17 Letters for Stoneman Douglas

After the horrific events at Stoneman Douglas I began a letter writing campaign. Each day for seventeen days I would write my congressmen about a victim from the school demanding preventative action. I tried to write each day, imagining the pain of losing students or family members. Instead, I learned something personal about Miguel, Joaquin, Cara, Carmen, Aaron, Alaina, Nicholas, Alyssa, Alex, Gina, Jaime, Scott, Peter, Chris, Luke, Meadow and Helena. Whether it was Meadow’s ambition to attend Lynn University in the fall or Helena saving her friend’s life by telling her to get a book and protect herself, these fourteen students and three teachers will always be remembered. We owe it to them and their sacrifice to not forget.

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Famous Quotes Re-imagined with Love: Part 2

A few years ago I wrote a post about famous quotes re imagined with one or two letters changed. The purpose was to convey a meaning of love where there was not necessarily one before.  I decided to continue this in in what I’m calling Part 2. Enjoy.

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Image Source: Flickr

 

I came, I saw, I loved.”
– Gaius Julius Caesar

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Love is what happens when language fails.”

–  Margaret Atwood

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Only love has seen the end of war.”

― Plato

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The supreme art of love is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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Never think that love, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.”

― Ernest Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway: A Literary Reference

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In times of war, the love falls silent.”

― Marcus Tullius Cicero

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and when all love has ended, a butterfly will still be beautiful.”

― Ruskin Bond, Scenes from a Writer’s Life

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To me, love is like the new boss who expects the impossible. He stands over your shoulder repeating one thin, incessantly: ‘Get it done, get it done.’ So you work harder. You get the job done. The boss, however, does not thank you. He asks for more.”

― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

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Every man should lose love in his youth, so he does not lose love when he is old.”

― George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows

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Was there ever a love where only one side bled?

― George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

Soon-to-be Revealed Obama Scandals

It wasn’t easy but I managed to find a copy of Sean Hannity’s programming for next year. It was safely wedged between Alt-Right bumper stickers and KFC body spray in the dumpster behind Fox News. What? Of course, I tried the body spray. Crispy smells way better grilled.

 

Obama Planned to Replace Armed Forces with Legions of Poets.

Some would already say he did. Transgender liberals wielding notebooks filled with un-American haiku? That’s what our underfunded gender-inclusive fighting force has succumbed to. Attack your enemy with words and melt resistance in their hearts. It almost worked too, until they discovered poetry sounded better in Arabic.

Obama Fired James Comey.

Definitely a sticking point in Mueller’s investigation into obstruction of justice is Trump’s firing of Comey. How great would it be if Obama had done it? And Obama was the one under investigation? And we could retroactively impeach him? Expect several lengthy exposes on why Obama colluded with Russia and had his daughters meet a Putin lachey in Trump Tower. Did we say Trump Tower? We meant Obama Tower. But Trump’s is bigger. Way bigger.

Obama Killed JFK… with Help from Ted Cruz’s Father.

His assault on democracy began in utero! Or when he was two, depending on your math. But he would make a cute baby distraction for Ted Cruz’s dad to show while he set up his sniper in the grassy knoll. As to how he got baby Barack from Hawaii is anyone’s guess. I suspect Sean Hannity will spend several weeks on the topic.

Review: Perfect Harmony Yoga and Fitness

I thought about this for a long time. I can say I feel discriminated against, or that I cried for most of the drive home, but it would not change anything. I can say that I feel discouraged from trying yoga at all, but who would listen? This review is solely for my own catharsis and whether it helps anyone decide one way or another is beyond my control.

I started my journey three weeks ago, needing a form of exercise to help with diabetes. I love my job, but there are not many places to go later in the evening. This is why I initially found the location desirable. It fit my schedule, and I had hoped the yoga might help me find balance and stay healthy.

The class itself was okay; I could have used more direct instruction and the instructor did not let met me ask questions. I probably should have sensed something was off, but I was committed to make things work.

Due to work, I was not able to make the next couple meetings. When I could come again the instructor told me she did not want me there anymore because of my gender. She explained how the women felt ‘vulnerable’ with a male present and could not relax properly. I was deeply offended by this as she had said nothing regarding this problem when I first called her or attended class. I imagined a class or studio that wanted to be women-only would say so somewhere on the website. Therefore, I felt humiliated and rather cheapened for something I could not help.

