Category Archives: Opinions/Editorials

wicked-playbill

Houston Adventures: A “Wicked” Time at the Theatre


Hello, Brouhaha fans! It has been a while since my last adventure, and my penchant for procrastinating never helps. It has been a busy year for me but there is always time for a little pleasure. After all, we have to remember that all work and no play make @Budom a dull girl.

Houston is a versatile and diverse city filled with many opportunities not just for work but for entertainment. Although it is a long drive from the lights of Broadway in New York, it doesn’t mean that Broadway can’t come to us. This year for my birthday a lovely friend treated me to a night at the theater. Along with my daughter and her friend, the four of us enjoyed a special night watching the play, Wicked. I was so excited and the bonus was that we were seated in balcony box seating!  The stage was so close I felt like I could reach out and touch Elphaba. wicked-playbill

The play was well written and followed pretty close to the books written by author Gregory Maguire.  While reading the books would give more insight to the characters we all know that it won’t happen in a play.

When I saw original Wizard of Oz on television as a youngster, I always wondered if there was some back story for the witches. I have always been fascinated by witches and their magical lives. So, when Maguire’s stories hit bookshelves I devoured them like manna from heaven. The perceptions that Maguire’s books gave me were not what I expected to see. Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West was the good guy (or girl) standing on her soapbox while nursing insecurities about herself, Glenda the so-called good witch, was actually an entitled self-absorbed brat, who later became more likable but not brave enough to follow her own path. In all reality, Dorothy was just an unexpected accident to the land of Oz. Dorothy was a literally a lost little girl who was used by the Wizard of Oz, as was everyone else in the story. The Wizard’s character was depicted most like L. Frank Baum’s version.  He is still the ever glorified con man he was in the real world. I never expected to like Elphaba and agree with her fight, and I didn’t expect to want to smack some sense into Glenda.

orchestra-playbill

The Hobby Center stage brought all the characters to life. The actors and actresses portrayed the characters to a tee. Elphaba’s sister Nessa Rose’s (aka the Wicked Witch of the East) character was well played balancing her sweetness and obsession to be normal as well as loved. While she is mentioned in the book I feel the play really told her story better. Her story gave fans a look at how still waters can run deep. Now I must also give credit to the orchestra. The music emanating from the pit wove an even more magical feel into the story. It was a lovely time and a wonderful theater experience. I will definitely do it again. Until then Brouhaha Fans “Defy Gravity”.

 

The Fall Of The Berlin Wall Was Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea


© 2014 Budom@brouhaha-aacess.
Although Dresden is almost 2 hours from Berlin Dresden houses some Industrial Era museums. This photo was taken while strolling through Dresden’s Christmas Market.

I am ashamed to say that in all my years of living in Germany I never went to Berlin and visited the sight of the Berlin wall. It is one of the things I kick myself for not doing while I had the chance. Why didn’t I take the time to check out one of the most historical landmarks in the world? The closest I ever came to Berlin was when I went to Dresden. Dresden is about 187 kilometers (116 miles) or about a two-hour drive from Berlin. Now today is the 25th anniversary of the wall coming down and I drawn to a conversation I had about it with a German friend.

At one time Berlin was split in two, East and West. I’m not going to get into the whole history because there are plenty news article or books you can get it from. However, I’ll just summarize. The wall was built, and guards walked the border making sure that East siders did not try to head over to West where freedom lay. Finally the power of the people, as well as East Berlin’s recognition that their government system was not working as planned, opened the doors for Germans to leave if that’s what they wanted. Many stories tell of how people fled to freedom, and to families and loved one separated on the West side. But for some freedom is not just about being free but being free to make your own choices.

Not everyone left East Berlin once the walls came down. While living in Germany, I met a friend whose grandmother still lived in what was once East Berlin. When the time came to leave and be with her family on the West side, she opted to stay. Many might think why would she want to stay when she could be free? It’s easy to assume that everyone would want to leave a place that had oppressed them for many years. But that assumption would be wrong. Regardless of how we might feel or think about those who stayed when it came down to it this was their home. For some, it was the only home they ever knew.

For my friend’s grandmother, it was a life she had lived for many years. She was used to the separation of her family, but the new independence was too much for her to take in. Besides she had a simple life in East Berlin, and that’s how she wished to keep it. Now that the borders were open, and the wall that symbolized Germany’s darker history in the world was down she could visit her family whenever she wanted, or her family could visit her. I asked my friend if her grandmother was glad the wall was down. My friend replied that although her Grandmother was glad she still felt more comfortable where she lived. That’s understandable. There are many people in America who have never even left the city or state they were born and raised in, and they have always had the freedom to do so.

