Friday, July 19, 2013

What Is Honor? (plus a Derek Jeter update)

Its 8:12 pm

    Been in a grip of a terrible heat wave here in SE Michigan. Our temps have been hitting anywhere between 95-100 with the heat index adding 5-7 degrees each day. Add in the humidity and its very damn hot.

   Our store is doing what we started last year,when its this blazing hot,we pass out free water to folks who are shopping. It fosters goodwill and ensures that no one will go thirsty while shopping with us.

Seems like so much has happened since I last posted a normal entry....Detroit is declaring bankruptcy,George Zimmerman got away with murder,the black community is targeted fixated on this one case while black on black murder rates soar in Chicago and Detroit. The media continues to drive a wedge between America both racially and economically. Folks continue to struggle in just trying to live a normal day to day life. The storm clouds are gathering....

So Derek Jeter is sick. What I thought was possible foot problems has turned into something more serious. Last Sunday I came home and he could barely walk....I called Marlene and asked her if she knew any 24 hour vets in the area...she wasn't aware of any so I turned to Google and started looking. The only one I saw listed was in Pittsfield Township which is slightly beyond Ann Arbor. I posted on my FB page about that and Michelle Ball was kind enough to direct me to a clinic in Plymouth.
  I got Derek in his carrier and head out to the ER at 9 pm. I can tell you,I was pretty scared for my buddy. He is my last family member and the thought of possibly losing my entire family in a mere 2 months time was just awful. I found the clinic and after 15 minutes we were seen. Derek was a perfect gentleman,came out of his carrier with little coaxing and buried his head in my arms. His weight was only 15 pounds,he has never weighed less then 18 during his adulthood and as much as 20 during the winter months.
  As the tech left and we waited for the doctor,we heard a man and woman crying outside our door. Their dog had a incurable illness and the time had come for him to cross the rainbow bridge. It was sad hearing them both crying...I stuck my head out and told him how sorry I was for their loss. The dog was pretty cute but skinny,I don't know what he had but I know Shelby was loved very much.
  The vet came in and gave Derek a quick check up....he started outlining treatment options,X-rays,meds, the time he was done,he had no idea what Derek had and wanted me to pay 750.00 just for him to share that with me.
 The only thing asked,was he in mortal danger? The vet said "no" and I packed Derek up,paid the bill and headed home. The next morning saw us in Dr. King's office...she was the vet that treated Ginger's kidney failure. Now we back with her again as she examined Derek. She couldn't tell right away but suggested we run blood and I agreed. Turns out that Derek's potassium and red blood cell counts are low. Dr. King has started him on Renal K and we will go back in 10 days for another check-up. Dr. King also waived the rabies shot requirement for any future nail clipping we may have need of.

This week saw me see Pastor Debbie Miller for the first time since Lori's passing away. Despite some really bad days,I seemed to have gotten a firmer grip on things and I felt okay when I walked in. So I was pretty surprised at how much pain was so close to the surface. It will be two months tomorrow that my Lori has left me and I am still just as lost and confused as day one. I do function better and am putting the bridle in between my teeth for a good pull. Seeing "Pacific Rim" tomorrow with my fellow fanboys,Dom and Rome,giving blood Sunday afternoon at St. John Neumann's. Our store is also having two volunteer projects that I signed up for,we are working to restore two community centers in Wayne and Inkster. We did really well on our car wash and with our new ASM spearheading and cheerleading our way to new projects,its a nice way to pay it back a little bit! Can't wait to get the ball rolling.

  One thing I have doing as of late is clearing my life of toxic people. Some people may have appeared to have cared about my situation but I can see that they really don't at all.Sometimes its take the most unlikely event to show someone that.
  Honor. What does honor mean? It means different things to many people,doesn't it?
So actor Cory Montieth overdosed this week. Locked himself in a hotel room with booze and some heroin and ended up dying a very empty,senseless and dishonorable death. And just like most famous deaths,you had people rushing to his defense,saying how talented he was,how he had a bad childhood,was sexually abused,etc,etc...the same yada,yada we heard when Amy Winehouse or any other "name" dies so early.
I posted the following on my wall:

Cory Monteith is leaving Glee for a new exciting role on The Walking Dead where he'll play a singing zombie who helps Rick form a choir...

