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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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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.

How I Do What I Do: A Brief but Rare Testimony

I lost my brother, no thanks to Multiple Sclerosis, on July 16th.  Two days later my youngest child was admitted to the hospital.  My son was discharged on the 21st and my brother was buried 2 days later.  I was at the hospital with my son (10 y/o and special needs) around-the clock so I didn’t see any of my family until the morning of my brother’s homegoing service.  To round out all the madness I  got divorced August 15th,  just 4 days after my 16th wedding anniversary, and went to work afterwards.  Oh yeah, before leaving work I went upstairs (I work at a hospital) to check on a patient, my mother.

How in the heck did I go through all of that turmoil and still come out with a smile on my face?  It was simple.

I have God in my life.  I don’t care what higher being you serve, if you are true to your faith then all things are possible.  I prayed for strength and I received that and much more.

Also, those who have known me since my childhood or teenage years know that I am an introvert.  I keep my personal life to myself.  And besides, just because I might be having a bad day doesn’t mean I want someone else to experience it.  I don’t believe in misery loves company.

I listen to several Gospel/Contemporary Christian/Christian Rock songs everyday.  The ones I play most often, in no particular order, are:

  • Still Have Joy – Colorado Mass Choir
  • Redeemed – Big Daddy Weave
  • Praise is What I Do – William Murphy
  • Total Praise – Richard Smallwood
  • He Reigns – Newsboys
  • In Jesus Name – Kutless
  • Jesus is Love – Commodores
  • Nobody Greater – Vashawn Mitchell
  • One of These Days – FFH

So for those that have been wondering how I do what I do, now you know.