Category Archives: What’s Up

Bresha Meadows, Teen Who Killed Abusive Dad, Accepts Plea Deal

*“Today is a good day!” Those were the words spoken by a smiling Bresha Meadows, the teen who, at 14-years-of age was sentenced to a detention center for killing her abusive dad. Meadows has been incarcerated for the past ten months. She smiled yesterday as she left her court hearing and hugged her family, friends and attorneys saying she is happy with the plea deal she accepted.

The Root asked Brad S. Wolfe, one of several attorneys representing the teen, what made her accept the plea deal? “It was an obvious and easy decision as it allows her to reintegrate into life,” Wolfe responded. Faced with the possibility of serving life without parole at first, Wolfe said, “Bresha’s family and the entire defense team is elated and relieved with this resolution. This young lady just got her life back.” Continue reading

‘Elevator’ The Play, Extends: Who Are You Really, Behind Closed Doors?

The cast of ELEVATOR (L-R): Deborah Vancelette, Devon Werkheiser, David Abed, Karsen Rigby, William Stanford Davis, Kristina St. Peter, Erica Katzin. Photo Credit: Michelle Young & Max Feldman

*(Los Angeles, CA, May 22, 2017)  The successful Los Angeles return extends for a second time — ELEVATOR, written and directed by award-winning filmmaker and playwright Michael Leoni, is now performing at The Coast Playhouse (8325 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood) through July 30.  The production is An 11:11 Experience.

Imagine your worst urban nightmare — seven strangers are in an elevator when it stops.  Now forced together, given nothing but four walls and each other, these seeming archetypes prove to be human after all.  It’s only a matter of time (90 minutes for the audience, hours for the characters) before they show their real selves.  One by one stereotypes and judgments are shed.  Replete with musical sequences and cinematic style, ELEVATOR is a comedic and emotional ride into the human psyche asking the fundamental question: who are you behind closed doors?

The Los Angeles Times named it a Best Bet: “The elevator becomes a de facto confessional where secrets are revealed and unlikely bonds are formed.  In good Sartrean style, hell is other people … and the resident misanthropes, like Grinches, develop rapidly expanding hearts.  Great lighting and a truly remarkable set, set a high standard for 99-seat theater.”

Stage and Cinema said, “Seven distinct believable characters take a ride — exhilarating, smooth, bumpy and noisy – and win our hearts.  With the aid of a wonderful ensemble and inventive stagecraft author and director Leoni succeeds in arousing our empathy and self-examination.” Continue reading

Will there EVER Be A Way to Protect Our Pets From Coyotes? So Far, This Is It!

*Many of us dog owners who live in coyote-vulnerable areas have stories to tell. Every time I see a sign posted with a photo of a cute little dog “missing,” my next thought is: Oh god. A coyote got it.

I have two big dogs, whose true genetics claim they were bred to chase lions. But for some reason the thought of coyotes getting at them is still a scary one. Once my daughter saw a coyote walking along the narrow wall separating our yard from a neighbors, we both freaked. Then she mentioned how they can jump over a six-foot-fence to get at their prey. Needless to say, this knowledge did nothing to make me feel better.

I hate those damn coyotes (even though I secretly feel bad about this when I see the baby ones). One pet owner I know got so frustrated he had his gardener put out poison. To this day he feels guilty that it killed some of the coyotes!

And hey, not to belabor the point, but I never even realized how traumatized I was about the experience of someone I’ve never even met. I recall hearing how singer Jessica Simpson’s cute little Maltese, Daisy, was snatched right in front of her, by one of those ugly things. I was horrified for her and I never forgot it.

So when I heard about a possible end to the bullying behavior of these ugly beasts; by way of an extension you can add to a fence called a coyote roller — a round, metal spinning bar — I was like, “OK. Let’s roll with this.

But then I read… 

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Poki Bowls: Yummy Yes, But Complaints of Feeling ‘Deathly Ill’ From This Particular One

*Um, um good! That’s most likely the sound you will hear or even speak, as you munch on a poki (or poke because its been spelled both ways!) bowl. But be warned, I am beginning to hear rumblings of people complaining of serious illness within a few hours after eating the spicy tuna poki bowls. You may have as well; but didn’t put two and two together.

Let me repeat: SERIOUS illness.

