Pontiac Silverdome Implosion: No Collapse but Still Fun

My oldest child fell asleep before 11:00 p.m. on Saturday night.  He is 15 years-old and it is rare for him to go to bed that early, even on a school night.

My youngest is 11 years-old and he fell asleep before 9 p.m.  My son is fighting osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and was discharged from the hospital Friday afternoon after a week long stay there.  But he wanted in on the action like his big brother.

Yes I am referring to the Pontiac Silverdome Implosion that took place on Sunday, December 3rd in Pontiac, Michigan.  I woke up at 5:30 a.m., got my sons and myself ready, and made the 45 minute road trip to Pontiac to join others in that historic moment.

Selfie taken in Pontiac, Michigan on December 3, 2017. The Pontiac Silverdome is in the background.

There was a designated parking and viewing area for the public so we left home extra early to ensure that we got a parking spot.  Excellent crowd control and there was even free coffee and donuts.

Leaving the boys in my vehicle at first (the youngest stayed inside my SUV the entire time to stay warm and recuperate), I got out to walk around and check out the environment.  It was as if we were at a funeral.  Some people (individuals and families) walked around and socialized with one another.  Others stood and stared at the Silverdome in silence.  There were times when there was complete silence because everyone was staring at the Pontiac Silverdome for the last time.

No one seemed to mind the 34 degree temperature with a wind chill of 28.  That is because we are Michiganders so we are used to cold weather.

I found a great spot for viewing and tears immediately flowed from my eyes.  My surrounding was peaceful.  All I could hear were footsteps of others walking up to pay their last respects to the former home of the Detroit Lions, Detroit Pistons, and a venue for countless other events.

It was nice to hear stories of who attended the Lions and Pistons games.  Others talked about concerts they attended.  Of course I had to share my story of when my sister and I attended the Jackson Victory Tour in 1984.  She was 14 and I was 12.  I did away with the jheri curl decades ago, but that sequin glove I wore to the concert is still packed away somewhere at my mother’s home.

As expected there was a huge turnout for the implosion of the Pontiac Silverdome.  Not everyone was able to fit into the designated parking lot.  Traffic became backed up on the expressway.  As a matter of fact, traffic literally stopped.  People got out of their vehicles and watched from the expressway.  Like I said, it was as if we were at a funeral.  It was a very emotional moment.

I did not record the first few seconds of the implosion because the blast from the explosives startled me.

Pontiac Silverdome one minute before implosion.
Pontiac Silverdome seconds after explosives were detonated.

The explosives failed to implode the Silverdome on Sunday.  Everyone stood and waited in silence for it to collapse (my tears were flowing heavily) but it wasn’t ready to be taken out just yet!

Although the Silverdome didn’t collapse, my sons and I still had a great time and I am sure everyone else had fun as well.  A man tossed a Nerf football back and forth to his young sons.  I saw a few drones flying around.  News helicopters circled overhead and came to a standstill minutes before implosion.

However there is always that ONE person that has to be a standout.  The guy I parked next to started talking to me before I even turned my engine off.  He said he was trying to get famous and wanted his 15 minutes of fame.  He said he was going to let the top of his truck down, climb up his ladder, and hold up a sign he made.

AND HE DID.

He told me a chilling story about something he and his friend saw when he was 15 years-old.  The story is too long to type in this blog post, but he said they saw a hand sticking out of a box.  They believe Jimmy Hoffa was in it.

I don’t know if that story was true or not, but he said that is the same story he’s been telling for years and it never changes.  A lot of people stopped and took pictures of that man and his sign.  Some of them even took selfies (I also took one) in front of him.  At times he even had a small gathering at his truck.  They were old schoolers like myself and I joined in on a couple of the discussions.  He held that sign up in the air the entire time.  Maybe his Jimmy Hoffa story is true, maybe it’s not.  But it was a heck of a story and generated a lot of talk.

The Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan was successfully imploded the next day.  I was okay with it because I had bid my farewell the day before, on its’ original implosion date.

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How I Handle the C Word, Plan to Handle the B Word, and Will Never Handle the S Word

I know the title is long, but I tried to shorten it.  Well, I didn’t try at all, but I thought about it for a quick second.  However, this blog post will be short and to the point.

How I handle the C word
No mother wants to be told that her child has cancer.  Two weeks before my son’s 11th birthday back in June, I learned that what was thought to be a bruise on his leg from falling while running was actually a mass.  A tumor.  Osteosarcoma.  So just how in the hell am I supposed to handle the fact (according to biopsy report) that my child has bone cancer?  That my child has to undergo intense chemotherapy-surgery-chemotherapy treatment over the next few months?  Each chemo admission ranges 2-5 days in the hospital.  On top of all that, my son is already special needs.  He has a rare condition called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) and a multitude of other health issues.

