The Great One!!

Have you noticed how quickly celebrities are checking out of this place we call, “earth?” Do you want to cry but you can’t squeeze out not one more tear? Are you all cried out and all dried up? I can relate. These instances are happening so often it seems. But being at a loss for tears certainly doesn’t mean that I’m any less moved or saddened. It’s just difficult to digest, especially on the heels of other recent celebrity deaths.

Honestly, I’m not sure what emotion ran through me the quickest as I sat in front of my t.v. set for the first time today, and was clobbered yet again with the news of the death of another world-reknowned personality, Muhammed Ali. I could only sit and stare at the screen in somewhat disbelief, and I say that because I was aware that he had been in a medical battle for years and greatly ill as of late. But this still didn’t soften the blow any, when this news blared across my t.v. screen. Death is death and there is nothing more final.

I really don’t enjoy writing pieces concerning people that have passed on, but sometimes, it’s just simply necessary. It’s my way of paying my respects to these people. Once again, I pay homage to a beloved celebrity superstar, who has been a part of so many lives for so many years. I say goodbye with sadness for the suffering he may have endured for quite some time, due to his lengthy medical journey. I also say a bittersweet goodbye, because I believe that he is in a much better place.

Like many people, I grew up hearing and watching Muhammed Ali in my household. At that time he went by his birth name, Cassius Clay. My father was a big fan and often watched his fights on t.v. I recall being fascinated and intrigued by this larger than life man with the huge personality and even bigger boxing talent. All the trash talking and back and forth banter with the late Howard Cosell, was one of the things I enjoyed the most about this great fighter, along with the obvious, his fighting skills of course. Another important point I’d like to mention that impressed me to such a great degree, is that he was a compelling activist and spoke out and fought for the rights of his culture. He was unafraid to be controversial and unapologetic, while exuding a prideful and bodacious self-love that was contagious and often shocking. You couldn’t help but want to adapt a similar mindset after witnessing him speak in front of a crowd.

His influence has impacted the world and his mark will remain forever engraved in our hearts and memories. Thank goodness there is plenty of footage that captured the athletic and intellectual quick-witted prowess, and outspoken persona of this sports legend. All fighters that came after him, as far as I’m concerned, emulate him and aspire to be great as a result of the highly successful and accomplished career of this champion among men. What a great example Muhammad Ali was and will forever remain. Rest in peace “great one”.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

 

The Light is Green – Lets Go!!

Okay, so everyone, or at least everyone should know that today is Veteran’s Day. It’s not just a chance to have a day off from work or school, but it’s a day that should be taken seriously and revered with all the importance that it so rightly deserves.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been intrigued by an ad for “Greenlight A Vet”. When I learned more about it, I discovered that this is one of the coolest ideas and gestures ever when it comes to our veterans, both past and present. It’s such a small thing to ask, for as many of us as possible, to change one visible light on our respective properties, to ‘green‘ to show our support of our veterans in a lovely and glowing way. I am certainly on board with this idea and can’t wait until my porch light is switched over to ‘green‘ later this evening.

How awesome it will feel to the many veterans that are out there driving and walking around, to look around them and see, all the green lights shining outside the different homes and businesses across the nation, that will pay homage to their courage and bravery, along with that of their fellow service men and women. I can’t imagine the sense of pride and accomplishment,that the simple color ‘green’ will ignite in these uniquely selfless individuals. I am so happy to be able to show my support without saying a word. Never has it been truer that ‘action speaks louder than words”.

So often, in our everyday travels, we rub elbows with so many of these awesome folks, without even knowing it because they blend in with society and cannot always be easily identified when not in uniform. In the same vein, they have no idea who is in support of them as they travel throughout their days and rub elbows with us, civilians. But this simple ‘green’ light will act as a kind of citizens or civilian uniform that will speak volumes. So, I encourage you all to put on your uniforms, by shining your green lights along with me, to show your pride, love and support for these fearless defenders of our nation, who have placed and continue to place themselves in harms way to ensure and secure the continued freedom of this great nation. Won’t you join me?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Goodbye To My Girls….