So the fall Berlin Wall is more than just a symbol for freedom it is a symbol of choice, and the wall coming down represents the right to make that choice. It gave many the opportunity to follow what their hearts desired, whether that is being able to leave or just making the choice to stay in the only home you’ve ever known.

Related Stories:

CLAMOR IN THE EAST; EAST GERMANY OPENS FRONTIER TO THE WEST FOR MIGRATION OR TRAVEL; THOUSANDS CROSS
Tom Brokaw On Reporting The Fall of The Berlin Wall

Why I’m Not Participating in NaNoWriMo 2014


I am not participating this year but I did in 2008, and made it to the finish line. For people who are participating in the month long challenge they get to post this official badge on their websites and blogs. How cool is that?

Yesterday was November 1st and the start of NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo is like the Boston marathon for writers. In one-month participants are challenged to write 50,000 (or more) words in 30 days. Many people constantly worry and nit pick their creations to the point that their story becomes a concept stuck in their minds. Don’t be that person. The point of the month long exercise is not to finish a novel but to just get one started period.

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”- E.L. Doctorow

There are also perks from sponsors like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and Scrivener, who give free or discounted services, which aid writers who want to go further after the NaNoWriMo challenge. Plus you get cool badges and banners that help keep writers motivated and inspired throughout the intense writing period. It’s a wonderful thing, and I owe NaNoWriMo for getting me started in writing a novel as well as inspire me to create my blog site.

You are probably wondering, if you love it so much why not participate? I am not going to lie I did consider doing NaNoWriMo this year. I love the feel of keys tapping beneath my fingers, the constant need to type, and watching my story develop right before my eyes. But I digress, I only want you to remember that the key to success in this challenge is to just type. Writers (I include myself in this obsessiveness) need to stop thinking too hard on the grammar and mechanics. All that comes later in editing and rewrites.

However, this year I have decided to fine tune my manuscript, “Voices of Clara” for publication. Ironically, the story is one I wrote and finished during NaNoWriMo 2008. I was so excited when I saw how the story came together. No, it wasn’t perfect, but it was my imperfect story, and I had written it in 30 days. Now it’s 2014, and I still haven’t published, “Voices of Clara“. That’s a long time to sit on a book and have it go nowhere. I don’t want my work to have been written in vain. I like the story of Clara, a young adult woman trying to figure out life and what she wants from it. While having, a few funny and heartfelt adventures and discoveries along the way. I feel that many people could relate regardless their age because we have all struggled in our early adult lives.

Now you know why I am not NaNoWriMoing this year. I encourage other writers to give it a try even if you don’t reach the 50,000-word count goal. I have seen some participants’ word counts go far past the intended goal. Hopefully, I will be able to participate next year because I love a good challenge.

It’s Not Too Late To Participate!

Crest of National Novel Writing Month

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo 2014? How far have you gotten in your word count? A friend of mine and established author has written over 10,000 words, and she’s only just begun.
Good luck to all the participants and I wish you all the best success in your challenges.

Kicking Puppies and Taking Names: Why We Misbehave in Elevators


I recently read a blog by Erin J. Bernard, written on September 9, 2014 titled, KICKING PUPPIES AND TAKING NAMES: WHY WE MISBEHAVE IN ELEVATORS. Bernard engages readers with a cozy humorous tone throughout the blog. Her great insight on the psychology of elevator rides and the effect they have on human behavior. My favorite part of the blog is when she recalls famous elevator snafus most everyone can relate to. The elevator adventures are from past through present day.

“You might encounter a beautiful new neighbor with copious, spilling décolletage, whom you will instantly charm and then just-as-quickly infuriate when you gaze into her vacant eyes and explain that everybody in the building’s only been nice her because her boobies are humongous. It’s not your fault – your long-suffering son has placed a birthday curse on you that acts as a much-needed truth serum – and it’s causing all sorts of antics to ensue (“Liar Liar”).” — Erin J. Bernard

 

I found much of Bernard’s blog relatable to my own opinions, and I enjoyed hearing some historic information on elevators. Do yourself a favor, and read the article by Erin J. Bernard, who welcomes comments and discussion about the blog.

If I could ride in an elevator with anyone, either living or dead, I would most definitely pick Sigmund Freud.

Not because a 30-seconds-long vertical journey would be time enough to permit any kind of meaningful psychological exchange between the Good Herr Doktor and I – it’d be time enough to summon a pithy, off-cuff interpretation of last night’s bad dream, perhaps, or if he had his pocket watch on hand, to flirt with the stirrings of hypnotic stupor, but then it’d be time’s up.