My son and I don’t like saying the word cancer, so we say C word instead.  He also says tumor while I say osteo.  Sometimes we don’t say anything at all.  So how am I handling it?  Let’s just say that I’m handling it, that I’ve come a long way since being told the heartbreaking news.

My son standing next to a locomotive at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan last month. He is train obsessed.

How I plan to handle the B Word
I should have typed word in plural form because this section actually consists of two B words.

The first word is book.  I wrote my first book, Leaving the Hidden Path:  Guidance for Women with Young Kids Considering Divorce.  My original plan was to launch it on August 15th which will be 1 year since my divorce.  All hell broke loose when I learned of my son’s life threatening illness, so I had to put my writing aside for a minute.  I am now making plans to release the book in September.

Now for the second B word.  Let’s see if you can guess the word by looking at the gorgeous lady in the picture below.

Okay, so the gorgeous lady is me.  I am very self-confident so I will always call myself beautiful, gorgeous, pretty, and sexy.  I was having a bad day last year so I called one of my best friends and burst out crying as soon as he answered the phone.  After telling him what was going on, he suggested I get a Bad Bitch shirt  made.  Bad bitch?  I rarely say bad words but it sound like a good idea, so I went to the mall and had the shirt made.  Some people like to mistake a person’s kindness for weakness.  Sometimes you overlook it, but when you don’t, well that’s when you become a bitch.  So I had to learn how to become a bad bitch.  Don’t worry, I’m only one when necessary, lol.

My book’s target audience is women with minor children considering divorce, and it contains examples from my personal life.  That’s where the bitch part comes to play.  I am already anticipating being called that and plenty of other things when I release the book.  But hey, I helped myself out of a situation, and now I want to help other women who may be in the same boat.  Getting called a bitch, or bad bitch, is okay.  It is not the first time I’ve been called one, and I guarantee you it won’t be the last.

How I will never handle the S word
Maintaining my sanity is a bit tricky.  A special needs child newly diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in addition to a long list of other health concerns.  A book about divorce that I plan to launch in September.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that a fundraiser is being planned by my ex-husband’s co-workers for our son for next month.  I am still releasing my book next month.  Chaos, chaos, chaos.

The average mom wouldn’t even be able to handle half of what I have been through, and still going through.  But will I ever handle the S word, or my sanity though?  I have no idea.  Some might call me crazy, others will call me supermom or superwoman.  Only time will tell.  But right now, time is telling me to be that bad bitch!

Oops!  I said this blog post would be short didn’t I?  Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this random post as much as I enjoyed typing it.  I just wanted to blow off some steam.

 

Random Thoughts Part 3

It has been a long time since I have posted my random thoughts, so I have quite a bit to share with you.  In case you have forgotten or you are a new reader to my blog (welcome!), my comments are in no particular order.  They are just as random as this blog post.

  1. Have you seen the video clip of the 4 year-old girl in Ohio that was blown off her feet by strong winds as she opened the door to her home?  Within seconds she and the door were blown out of sight.  She didn’t even drop her cellphone.  Incredible!
  2. I attended public schools and my children are in the public school system.  I had Pell grants and I have student loans.  That makes me overqualified for Education Secretary.  It was suggested that I could be Surgeon General but apparently I am overqualified for that position as well.  Ah forget it, I give up.
  3. Ben Carson is Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  I recall him saying he wasn’t qualified for the position because he wasn’t experienced in running a federal agency.  Really?  But you ran for President of the United States.  I don’t know who knows the less between him and Donald Trump.
  4. Speaking of Ben Carson, I want to call him a term that is two words and begins with the letter ‘h’ so bad, but since I don’t talk that way I’ll just keep that thought to myself.
  5. I have no idea what the picture below is about but I can’t go into the store and ask anyone because I think it’s permanently closed.  There are several signs in the window, no one is ever there, and it’s always dark.
  6. They can’t find the missing Tennessee teenage girl and her former teacher, but they found Tom Brady’s jersey IN ANOTHER COUNTRY.
  7. There is a game called Toilet Trouble that is so nasty to me.  You hold your face over the toilet, flush, and get sprayed by water.  I get mad whenever the commercial comes on TV and my kids laugh at me.
  8. Speaking of getting mad, as much as I love WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), I cannot stand their New Day Gimmick.  I like Big E. Langston, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods as wrestlers, but I can’t stand them as New Day.  They frolic around the ring gyrating while Xavier plays the trombone.  One day Kofi twerked so fast and hard I was sure his backside would fall off.  I mean, he literally dropped it like it was hot.  That’s for me, a female, to do.  I am a black female so I especially don’t like seeing brothers behave in that fashion.  I know it’s scripted but come on, that pink wearing, unicorn horns on their heads has gone on long enough.  I received a text one night while I was at work that Big E. spanked the Miz.  I was like, “What the f**k?”  Such a waste of talent.  Buffoonery at its finest.  I won’t post a picture of them but here’s merchandise I saw at the store.