Don’t you just hate goodbyes? Just as you get to know someone or get use to the way things are done, the person leaves or the situation changes. I think this has been the story of my life. It seems like I’m always saying goodbye to someone or something. Sometimes the goodbyes are bittersweet, in that people are moving on to bigger and better things, while leaving me behind. At other times, the goodbyes are just bitter, leaving me feeling like I’ve lost a part of me.

Well, I’m about to embark on the biggest goodbye of my life. The time has come for me to say the dreaded two words, that come together to mark the ending of an era. But this is no ordinary farewell. Honestly, even as I’m writing this, I still find it hard to wrap my head around it. How hard would it be for you to say so long to friends that you’ve known your entire life? These girls have rode with me through thick and thin; true ‘ride or die’ chicks. My girls have been there for me even when I didn’t seem to notice or unintentionally took them for granted. When the chips were down, they stood with me in solidarity, while lending there silent yet powerful support. They made me proud and instilled in me a confidence that made me honored to be represented so well by them. I can only hope that I’ve done them the same justice. Yet, the time has come in my life where I’ve come to realize that things can change, even my girls. My ‘ride or die’ crew is no longer what they once were. They’ve become a danger to me to me that cannot be ignored.

Even as I sit here, writing and sharing about how good my girls have been to me, it makes me so sad to think about what my life will be like without them. Of course, there will be newbies that will rise to the occasion I’m sure, but there will never be another pair to replace the originals, in my heart. I know that they would remain if they could, after all, they’ve been with me from the beginning. But I’ve got to let them go and it hurts in a way like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.

So, fellow bloggers, please keep me in your prayers and turn up the volume on Wednesday May 20th, as I undergo radical surgery and once and for all, say goodbye to my girls.

Sylvia Porter-Hall

No 2-Ways About It

I was checking out the Yahoo news stories this morning and came across an eye-opening article that was both interesting and maddening at the same time. In Illinois, Cigar and Stripes bar owner Ronnie Lottz, has a 2-way mirror in the women’s bathroom of his bar. As reported in the Huffington Post Women by Sebastion Murdock on Tuesday April 28, 2015, the mirror has been part of a long-time gag that has entertained patrons for 15 years.

Originally, the mirror was installed next to a little closet-like room in the bathroom where a monster would appear at the flick of a switch, virtually sending women screaming for their lives, hence supporting the popular ‘haunted’ bar theme. Mr. Lottz’s suggestion is simple: Look behind the door before entering to use the facilities. Frankly, it’s surprising that he hasn’t been sued by now for scaring the living daylights out of people. I’d be pretty mad if I went to use the ladies room, only to discover that there’s something lurking in there just waiting to shake me to my core. I don’t think I’d have had a single giggle left in me, had I been the butt of this obviously bad joke. Now mind you, I am someone with a pretty darn good sense of humor. It looks like the line has not only been crossed, but erased entirely when it comes to playing a gag and having good sense…of the common kind that is. I’m just saying.

Female comedian Tamale Rocks, recorded the 2-way mirror’s existence and shared it via a Youtube video she posted, exposing what she feels is wrong in more ways than one. Mr. Lottz quickly volleyed back that this particular comedian’s career may have needed a little boost. He further implied that drawing attention to the 2-way mirror in his establishment, was Miss Rocks’ way of getting some attention for herself, while pumping some much needed air into her deflating career.

Can you guess where the bar owner now stands on this topic; now that his long-time mirrored antics have been more widely exposed? Well, evidently Mr. Lottz has no intention of taking the mirror down. Was that your guess too? Certainly, he is aware of the extra publicity his business has gained, as a direct result of Miss Rocks’ expose’. It looks like a win-win situation for both. No 2-ways about it!!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

The 3rd Time is Not a Charm

 

The third time is definitely not a charm. It has often been said that when members of the Hollywood elite pass away, their deaths come in threes. By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard that Joan Alexandra Molinsky, most infamously known as Joan Rivers, her stage name, has passed away at the age of 81. She completes the the latest trio of Hollywood deaths; most recently, Robyn Williams and Lauren Bacall(please see previous posts). Her career spanned an amazing 50 years; truly an accomplishment. One can only imagine the stories that have passed on with this extraordinary woman, who possessed a personality as broad as the widest of oceans.

