week Imma serve up a menu consisting of five honest to mostly goodness entrees, and when I tell you they couldn’t be more different, I ain’t kidding.
Let’s get our Friday started with 12-year-old wunderkid Wanessa Bąkowska, who scores the marquee for her impressive skill set and spirited conviction. She’s a seriously talented painter whose works appear on a Facebook page her mother has put together for her. And she also happens to be a huge fan of royalty, and so it was that she got it in her head to write a letter to Queen Elizabeth, because she figures if you can think it, why not write it? And that letter went like this . . .
“Your Majesty, my name is Wanessa and I am 12 years old. I live in Poland, in the small town of Lipka . . . I have wonderful teachers and many friends. I have mum Karolina, dad Rafał, brother Alan and sister Nutka. I love them very much . . . I am a person with a disability and Down Syndrome. Nevertheless, I paint pictures. I would like to give you one of them, Your Majesty. The title of this painting is ‘Earth’. Greetings from Poland.”
How sweet is this little lady? Putting herself out there like that, even though the chances that the Queen of England is going to reply are . . oh wait, the Queen of England replied. And here’s her letter . . .
Some people live their lives chasing dreams, and then there’s little Wanessa, who is simply living that dream to its fullest. To her way of thinking, it makes no sense to waste your time dwelling on the odds.
Not when a simple hello works so much better.
We can’t blame Trump for the seriously awful reality show that American politics has become. His reign of error was absurdist theater, no doubt about it. But we have more actors where he came from and this week’s “Are you kidding me?” moment was brought to us by Alexandria “Look At Me!” Ocasio-Cortez. Who needs meaningful dialogue and practical solutions when you can just have a photo-op? And so AOC decided it was a good idea to grandstand during the Met Gala by wearing a dress better suited for a DC Comic book. And not for nothing but, NYC is looking to attract more businesses . . not scare them away. The Representative out of New York’s 14th Congressional District best drop the Page Six act and get down to doing the people’s business.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A couple walks into a restaurant and after being seated, a request is made to which they refuse to abide; after which the couple is asked to leave said restaurant.
It happened in . . you guessed it, Texas. But this tale comes with a twist, seeing as how the couple was asked to leave not because they refused to wear a face covering, but because they insisted on wearing one. It was a choice that went against owner Tom Blackmer’s wishes. See, Hang Time Sports Grill and Bar, located in Rowlett Texas is taking a stand “against politics” by playing politics. And so what that Natalie Wester and her husband, Jose Lopez-Guerrero have a four-year old son who has cystic-fibrosis?
And so it is that the ignorant among us continue to insist they’re being patriotic when they’re really just being obstinate little shits. And Blackmer can do whatever the hell he wants, because it’s his restaurant. And I can call his message of patriotism a self-defeating prophecy.
Hey, it’s a free country.
This next get comes by way of the lovely Dale, and it’s about how some peeps in Albuquerque are making houses into homes for those in need. The County of Bernalillo, New Mexico, was able to secure a 30-year lease on a property owned by the Albuquerque Indian Center. With it, they built a gated community consisting of 30 tiny houses.
These houses will serve as a bridge for the homeless, an avenue through which they will reacquaint themselves with community living. The founders modeled it after opportUNITY village in Eugene, Oregon as a place where people can work to get their lives back. “We’re trying to give the villagers some tools that would stand them in really good stead once they do move out,” says resource manager Ilse Biel.
Residents are expected to pay a $30 monthly utilities fee. They must also test clean of any hard drugs and have been sober for at least 10 days before entry. Chores and engagement are a part of the deal, and in return, new dreams start taking root.
Welcome mats are free of charge.
The awful truth about rock bottom is that it’s not a single episode but rather a series of them. The spiral is not a solitary circumstance, which is what makes it that much more difficult to climb out of.
Twenty-eight year old Gage Tappe of Boise, Idaho knows all about rock bottom. Living with depression, he knows all the many stops it makes along the way to a never ending darkness. Which is why he knew that if he was ever going to pull himself out of the darkness, he was going to have utilize a proactive approach in order to get there.
He found it when he decided to sign up as a donor for the national bone marrow registry. “I felt like my life wasn’t worth very much, so I hoped that I gave myself a chance to put some value to my own life by trying to help somebody extend theirs and continuing to stay on the list… and you have to be alive to do that,” Tappe says.
When he was informed he had been identified as a match, all that darkness gave way to the unmistakable lightness of being. That he might never know the life he impacted did not matter as much as knowing that someone, somewhere had been gifted a new lease on life.
Tia Jensen had other ideas. She was the recipient of Tappe’s life changing donation. After the transplant procedure, she learned that not only had her leukemia gone into remission but so too had her multiple sclerosis- which she had been battling for more than twenty years.
She needed to reach out to Tappe, to meet him and to thank him for giving her back her life. After more than two years worth of phone calls and letters, she was given Gage’s contact information. And after corresponding for a time, they met face to face earlier this month.
“I realized that because of Gage, there’s a lot of milestones that I won’t miss. I’m alive. I’m here. I’m going to get to be with my family, to be in the memories,” She says. She’s teaming up with Be The Match for an online donor registration event in the hopes of inspiring other would be donors.
And that new lease on life? It was a package deal.