  9. I follow Donald Trump on Twitter and I even comment on his ridiculous tweets at times.  My comments get deleted, probably because I’m not a celebrity or reporter with thousands of followers.  But that’s okay, I like being an unknown.  Here is one of his silly tweets.

    Here is my response.
  10. I don’t care what anyone says, the Democrats and Republicans WORKED TOGETHER to block Donald Trump’s monstrosity health care plan.  It may have been unknowing to them but they worked together.  Now all they have to do is knowingly work together and deem that mental case unfit as President of the United States.
  11. Despite the water crisis in the city of Flint, Michigan, great things have, and still are, happening in the city and the surrounding areas.  Last summer, Treehouse Masters, the television reality show on Animal Planet, built a treehouse at For-Mar Nature Preserve & Arboretum in Burton, Michigan.  Burton is located just outside the city of Flint.  There was an unusually warm day last month so my kids and I went to see the treehouse and to take a walk on a couple of nature trails.  That treehouse is BEAUTIFUL inside and out!  I watched the episode on Treehouse Masters and it was a tear-jerker.


    Pete Nelson and his crew did an amazing job.  For-Mar has superheroes and the staff made Pete a superhero!  The picture immediately above was taken inside the treehouse.  Pictured are a few of For-Mar’s superheroes.
  12. Hurley Medical Center, a level I trauma center located in the city of Flint, Michigan is also a Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) hospital.  Back in the fall Alli Simpson, a celebrity who helps raise awareness for CMN hospitals, selected Hurley to receive an aquarium for its’ children’s hospital.  Thanks to Alli and Animal Planet’s Tanked, a 900 gallon aquarium was installed at Hurley’s Children Hospital.


  13. I work at Hurley Medical Center and I was there for the unveiling of the aquarium.  I didn’t even try to control my tears.  We had to keep it a secret until the week it aired on television.  I am thankful beyond words for what Pete Nelson and his crew at Treehouse Masters, Alli Simpson, the crew at Tanked, and Animal Planet for what they have brought to our community.  What a blessing they are.
  14. Speaking of Michigan, I live in the only state where you can show people where you live at on your hand.
  15. My kids are left-handed and I am ambidextrous.

Those are my random thoughts for now.  I could go on but I am getting sleepy.  Feel free to add your own random thoughts or comments below and thank you for visiting my blog!

Chicago Torture Video is More Than a Hate Crime

This is one of my NO BARS HOLD blog posts.

I am always up late, so at 2:30 this morning I finally decided to watch the Chicago torture video.  In case you are unaware of what I am referring to, this is the video where 4 African-Americans, 2 males and 2 females, tortured a white, special needs male for hours.  One of the female suspects live streamed it on Facebook.

I literally cried and gasped during the nearly half-hour long video, only pausing it twice to watch CNN’s Don Lemon and a panel of commentators discuss this heinous act.  It is actually beyond horrific.

I am the mother of a special needs child.  My 10 year-old son has a rare disease called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC).  He also has Autism and a multitude of health issues.  So as a special needs mom, I know exactly what that young man and his family are going through right now.

I definitely feel it is a hate crime, especially with one of the attackers yelling, “Fuck Donald Trump” and “Fuck white people.”  They repeatedly called him “nigger.”  But I also feel what they did is more than just a hate crime.  What those four imbeciles did was a COWARDLY act.  Those no good, sorry ass clowns are merely cowards.  Not only what they did was wrong, but they kidnapped and tortured a person from the vulnerable population (children, elderly, disabled).

We need to stop being divided as to whether that senseless act is a hate crime or not because to me, it’s just a CRIME.  I just read the attackers are being charged with a hate crime, felony aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, residential burglary, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.  I hope they get the book thrown at them.  Truthfully, I want  them to receive the maximum sentence for each charge they face, even if it means locked up and never seeing daylight again.

My heart nearly dropped to the floor as I watched that Chicago torture video.  Tears heavily flowed down my face.

I have two children, sons ages 14 and 10 (special needs as mentioned above).  My oldest told me that he heard about the video but that he’s not going to watch it.  I talked to him about it today, telling him some of the events that took place and he ignored me.  So I stopped talking.