I admit,maybe it was a little soon but honestly,seeing this happened made me mad. Now my brother Phil or any of my friends in the music/nightclub business can tell you,addiction sucks. I already related how my friend Larry got caught up in crack(but is in recovery as of this writing),my pals Sean and Johnny,both very good artists,got caught up in speed,my booking mentor,Nancy,became a alcoholic. I just posted about my friend Javier,whose brother and sister are both heroin addicts. To me,its about choice,freewill. We choose to abuse narcotics,alcohol or street drugs. Well,it used to be that simple....with so many doctors simply writing heavy pain meds instead of treating the patient,the next generation of addicts may rightfully be able to say "Its not my fault". Maybe....but for now,anyone who chooses to shoot heroin,crack, do it at your own peril. I don't have any sympathy for this Cory. To this I was accused of being judgemental and having anger issues. Simply because I stated that yes,I am angry at this dude who had everything going for him,a good career,a loving girl,respect of his peers..the world was his. I know he had issues and I respect that but to come out of rehab and say "fuck you all" as he slid the needle in his arm,yeah...I have a problem with that.
He threw his life away so easy while good people like Amy and my Lori,fought so hard against a illness they didn't ask for and wanted to live so much. I talked to Amy's husband Don about this and he agreed how this kind of story upsets him as well. Cory had a choice to live,not to let his past define him,to control him...he said "nope" and now he is dead.
  I had been invited out to lunch to discuss a chance to write for a website....but when the person saw this,she attacked me for not having compassion. She herself is a great example that Cory could have looked at and modeled his recovery after. This person had a problem herself and had to overcome it and everyday she has to WORK very hard at it....and that is good. Might have been better not to have ended up there in the first place but that was again,her choice. The difference is she realized that her choice was not healthy and decided to get help. She looks at Cory through the eyes of a addict,I look at him through the eyes of someone who never used drugs or drank barely anything. Looking at the glass differently.
  Soon after,I saw the following posted on her and her partner's FB wall "a code of honor". Soon after I got the following letter. Its actually pretty classless and again,attacking me and questioning my "honor". All I can say is friends and co-workers know who I am. They know exactly how I conduct myself in regards to people and situations. Because I won't enable or condone the fact this kid tossed his life away like a empty Slurpee cup,doesn't give you or anyone else the right to question my "honor". I don't need cancers like this in my circle and that is why you're no longer welcome in it.

  • Conversation started Thursday
  • 4:0

    TPE has just implemented a new code of honor that has a level of expectation for all people to be accorded respect. In light of your recent comments on Facebook, Trish and I feel it's best, at this time, to not forge ahead with any business relationship. We both understand you are going through a difficult time and we respect that, but we also believe you need time to get a hold of of your anger towards those who are not the reason for it.
    We would like to reassess a writing position at the start of 2014. We are still your friends and hope you understand we are fostering a community of respect and concern for all - please see our code of honor.
    1. Never desert a team member in need, danger, or trouble.
    2. Communication is key and expected. Respond to all emails, messages, phone calls, text messages and online messages, etc . in a timely manner or let them know when you will be available.
    3. Follow through on your commitments. A deadline is a deadline, if you need more time communicate why and how much more time.
    4. Always use honesty to resolve a dispute and good communication practices.
    5. Never desert an individual or group to which you owe your support.
    6. Never discredit your ability, but acknowledge when you need help.
    7. Never need praise, approval or sympathy.
    8. Realize that outside relationships and actions could harm TPE. Always keep TPE in your best interests.
    9. Never regret yesterday. If you make a mistake fix it. Don't dwell on it or make excuses.
    10. Don’t desire to be liked or admired.
    11. Set and complete your goals
    12. Keep all confidences with those working with you and toward the greater good.
    13. Respect those you work for and with by asking fulfilling your obligations.
    14. Help others, and if you can't, at least don't hurt them.
    Adam Zientarski
    General Manager TPE
  • MichaelNot a problem.

Now that felt pretty good....and speaking of honor,got a from the world of horror conventions. A couple of weeks ago,a actress friend of mine attended a show in California. She was one of the big name guests and posters and other PR went out hyping her involvement. Tickets were sold,promises in terms on contracts and hotel accommodations were given and all seemed in order.

My friend packs her table with her usual convention fare,pictures,DVDs,chainsaws and blood and heads north. She even posted pictures of the trip and how excited she was getting to meet a lot of fans.
 Well,she got there and the promoter turns straight up shady. My friend doesn't get paid,she was locked out of her hotel room (most likely because the deposit check bounced) and she had to pay for her meals....all things that a professionally run convention handles. I was pretty shocked to say the least...I thought conventions were booked like a live music show. You know,you call the artist you want agent or manager...they send you a contract w/a rider. You send back the contract along with a deposit and after the show,you settle with the artist or the artist's road manager. But I guess they do things differently and my friend expected a honorable settlement and it didn't turn out that way. Which is a damn shame because my friend is one of the sweetest persons I have come across. Out of respect for her,I am not naming names but if this janky wannabe tries to pull out another scam....we'll be dropping names for sure!

  This week is Lori's birthday week. She would have turned 54 on the 25th of July and I got a nice gift from Arbor Hospice,a 3,000.00 bill. I knew this was coming and I have been dreading this...I had hoped our insurance would have covered this but nope...its all on me. I wonder if anyone would help me set up a Kickstarter to help raise some money for this. I really hate how they sent me this bill THIS week. I mean,really?? Just another hurdle to overcome,right?