View original post 1,618 more words

The Job Hunting Saga



Photo credit: Kevin_P from morguefile.com

Argh!

Yes, I started with such a word, but sometimes that is exactly how I feel. I know that job hunting has never had an easy history, but you would think after all these years something would make it easier. Maybe even pleasant?

Well, argh!

Okay, I ranted thanks for listening. oh wait? Did you think I was done no I am merely pre-thanking you for staying to listen. Today I went on an interview that took up to 3 hours. As I was regretting skipping my morning coffee my stomach grumbled. It was so loud! I thought the receptionist might come in the conference thinking I needed medical attention. Thank goodness, my stomach had good timing and did not protest during the actual interview.

So back to this interview which started at 9am and proceeded until noon. Let me tell you, this was for a position that stated it was an at home position.

Ah, but like Daddy always said, “read the fine print.” otherwise you will rue the day. I am not saying the company was dishonest, no. The interviewers were very open during the interview, and clarified any concerns I might have with the position. More on this later.

I was given a skills test that involved reading a small children’s book then writing a short essay about it, and what you think of the book. The test was not so bad. Of course, I am the worst test taking person. I get so nervous when tested, even if I know the information. Then the next step is the face to face interview.

There were lots of questions on handling customers and resolving issues. I feel I was being auditioned more than interviewed. The interviewers wanted to know how I might have solved irate or distressed customer issues. They really went through the résumé. It’s nice to know someone is reading my résumé.

It seems that the training takes place at an office site and once trained can earn to get on the “at home” rotation. This education is estimated to last average of two to three months. Two to three months? But I have a home office waiting to be used! Sigh. Okay, I kept my smile on and figured that the salary was worth the training at an office site.

Once the interview was over I was offered a drink, and the restroom. The interviewers went to discuss, with their general manager, if I would be moving to the further into the “employed” stage. I waited for at least an hour before one of the interviewers returned to let me know they “weren’t” moving further on with the hiring process.

WT????

Okay, there are some good things I can take from this. The glass is always half full, right?

1. They spent a long time with me. They must have seen some potential. (Yet they didn’t hire me,hmmm?)

2. The universe must be telling me something. (I don’t know. I just had my heart set on a couple of other applied to jobs. Luck be a lady tonight.)

3. Really there is no three. Everyone was nice and polite but they could have sent me home then discussed things with the general manager. (I was having coffee withdrawals.)

That’s it, my “argh” day. I am not sad that I didn’t get the job just slightly disappointed. Rejection is not an easy criticism to take even when it is constructive criticism. I really felt they liked me during the interview. Either way it was good interview practice. I kept thinking this is what is must feel like trying to get a job at a law firm. I tell you, the interviewers were very thorough.

Who wouldn’t be a little disappointed that’s just human nature. No worries though because I still have a couple of interviews in the wings. So wish me luck as I continue onward in my job hunting saga.

RELATED STORIES:

10 Ways The Job Search Has Changed
Our 5 Best Job Search Articles

Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity Living Off The Land


I enjoy traveling because learning becomes interactive. My visit to Jamaica revealed that poverty is real. In the United States people can go most of their life without seeing or meeting homeless. However, that is getting more difficult as economies remain unstable.

I was impressed with the Jamaican people, that no matter the difficulties of their struggles, the Jamaicans are a positive and resilient people. In Montego, Jamaica stands a statue of  Samuel Sharpe,a revered freedom fighter against slavery.  Sharpe, a leader in abolishing slavery in Jamaica, and aided towards eventual independence from Britain.

“…Jamaica slaves won emancipation in 1834…”-Photo with History of Jamaica.

Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity Living Off The Land

Columbia Students Bring Out Mattresses To Support Senior Emma Sulkowicz’s Rape Survivor Project


Columbia Students Bring Out Mattresses To Support Senior Emma Sulkowicz’s Rape Survivor Project.

A rape victim speaks out with her Art. Read the article and then take the poll. Has Emma Sulkowicz gone too far? Are our great teaching insitiutions ignoring rape on their campuses?

http://www.woar.org/about-woar.php
http://www.woar.org/about-woar.php

 

 

Related Stories:

How Colleges’ Lenient Sexual Assault Policies Allow Serial Rapists To Escape Punishment

What We Can Learn From The Largest International Study On Rape That’s Been Conducted So Far

Sexual Violence Statistics

 

“ Do Not ” List of the Mentally Strong


Good Advice for the mentally stressed! Of course, it’s easier said than done with this crazy world. See if you agree with Philosophybank.org authors, Neil & Nalin Gadihoke’s… “DO NOT” List of the Mentally Strong.