You see, my boys aggravate each other, but they also love each other.  The oldest bothers his little brother all the time,  but at the same time he is very protective of him, and is ready to fight at any given moment over him.

If you are reading this and are special needs or the caregiver of a special needs child or adult, then you definitely understand where I’m coming from.

As I step down from my soapbox, I would like to say that I might sound harsh in this blog post but guess what?  I don’t care.  What those cowards did was senseless.  Pure evil.  Not only did they disrespect that young man and his family, they DISRESPECTED the ENTIRE SPECIAL NEEDS COMMUNITY.  Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, physically challenged, mentally challenged, etc.  When one hurts, we all hurt because the special needs community is one big family.

Once Again Michigan Uses Voter Suppression Tactics

I stood in line a little over an hour to vote in yesterday’s Presidential Election 2016, and I can honestly tell you that voter suppression tactics in the battleground state of Michigan was in full force.  The powers that be worked their magic to try to discourage Michigan residents from voting.

Crowded polling sites.  There are four precincts at my polling site.  I vote at a church of a nice size but it is not large enough to hold a crowd we all know and expect on Election Day.  Some stood in line for a long time before realizing they were actually in the wrong line.  It was very crowded, and not only did voters threaten to leave, some actually left.  I am sure there was a poll supervisor somewhere in the mix, but said person was in dire need of assistance with crowd control.

It was so catastrophic at my polling site that I would have about-faced with a quickness,  and went home had I not been the strong person that I am.  I walked inside and had to ask several people whose line they were standing in just to find the line for my precinct.  There is no such thing as a straight line, by the way.  They all wrap around here, there, and everywhere.

Additional polling sites need to be put in place because it is ridiculous to have that many precincts in one room.  Did I mention that some sites has 5 precincts?

Some of the schools were closed yesterday, others remained open.  I am referring to schools that serve as polling sites.  I feel that all schools should be closed on Election Day and be used as polling sites.  The middle school and high school in my district both have two gyms.  Those are excellent polling sites.

By the way, schools that are polling sites and remain open on Election Day is dangerous, a safety issue.  You have hundreds, if not thousands, of strangers entering in and out of schools to vote.  But if I want to drop my kids lunch off at school on a random school day, I have to get buzzed in.

Not enough polling stations.  I noticed over the past few elections that my precinct always have the longest line on Election Day.  So it is upsetting to see that there were only seven polling stations per precinct.  I am sure you are wondering how I know all of this if the place was crowded.  Well that’s easy, I am an observant person.  Anyway, one of the election workers set up an additional polling station while I was in line.  Voters received their ballots and walked right past it because there was not a light attached to it.  It would have been difficult to read the ballot in the dimly lit room.

Older workers.  The poll workers are usually old.  Those lines moved so slow yesterday because all the workers were elderly, especially at my precinct.  It took the lady nearly forever to tear the bottom portion of the ballot off and you could hear voters sigh loudly.  My precinct always has the longest line so I knew in advance what I was in for when I saw the workers were all old.

One thing I was thankful for is the worker that greeted voters at the door.  He yelled out that you could just go over to your precinct if you already knew it.  He also handed out voter applications.  Receiving that application was a great time saver because it was already filled out by the time you got to the table.

Broken ballot machines.  The machines that you feed your ballot into kept breaking down at some polling sites.  Voters didn’t have a long wait time to vote, but they waited nearly an hour for the machine to accept their ballots after several tries.

No early voting.  I know a lady whose work shift begins at 8:00 a.m.  She showed up at her polling site when it opened at 7.  The line was moving slow and she was not allowed to move ahead.  She ended up leaving without voting so she wouldn’t be late for work.  There are a lot of registered voters that are unable to vote because their jobs are a good distance from their homes.  They drive at least an hour one-way to and from work.

Michigan does not offer early voting.  We have absentee voting but there are strict requirements.

I was voter #179 at precinct 7 in Flint Township, Michigan yesterday.  Michigan really needs to make the voting process easier to encourage registered Michigan voters to get out and vote instead of discouraging them.

But then again, Michigan is a battleground state.  Battleground means a place or situation of conflict.  I love challenges which explains why I love my battleground state of Michigan,  and I am always ready to tackle its’ wild and crazy voter suppression tactics.

 

Embracing My Unique Dopeness

 

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A member on a social media site where I hang out at always posts about being positive.  He reminds us, on a daily basis, to emit positive vibrations and to stay dope.  One of his updates hit home when he posted about being different, to just be yourself, don’t try to be like anyone else, and to stay dope.  I commented that I love my unique dopeness.