She did not offer me private lessons or any other method to continue. I sincerely hope she is nicer and more forthright with other males attempting to exercise in her establishment. And I hope in the future, such attitudes toward gender do not persist. If males or females wish to pursue their goals – whether it be yoga, ballet, or even the presidency – nothing should stand in their way.

Obama Paper Dolls

I went to my first white elephant gift exchange this past week. Let’s just say there was an interesting assortment of gifts: giant, boot shaped candles, singing lobsters and a Justin Bieber poster to name a few. I had my eye on something special, however.

I saw in the distance, a light part in the heavens. Lo! The founding fathers called out to me and said, “Ben, you must have this ridiculous depiction of Obama and his many suits.”

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Thus, like a cat hidden beneath an azalea bush, I waited for my moment to pounce. And believe it or not, I did not have to trade anything at all for this gem. I got to see the current President in a more revealing fashion than I thought possible or necessary.

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The little voice in my head that should have told me “stop” let me keep cutting these out.

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Isn’t he dapper?

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I’m not entirely sure what happened here. But I didn’t see a very good template for Michelle Obama. I do think Barack wears the hell out of this dress, though.

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Sometimes the Secret Service tries different disguises.

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And isn’t this one just cute?

Anyway, I feel like I made out like a bandit at this gift exchange and I’m excited for next year. Hopefully, I get first crack at that Bieber poster.

Powerpuff Yourself Stereotypes

I messed around with an avatar and GIF creator called Powerpuff yourself. It’s where you make yourself into one of the characters from the cartoon Powerpuff Girls on Cartoon Network. It got me thinking, though. If I intentionally made four racial stereotypes and mixed them with five randomly generated, could others tell which? I guess it’s a test to see how color and/or race blind we are. See how you do.

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Answers from top left: 2, 5, 6, 7
(3 is a blank model)

My Gameplan for the Apocalypse

Since everyone is doing it, I thought it right to detail my plans for the end of society. What’s that? Of course, it’s vogue. If there’s one thing it’s Ben Ditmars knows, it’s what’s vogue. And if there are two things I know, it’s probably how off-putting third-person portrayals can be. Regardless, in the events that follow, I will have a full-proof survival strategy: unless Pet Rocks arrive from the ’80s with revenge in their hearts.

  1. Zombie or Large-Scale Epidemic
    Assuming the Umbrella Corporation buys Dow Chemicals or acquires a massive government contract, we can expect human experimentation that will lead to murderous monsters. It’s just good business. And my chance at living out the future my adolescence prepared me for. How would I survive? There wouldn’t be near enough bullets or hedge clippers to go Tallahassee from the movie Zombieland. I would have to improvise and cure all the deformed hippies being vagrants in my yard. First, I would go to the medicine cabinet and find the rubbing alcohol. Then scream about cotton balls. Why are they never where I left them? Once I tore the bathroom apart like the undead monsters I want to re-kill, the alcohol goes on the cotton balls. Then, BAM! I stand on the roof and huck them at passing brain Nazis. You know it will work, because rubbing alcohol is good at killing bacteria – and probably the T-Virus.
  2. Asteroid or Comet Collision
    There aren’t many places you can hide when the earth has angry sex with a space rock. My initial reaction might be to seek high ground as the oceans engulf my last hope for Chicken McNuggets (I don’t miss them now, but I know after the earth has descended into eternal darkness I will want the flavor only processed meat dipped in ranch dressing can provide). My best bet? I’ve long suspected the highest setting on my ceiling fan has  a greater purpose than shaking the walls like a demonic helicopter. Obviously the creators of this contraption never intended any mere mortal to pull the cord three times. If I so dare (an am worthy of this Zeus-like power) the upward force of my fan should push the asteroid to another unsuspecting solar system, preferably without fans of their own.
  3. Trump Becoming President
    The Donald receiving the Republican nomination for President of the United States is scary enough, let alone him actually fitting his hair into Oval Office. There is an easier solution than living under a demagogue bent on denying basic freedoms to Muslims and women. Mexico pays to build the wall… around Trump. Think about it: Trump gets to rant all he wants and we don’t have to hear him speak. His supporters can hop in Cask of Amontilado style as we brick them in. They can even go down in the manner of Pharoahs with their life-size love-dolls of David Duke and copies of Mein Kampf.