Joan Rivers had to be one of the hardest working women, if not the hardest working woman in show business. She never seemed to tire and even maintained a rigorous schedule right up until her death. It is as though she had and endless source from which to draw from, in order to deliver her signature in-your-face ‘dry humor’ that was so characteristic of her authentic style. Somehow she managed to deliver a great deal of her comedic onslaught without barely cracking a smile; another feat within itself.

She was a die-hard New York native, who came into show business with hopes of planting her feet firmly in a theatrical career. Comedy just happened to be a viable means to pay her bills at the time while she auditioned for acting roles. Comedy came natural to Joan and seemed to fit her like a good-fitting shoe. In 1965, she received her first booking on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson who reportedly told her, “God, you’re funny.” Her good fortune of landing this gig and a seemingly inexhaustible work ethic drove her as she continued to write, test and tweak her jokes.

In the mid-1980s, Joan Rivers came face to face with a life-affecting crisis. Her husband of 23 years, Edgar Rosenberg, committed suicide in 1987, following her firing from her late night talk show, which he produced. According to Rivers, the failing show was a major player in her husband’s suicide. The fallout of these events also contributed to the derailing of her career for a brief time. Comedy was both her calling and her therapy. She used laughter to get through the tough times and was often the ‘butt’ of her own jokes. One of the best therapies of all…laughter of self and few did it better.

Joan Rivers was the face of “Fashion Police” on the E Network and starred with her daughter Melissa in a reality show called: Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? I was a fan of Ms Rivers and will always remember her for her for relentless barage of comedic attacks on the many bystanders that waited anxiously to die laughing in the midst of her witty banter. Rest in peace dear Joan. You will indeed be missed.

***Sidebar: I was pleasantly surprised to learn after all these years of watching Joan Rivers, that she and I share the same birthday, June 8th. Wow! You just never know!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Another Farewell to Hollywood Royalty

Another Hollywood legend has made an untimely exit. Lauren Bacall has died at the age of 89. According to CNN reports, her grandson received a call earlier today saying that she had suffered a massive stroke.

Lauren Bacall tasted international fame in 1944 starring in the film: “To Have and Have Not”. She made this film with her soon-to-be husband Humphrey Bogart. The two later married and had two children. This dynamic duo starred in a total of four films which included: “The Big Sleep” (1946), “Dark Passage” (1947), “Key Largo” (1948). Together Bogart and Bacall created a unique magic that was all theirs. Humphrey Bogart died in 1957, leaving Bacall a widowed mother of two children.

Lauren Bacall was later married to actor Jason Robards at which point they had a child together, who later became an actor, Sam Robards. Bacall was said to have been engaged to Frank Sinatra four different times between marriages.

It’s hard to believe that during some of those beautiful black & white shots of Lauren Bacall, that she was a shy 19 year old trying to keep it together amidst all the attention. American Film Director, Howard Hawks’ wife is credited with discovering Bacall after she appeared on the cover of Harpers Bazaar. She modeled to earn extra money and also earned, and rightfully so, the term “The Look”. She was a classic, vintage beauty with a deep, sultry tone that was unmistakable. Lauren Bacall, a true Hollywood beauty, no further description needed. One of my favorite films in which she graced the ‘big screen’ with her presence, is called “Written on the Wind”. Everything about this movie mesmerizes me, from the opening music, to the color and wardrobe, plot and story, acting, etc. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

Lauren Bacall, the second actor to die within the last 24 hours, the first of course being Robin Williams. It has often been said that when Hollywood actors/actresses pass away, death usually comes in three’s. Unfortunately, I have seen this happen more than once and I pray that this isn’t the case now. R.I.P. Regal and classy lady. In the infamous words of Humphrey Bogart, “Here’s looking at you kid”.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Images: Free Google images

Many Thanks…100 Followers!

Hello fellow bloggers! Just want to take a moment and shout out a great big thank you to all of you for your support. I’ve just reached the magical number of 100 followers of this blog, and it was no easy task. I certainly could not have done it without all of you. I hope that you continue to be entertained and find enjoyment and quality content here! You are greatly appreciated!