I recently revisited one of my blog posts from two years ago, I Need Your Help.  In that post I ranted about black female stereotypes and how I did not fit into those categories.  I still do not fit in and I do not care.  I don’t try to be like everyone else because I like being me.  I love my unique dopeness.

Because of my uniqueness, I have never really fit in with my own people, African-Americans.  I have been talked about and laughed at since childhood.  Family, classmates, co-workers, and strangers.  Out of all the races blacks give me the most problems, especially females.

It is rare that a black male will try to check me about being “different.”  Earlier this year a black male told me that I  must be married to a white man because of the way I talk.  That was pretty much the only time a male went there with me.  He was a lowlife so I didn’t even I nclude him in the equation.

I mostly get “white girl” or “you sound like a white girl” from the sisters.  It is a shame that my own people laugh at me for using my vocabulary.  We all went attended school so they should know and use their vocabulary as well.

Comic books, nerd, bookworm, introvert, tech geek, model rockets, astronomy lover, Trekkie, cartoons, WWE.  That is all me.  I never wanted a traditional wedding so I got married in Jamaica.

I am not going to change because I love being me.  I am unique.  I am dope.  And I will always embrace my unique dopeness.

You don’t fit in with people, people fit in with you.

My social networking brother told me that dope statement when I informed him I was writing this random blog post and why.

By the way, take a good look at that pretty lady in the photo above.  Beautiful, natural, and flawless.  I rarely post pictures of myself but I found it appropriate to do so for this post.

Don’t Wait Until They’re Gone to Start Claiming Them

WARNING:  Rant mode.  No bars hold.

Don’t wait until I’m dead and gone to be buying me no flowers.  Give me my flowers now while I can still see and smell them.

My mother has been saying those words for as long as I can remember.  I guess I never had to worry about it because I always gave her a handful of flowers, even if I did pick them out of someone’s yard while walking home from school!  She talked to me about that but I kept doing it anyway.  I also gave her flowers, including dandelions (you thought they were pretty, yellow flowers too), from our own yard.  My kids are 14 and 10 and they still give me dandelions, I mean flowers!

I am just now realizing that my mother was referring to more than just flowers.

When my brother passed away back in July, all kinds of folks came out of the woodwork claiming he was their friend, homeboy, and how they had love for him.  But not one of those so-called friends visited my brother once he was rendered non-ambulatory the last few years of his life.  Not even a phone call or snail mail.

My mother is not just talking about flowers, about how she does not want anyone to wait until she is dead to buy flowers for her grave.  She wants visitors at her home while she is still alive.  Call her on the phone and say hello.  She does not want anyone to wait until her funeral to give that little 2-minute talk about how nice she was and much she was loved because she won’t be able to hear any of it.

I am not on a certain social media site often, but I wanted to read an important notification I had received.  When the site pulled up on my phone, my brother’s obituary was staring me in the face.  I started sweating and my heart dropped to the floor.  His complete obituary was posted on social media.  That shocked the hell out of me because at that time, I hadn’t even seen the obituary in its entirety yet.

I wanted to yell, “WHAT THE FU*K, but I couldn’t because I was in my son’s hospital room (admitted 2 days after my brother’s death).  Why post an obituary and say a lot of good stuff for the world to see on your social media page when you didn’t even call or visit?  Someone posted that he had planned to visit my brother on a certain day.  Yeah right.  The day mentioned was the day AFTER he died.  Put a lid on it.  Where were you while he was on the ventilator (life support) the last 1 1/2 months of his life?

My sister attended a funeral a couple weeks before our brother’s.  A man sat two rows behind her and loudly talked to someone about how he visited the deceased when he was alive in the hospital and at home.  He said while at the hospital he asked the man if he remembered him and he said yes.

That was a lie.  My sister was the caregiver of the deceased.  She said the man had gotten very ill and had stopped talking.  So there was no way a verbal conversation was held in that hospital room.  She also described the so-called friend to the owner of the deceased’s home because she didn’t recognize him.  The owner said no one fit that description had visited the home.

You can’t pay a visit or phone call, but you can run your mouth on social media and out in public.  This type of behavior is not only attention-seeking, it is also disrespectful.

I don’t care who you are and where you are.  You can live next-door to Santa Claus at the North Pole for all I care.  DO NOT wait until a person leave this world to start claiming your love for him or her.  Do it now while your voice can be heard, your smile can be seen, and flowers can be smelled.

This blog post is not just for so-called friends, it is for family members as well.

As I step down from my soapbox, I would like to give everyone reading this blog post a flower.  You are a great person and I appreciate you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read my blog.