• Amanda Sohan

Panda Pieces

Like many of our fellow Americans, I love me a VET! Yes I can't think of anything more selfless and noble than giving life and limb to protect your country and countrymen. So when I came across this story, I was simply tickled to bits, and it happened in Florida no less! A World War II Veteran, George Seney Jr. was simply shopping for his groceries when a woman, total stranger that she was, walked up to him, gave him one heck of a hug, thanked him for his service and then pressed a $50 bill in his hand with instructions to have himself a Merry Christmas! Yes folks, random acts of kindness brought on by a little Christmas spirit and a whole lot of Jesus has once again touched the life of a simple, grateful Veteran. Would it surprise you to know that he ended up donating the stranger's gift? I was incredibly touched by this story and I do declare it is one of those things that make you feel warm and sunny inside and inspires one to count their blessings not just their presents. We could all pass a blessing or two on I'm sure!

The next story I saved to read was not especially extraordinary. In fact, it's quite old hat but the reason it touched me was because I related and not in the way that might make me proud all of the time. So what does that mean? It means, I too can be moved, learn to be more considerate, and react to something that would generally annoy me, in a better way.

This story was told by Aly Brothers, a single mom of two toddles, one three year old and one just shy of two. Aly told her story on where else but Facebook? Through her frustration, sadness and teary eyes, she pleaded with the world to sympathize with mothers everywhere by explaining how incredibly difficult it is to deal with young children in public when they're misbehaving.

My daughter recently got hitched and to be quite honest, didn't give me a hard time in public with the exception of a handful of snapshot moments. I remember once she fell into a tantrum in Toys R' Us. She threw herself on the store floor and pitched a fit. I tried to remain calm and keep my composure but I vividly recall her father walking away embarrassed and leaving me to deal with the mess. I can only imagine how I would feel if I had to deal with that on a regular basis, and no support to turn too.

Now I'm certainly not advocating that one shouldn't keep striving to find creative solutions to effectively deal with their child/children but in the interim they could use our support or at the very least, lack of judgment and silence. The one thing (at least we New Yorkers are good at,) is minding our business and shuffling along, ignoring whatever might be going on in front of us!

Now lets talk about almost everybody's favorite herb, marijuana - wanna? Yes a little toke makes everything I-RE unfortunately it's evoking ire in a few chosen, powerful people, such as Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions and let's just say, court of appeals in high Session!

If you're like me, you've been getting one hell of an education watching the most amazing and truthful channel - VICE. Impressive (yes I follow him on Twitter) Host, Exec. Producer and Reporter, Krisha Sai Andavolu has been giving me and America the low down with his eyeopening show "Weediquette."

Sessions has always been anti-drug but aren't most of us? Being anti-drug and anti-weed isn't the same thing or is it? Unequivocally it is NOT. Weed has been helping war vets who have suffered from PTSD since Vietnam, perhaps even longer. Weed has been used by patients with severe arthritis, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, Alzheimers and more recently children who have been diagnosed with Autism with varying degrees of success and little non-severe side effects, as opposed to legalized drugs? I mean seriously, have you ever heard the commercials listing the side effects for some of our legalized drugs? You can take a pill to treat your Eczema but you may have suicidal thoughts as a side effect?

Yeah, my thoughts exactly! Did it ever occur to you how much money the Federal Government could gain by confiscating property, land etc., all in the name of "drug war?" Yes this is another angle to consider when someone such as Sessions is so entirely gung ho to keep from legalizing an organic plant that could help millions of people worldwide. My sailor and I saw a program on the VICE channel that depicting officers raiding homes, and businesses in states that marijuana was already legalized with absolutely all authority and no impunity. How was/is that even possible? I suppose the same way it's not legal to have your vehicle searched unless you give permission and yet it is anyway, while you may be on the side of the road, with your hands handcuffed above your head and no just cause in sight. Yeah bruh, it's like that.

At this point, with all of the evidence coming through the pipe, I think just like the driving force of technology, weed cannot be stopped no matter who's trying. But hey, knock yourself out Capital. It's very hard to kill a mockingbird.

Mon dieu - the French are at it again! Yes and not only is it delicious but I can literally buy the look for myself. Now I don't know if you're like me, and is intimately acquainted with someone who quite literally manages to pocket a salt shaker, sideswipe some cutlery, pilfer a dinner napkin simply because they want a memento of an elaborate dining experience? Well cleptO no more mon cher for you can simply order whatever strikes your fancy, on or off a la carte~ C'est vrai, I kid you not. La Mercerie, the cafe, bakery (in NY) is open from 10am-7pm and has teamed up with Roman and Williams Guild, so yes, the restaurant is basically located in a prime furniture showroom. Translation - if you fancy the dish that your dish came prepared upon, by George you can buy it! How cool is that? It's actually not a new concept but it is new to me so I can't wait to get my Teacups and Teabags together and give this joint a whirl. You know we'll take pics and I'll write about it! Stay tuned.

Since we've already established the fact that I love Vets - let me share some lovely news cause tis the season and I want to report positives. Heaven knows we get enough of the negative. Did you know that Chase and other major financial service companies and bank partners have donated to date 599 homes for veterans in a charity called Operation Homefront? Well I did not know either but I'm just happy as a pig in mud about it! U.S. Marine Cpl. Robert Hamilton III and his family just received their newly renovated dream home, free of mortgage, well let's just say it, free as well as a new Mazda CX-5! Oh yes he did. Mr. Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon Hamilton was shot in the stomach while on tour in Afghanistan and the powers that be bestowed this gift upon him and his family. Bravo Cpl. May you live in peace and harmony for the rest of your days and pay it forward when you can.

What's a gal to do when she wants to read a book by a Malagasy author in English? Well Allison M. Charette, a translator pursuing her master's degree in Rocheseter, NY found out. That is to say, she found out that there was nothing to be done, because there were no books from Madagascar (an island off the East coast of Southern Africa - I had to look that up) that were ever translated to English. Ya don't say? Allison then took it upon herself to make it her mission to do so. She was able to read some Malagasy novels in French, their second native language, and was blown away by the literary creativity unintentionally secreted from the rest of the world. Way to go Allison. I may pick up Lalana, by Michele Rokotoson myself (a novel about a man who has AIDS and his journey to see the ocean for the first time) since thanks to Allison it will soon be available in English!

Allow me to introduce you to all things VICELAND. Check it out!

So who's recognized for their writing about art? Apparently very few women! Since the dawn of man women have been the subject of art, but very few have been highly recognized for much other than that. Well things are about to change as this article by Eva Recinos showcases 8 influential female art historians that everyone should know. You can read the article in its entirety below but may I just say that the talents, education, art and vision of these women are not just inspiring in the art-world but in our male dominated world as well!

8 Influential Female Art Historians You Should Know

Kellie Jones is an American Associate Professor in Art History and Archaeology in African American Studies at where do you ask - none other than Columbia University~ She, as well as another artist, curator and photographic historian, Deborah Willis are both recipients of the prestigious MacArthur Fellow!

Linda Nochlin, another fellow American Art Historian and a Professor Emerita (no longer teaching but still retains the title and/or office) at New York University of Fine Arts posed the question in her iconic essay published in 71' entitled "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" Indeed!

Hats off ladies for giving the world a female opinion, eye and viewpoint -inquiring minds wanna know!

#Veteran #KellieJones #DeborahWillis #LindaNochlin #NadaShabout #Art #women #LaMercerie #Sessions #Weed #Viceland #Weediquette

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