Poki, a traditional Hawaiian food, started becoming a thing in the mainland cities of the U. S. around 2016. After I inquired, someone told me to think Chipotle, but with raw fish. In other words, the assembly-line lunch counter that allows you to grab a tray and walk along the glass and point out what you want added to your dish. 

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How To Avoid A Hole In Your Face Courtesy Of Your Neighborhood Brown Recluse Spider

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*Imagine waking up from a sound sleep the way country singer Meghan Linsey did recently:  with an “awful” stinging pain in her face.

She’d just been bitten by a brown recluse spider. She’d awakened to the little guy dying in her hand.  

Sadly, Linsey did not develop super strength, agility, nor the ability to swing through the city via webs spun from her wrists.  

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“The swelling was the first thing, and then I ended up just having crazy, crazy symptoms,” Linsey said.  “I had muscle spasms, and I had a body rash all over.”

Just over a week later, she developed an open wound at the site of the bite, which she called “a hole on my face.”

That’s what I’d call it too.  This MF took a chunk outta her CHEEK!   Continue reading

Study Says African Americans Health Improves in ‘Diverse’ Not ‘Segregated’ Communities

*Apparently, the neighborhood where you live can have a huge influence on your health. I’m talking even bigger than it not having stores that sell fresh fruit or organic foods. I mean let’s face it: you’re not going to find a Whole Foods or even a Trader Joe’s in a lot of low income communities. A fact I personally consider shameful!  But a recent study has concluded that African Americans who live in segregated communities are, how shall we say, more likely to have issues with their blood pressure.

Now let me quote them, exactly.

“Blacks are more likely to live in areas with fewer opportunities to engage in healthy behaviors and greater barriers to optimal health.”

In a study directed at the issue of how where you live affects your blood pressure, researchers found that when African Americans moved from segregated to more diverse areas, their blood pressure actually improved. Continue reading

Man Sues Date For His $17.31 Movie Ticket…Because She Was Texting During Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2

Put your phone down, sweet thing, or you just might get sued.
Put your phone down, sweet thing, or you just might get sued.

*The man I’m about to tell you about and I are soulmates.  Brothers from another mother.  We share a pet peeve:  folks texting during a movie.

But my boy has taken his frustration about the rude, increasingly more common practice to the next level!

Brandon Vezmar, 37, took a first date to see Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.  According to his lawsuit — yes, he’s suing her! — his date started texting about 15 minutes into the movie.

Vezmar wasn’t having it.  Not for a single moment.

“This is…one of my biggest pet peeves,” Vezmar said.  “It was kind of a first date from hell.”

Vezmar claims that the woman “activated her phone at least 10-20 times in 15 minutes to read and send text messages.”  He also claims that his date ignored his requests to stop texting during the show.

“I said, ‘Listen, your texting is driving me a little nuts’ and she said ‘I can’t not text my friend'” he said.  “I said ‘maybe you can take it outside to the lobby, I’ve seen people get kicked out movies for this.'”

Vezmar says the woman left the theatre and never came back, leaving him stranded as they’d driven to the theatre in her car.

So Vezmar is suing his date, for the $17.31 price of his 3D movie ticket. Continue reading

Gay Outside the USA: Whoa! Two Gay Men in Indonesia Sentenced to ‘Public Caning’

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*This country may still have a lot to learn when it comes to getting over homophobic behaviors. Many LGBTQ individuals and couples continue to take and/or lose their lives because of the way society as a whole treats them. Yet even with that said, imagine living in a place where you are charged and sentenced just because of your sexual preference?

Hey, we know this happens around the globe, outside of the USA. I have even met and spoken with men who left their homeland so that they could openly love one another, and still, it shocks the sh*t out of some of us when we actually hear these stories or see them in print.

The mere act of such punishment against “the crime” seems illegal.

Two men, discovered to be a gay couple living together in Indonesia was recently sentenced to a “public caning” because they had sex with one another. The sentence was handed down by a Shariah court.

Neighborhood vigilantes had “suspected” their relationship, and actually broke into a room they were renting in late March as they were being intimate. 

Excuse me, but I still can’t wrap my brain around why what anyone else is doing — or in this case, who they are doing, outside of an act of pedophilia or something of that nature, is anybody else’s damn business.

How ’bout we start there!

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