Sylvia Porter-Hall

Summer Storm

More beautiful camera work from Kevin at WildCamera Words! Enjoy!

Harbour Lights

This is such an awesome view that I just had to share it on my blog; compliments of Kevin at WildCamera Words. Not only does he have a great eye for capturing spectacular photos, but he also has a wonderful way with words. Enjoy!

It’s Not all Black & White

  

 

This post is inspired by my fellow blogger Levi Thetford (Levi’s Daily Thoughts). He recently posted a beautiful piece on the fascinating ‘hummingbird’ ~ truly an amazing animal.  I found myself so intrigued by the thorough details that Levi provided in his piece, that I thought I’d post a kind of ‘response’ piece, if you will. My amazing animal of choice is the ‘penguin’. Thanks for the inspiration Levi!

 

For as long as I can remember, I have found penguins to be among the hardest working animals there are. Sure, when seen in photos, they can be found hanging out in huge groups together, almost appearing to be attending some kind of ongoing and informal meeting, while taking in the scene(s) around them. However, there’s so much more to this remarkable bird than meets the eye.

Aside from their perfect tuxedo-tailored black & white coloring and the cute waddle they have when making their way across the land, penguins have unbelievable survival skills. Along with those skills comes an incredible sense of responsibility.

Did you know that there are over 18 species of penguins in the world? Unfortunately, thirteen of these species have decreasing populations, while five species are considered endangered and/or facing the possibility of extinction. Sadly, penguins can be found in captivity all over the world. However, captive breeding programs are well received by penguins. The success of these programs have helped to preserve the penguin population. Further  preservation and conservation tactics need to be implemented and practiced consistently, in order to help prevent extinction and endangerment from becoming  harsh realities.

Did you know that penguins lost their ability to fly millions of years ago? No worries though because they have very strong flippers; this and their streamline build, enable them to be excellent swimmers. Did you know that the penguin is the fastest swimming and the deepest diving species of any bird?

The primary place where penguins can be found is in the Southern Hemisphere. Although penguins are famously associated with Antartica, they have a significant widespread presence in South America, with penguin populations also found in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. These resourceful birds can also be found on tiny islands in the Southern Pacific Ocean.

Here are a few of the penguin species:

 

    • Galapados Penguin – lives all year-round near the equator on Galapados Islands. This is one of the only penguin species that is capable of traveling into the Northern Hemisphere; a rare occurrence that can happen during feeding.
    • Yellow-Eyed Penguin – is one of the rarest penguins in the world and is found in the Southeastern coast of the South Island and Stewart, Auckland and Campbell Islands south of South Island.
    • Fairy Penguin – is often referred to as “little penguins”, can be found on Victoria’s Phillip Island. They emerge from the sea at dusk and seemingly march in large numbers to their burrows on the beach.
    • Emperor Penguin – is the most recognizable of the penguin species and is the largest, weighing as much as 90 pounds; essential since they cannot feed for up to two months during the incubation of their single egg. In turn, they feed off the fat reserve of that additional weight.

The documentary “March of the Penguins” by Laura Klappenbach, chronicles the grueling journey of the Emperor Penguin as they travel across the frigid Antarctic. This film provides a very realistic account and up-close view of the harsh and brutal conditions that these remarkable birds have to undergo throughout the course of a year. If these penguins are successful in their trek, they will pair off, mate and raise their babies, while withstanding some of the coldest and darkest places known on earth.

The male penguins stay behind in one huge huddle to stay warm and protect the egg(s), while the female penguins goes out to sea to hunt for food. The males can remain in this upright ‘stance’ for weeks and months, while withstanding the brutal Arctic winds. This goes back to my opening comment about the penguins amazing sense of responsibility, not to mention adaptability. Levi Thetford entitled his post: What Does the Hummingbird Teach Us? The same question can be asked concerning penguins. I’d say they can definitely teach us a bit about accountability and perseverance. So, the next time you see a piece on these amazing tuxedo-wearing birds, just know that there’s so much more to these resilient animals and that everything is not all black and white. After reading this post, wouldn’t you agree?

 

 

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Images: Free Google Images

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