All is not lost as I will be cat sitting for my neighbor Marlene as she and her son go on vacation. It will be nice to chill with the famous Crash again. He is the most talkative cat this side of a Siamese and I'm sure he has an opinion on the state of Detroit and other current topics.

All right.....I'm outta here. Be safe and keep the faith,baby!


  1. One of the tenets of honor is honesty. We call celebrities who overdose tragedies but no one calls them who they really are......SELFISH. No one goes through that much to hurt not only themselves but the ones around you. What you said to those people needed to be said and people need to be totally honest with themselves. Having honor means saying and doing things that are unpopular but proper. When I think of a person with honor, I think of Harrison Ford's character in "Clear and Present Danger"

  2. Glad to hear that Derek's illness was minor. Good blog as normal.

    1. Thanks Aaron....still treating Derek's low levels with meds. He seems to be perking up a little bit more. Thanks for the support!

  3. You covered so many things in one post...where to begin?

    First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers to you and Derek Jeter. He's an important part of your life and also a link to Lori.

    My dad died suddenly in March 2009, three days before his 63rd birthday. They had a bird, a cockatiel named "B" which they got from a pet store back in 1982, when I was in 8th grade. Yep, they had him all those years. Well, B was close to mom but he adored my dad. He was with dad all the time. My dad was a strong guy, 6 feet tall, solid. Anyway, this big guy was the only person who could pick B up and not be bitten. Dad would pick B up in his hands and say to him "Num num" and bring him to his mouth acting like he was going to eat him and B loved it! It was hysterical. Fast forward to a few months ago, B finally died. Well it hit mom really really hard, not just because B was so old but because B was such an important link to my dad. Oh she has us three kids, but it's different, we're all grown and moved away. B was there with them, with our family and saw everything over the years. He was a witness to our family history. And when mom and dad were living their all alone without us kids, it was their pets that saw them through it. B outlasted four dogs, another cockatiel, and four horses. When he died, mom was heartbroken because it was like a piece of history...this link to her past, especially with dad, was gone. So I understand so much about your connection with Derek!

    Now, about Monteith...I never saw an ep of Glee so I have no idea how talented he was. It's not so strange that one can have so much money and fame and yet be so unhappy or face such troubles. Only shows that money really can't buy happiness. That he was honest about his addiction is honorable, because maybe that served to help someone (and if our trials and tribulations can help someone else, that's always a good thing) but in the end, he was only
    human. We all have weaknesses and Cory Monteith's killed him. I don't disagree with what you said, I think it needed to be said, mostly because too many people put celebrities up on a pedestal. Some celebs want to be on that pedestal but the rest, not so much. They don't want to be seen as flawless because when they screw up it hurts more. They just want to live their lives and enjoy their friends and family like the rest of us. If we learned to treat celebrities as regular people, I think we'd all be better off.

    Now, as to TPE. WTF? (See what I did there?)

    Frankly, it doesn't sound like a website you'd be happy writing for if they're going to be jerks about this. Really... I want to say more on that but I will refrain,which is highly unusual for me :)

    Hang in there.

    ps...I heard a judge ruled against Detroit's request for bankruptcy. Now what?

    1. Jessica,
      When one has no children,our pets become our kids. I believe in the total bond between a pet and his/her owner. They sense what we do and even sometimes when we don't. Derek is no different in that respect...while he is far active now then when Ginger and Lori both passed...he still is very clingy and meows a lot more. I think he is calling to them and it breaks my heart when he sits and just meows...

      Cory actually was very talented,I caught 2-3 episodes of Glee and you can see why he was a rising star. But the fawning and worshiping of these people when they die by their own hand is beyond imagination. What does all the talent do for you when you decide to use drugs and drank to excess? It makes me mad,as a booking agent...I saw many young talented artists fall by the wayside due to poor choices. No one is forcing you to be a "star" or to take pills,heroin,etc....

      As far as TPE goes,pretty saddened by the complete two-facedness of Trish. She had no problem posting several angry posts on her page about different people and events. Never once did I call her out on it because she is entitled to her opinions. To attack me and then post a "code of honor" right after because I expressed my feelings about Monteith in a small joke...I don't need nor want any part of that crap...I rather enjoy the friends I have who know me.

  4. I understand you, it's too hot in here... +38°C (Milan, Italy). I'm very happy to hear Derek's health's good.
    This blog's very pleasurable.
    Have a nice week.

  5. Glad to know Derek is only serious, and not super serious serious.

    And yes, we need more Pacific Rims, and less "Adam Sandler is the only reason Rob Schneider gets a paycheck" movies.

    1. Let me know when you see Pacific Rim so we can talk about it!