After reading the article take the Mentally Strong Quiz and let us know where you stand.

Do you have Mentally Strong traits?

philosophybank

It is common to link certain habits and attributes, to the breed of the mentally resilient.

On the other hand, mental strength can also be gauged by identifying the things mentally strong individuals DO NOT do.

Do Not Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves. You don’t see mentally strong people feeling sorry for their circumstances or dwelling on the way they’ve been mistreated. They have an inherent understanding of the fact that frequently life is not fair.

Do Not Shy Away from Change. Mentally strong people embrace change and they welcome challenge. Their biggest “fear,” if they have one, is not of the unknown, but of becoming complacent and outdated.

Do Not Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control. Mentally strong people don’t complain (much) about bad traffic, lost luggage or even the behaviour of other people. In a bad situation, they recognize that the one thing…

View original post 204 more words

Join Us in the Fight For Net Neutrality


Learn How Net Neutrality Will Affect You Personally.
WordPress blogger Paul Sieminski, reports on how the Internet, as we know it will never be the same, if we let it. Read the article, and express your feelings on net neutrality. #netneutrality #brouhahaaccess

The WordPress.com Blog

“Net Neutrality” is the simple but powerful principle that cable and broadband providers must treat all internet traffic equally. Whether you’re loading a blog post on WordPress.com, streaming House of Cards on Netflix, or browsing handcrafted tea cozies on Etsy, your internet provider can’t degrade your connection speed, block sites, or charge a toll based on the content that you’re viewing.

Net neutrality has defined the internet since its inception, and it’s hard to argue with the results: the internet is the most powerful engine of economic growth and free expression in history. Most importantly, the open internet is characterized by companies, products, and ideas that survive or fail depending on their own merit — not on whether they have preferred deals in place with a broadband service provider. Unfortunately, the principle of net neutrality, and the open internet that we know and love, is under attack.

Net Neutrality under…

View original post 417 more words

October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month


Rice
Ray and Janay Rice on May 1, 2014 arriving at the Atlantic County Criminal Courthouse. (photographer: Mel Evens-AP photo)

In the wake of the domestic violence reports with Ray Rice, former NFL player for the Baltimore Ravens, DomesticViolence Month is just around the corner starting in October. It is sad to see that domestic violence still a common occurrence, and that many are so surprised by the violent act.

Janay Rice has released an apology for her part in the “cringe” worthy scene caught on the elevator surveillance video released by TMZ. In hindsight it cannot be easy for the abused  to leave  an abuser. Knowing this, I was still shocked she should defend her man so adamantly to the point of being upset with the media, NFL, and the horrified public who sympathized with her plight. I must admit that I became angry, and suddenly became unsympathetic. However, after thinking about it, and seeing some images of Janay Rice walking eyes down I realized I had no room to judge. Then there was the article published by Huffington Post titled, #WhyIStayed Stories Reveal Why Domestic Violence Survivors Can’t ‘Just leave’, which explains why the abused tend to stay or seemingly support their partner’s behavior.

For many, domestic violence is behavior hard to accept, and hearing an abused person downplaying it and attacking others for punishing the abuser is even more confusing. Domestic violence leaves emotional and psychological scars along with physical reminders of abuse. According to the National Network To End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), a 24 hour study in 2009 showed that domestic violence programs served around 65,000 daily along 23,000 phones calls answered by crisis hotlines daily. Imagine these are the incidents reported and acknowledged. NNEDV has a FAQ to help people understand what occurs in a relationship filled with domestic violence, and the stigma that still exists with it today.

Domestic violence touches everyone regardless of sex, class, education, or race. A 2001 study by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics showed, that while 85% were female victims at least 15% included gay and lesbians relationships and men who were abused by female partners. In many cases there are signs leading to an abusive relationship, but they can be so subtle a person may not realize it until it’s too late. The best way to avoid an abusive relationship is to be aware of the signs. Some examples from NNEDV are:

  • They insist on moving too quickly into a relationship.

  • They can be very charming and may seem too good to be true.

  • They insist that you stop participating in leisure activities or spending time with family and friends.

  • They are extremely jealous or controlling.

  • They do not take responsibility for their actions and blame others for everything that goes wrong.

  • They criticize their partner’s appearance and make frequent put-downs.

  • Their words and actions don’t match.

Domestic violence does not have to be a part of your life. If you or anyone you know is in a domestic violent relationship call for help. Give yourself a voice again.

For help and assistance call the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

  • Hotline advocates are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year to provide confidential crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Assistance is available in English and Spanish, with access to more than 170 languages through interpreter services.