(Picture: Getty)Glee actor Mark Salling has had his trial relating to allegations of possessing child pornography delayed as he sources a new lawyer, it has been confirmed. The star, most famous for playing Puck in the hit musical series, was recently indicted by a federal jury on two charges of possessing indecent images of children.…
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What was the name of your first pet?
When I was a kid my parents had fish, but apparently I overfed them and killed them. I want to say it was something I did out of ignorant kindness, but I also have a distinct memory of catching all the fish and putting them in a pot on the stove. I don’t remember them floating, so I’m assuming this was prior to making the tank into a fishy graveyard. It’s just one of those flash moments in my memory that I can’t explain.
When my brother was younger he really wanted a pet. He wanted a cat, but my mother and I were very allergic to cats at the time. We even went to a shelter to see if maybe we could make it happen. My brother was maybe 7 at the time. He fell for a kitty that had one bad eye and all these health problems and my mom knew she would be stuck dealing with the tough stuff like kitty meds and claw clipping. There was a big cryfest where we all felt horrible but ultimately let it go.
To appease my brother’s nurturing side, my mother got my brother a gerbil, which my brother named Buzz. I wasn’t really into it so much. It was very much my brother’s thing. I think he named it Buzz after The Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear. I was more of a Mr. Potatohead fan. We even had this little plastic ball that we would put Buzz in and he would explore the house. I don’t know what the lifetime of a gerbil is, but he didn’t live that long. It was so long ago but my concept of time may be a bit off. We maybe have a picture or two of him somewhere in our photo albums (This was the good old day when you had to develop photos in order to see them). I remember Buzz breaking his leg somehow and ultimately dying in the end. I don’t know if there was anything we could have done for it. I was pretty young, Buzz wasn’t my responsibility. I know my mother took the brunt of the responsibility in dealing with Buzz and his tank cleaning.
After that, My brother decided he wanted a rabbit. This rabbit was mostly white from what I recall, we used to let her hop around the house from time to time. We kept her in my brother’s room and oh man is keeping a rabbit smelly. I don’t know if it was the pee or the poop or that type of wood shaving type stuff. I’m not sure if they came up with better products in recent years to trap that smell, but it was rough. Lots and lots of cleaning was needed to keep that cage clean, much of the responsibility my mother took upon herself again. I don’t know how my brother slept in such a smelly room. I guess people do lots of crazy things for love. My brother, bless him, loves his animals. Anyways, like I said, we used to let this bunny jump around the house. One day, she died with very little notice. She was fine. The assumption we made was that she must have eaten something she shouldn’t have when we weren’t looking. As many of you know, bunnies can’t throw up. So if they eat something bad for them, they’re unfortunately done for. We remember her having a funny red mark around her mouth when she died. So maybe that’s what it was?
After that , my brother was upset, so we go him another rabbit. This rabbit was black and white. Like the other rabbit, I don’t remember what my brother named her or him. At the time, I wasn’t much of a pet person so I never took that much interest. I don’t even remember if it was a boy or girl bunny. This bunny, we were more careful to not leave something she could eat and then kill herself with. But we did let her play around in our backyard during the warmer seasons. She did nibble quite a bit on our radio sound system wires, which my father wasn’t fond of. But it was easily fixable and she seemed to enjoy bouncing about in the grass. She would always come back to her cage when she was done. We had some wild bunnies in the yard, in the beginning we think she met them and they scared her or maybe something else scared her because she would run back to her cage for dear life. But I think her and the wild bunnies made nice, because SHE RAN AWAY WITH THEM one day. Yeah at first we thought she was lost. We looked for her. We kept her cage outside. She never came back so we thought maybe she was eaten by another animal until we saw her one day frollicing about with the other wild bunnies. I never realized that domestic bunnies could become wild bunnies. I didn’t think she had the skills for it. But what do I know? Hopefully she lived a happy life with the other rabbits.
During that time, my brother was away staying at my grandmother’s for the summer. And my brother’s obsession for cats returned. Mainly because my grandmother’s area has a lot of stray cats. My grandmother’s domestic helper (because my grandmother is disabled) brought a stray kitten for my brother. She was adorable. A grey and white long hair, but again she was very much my brother’s, I still would become super congested around her. I didn’t really get my brother’s love for animals at the time. Not that I hated animals, but I didn’t necessarily have that nurturing quality at the time. Long story short, the kitten ran away. It was really sad, my brother was sad and that made me sad.
When the summer was over, my dad decided to get my brother some fish, to hopefully fill that void. But whoever sold my dad the fish should have told him that one of the fish needed to be kept in a separate tank because it will eat all the other fish and rip them to shreds. I’m led to believe, with my little knowledge of fish now, is that it was a Betta fish. Mystery solved I guess. The remaining warrior fish lasted for a while. I guess the normal year or so. Who knows how long it lived in the store before we bought it.
Then one day, while my mom was driving home from work, she found a turtle in the middle of the road. My mother is afraid to touch animals, so she used sticks she found on the street and a box in her trunk to try and bring it home. Man was that a surprise. We didn’t really have the things needed for a turtle, so we kept it outside in this squared off part of a yard. We left food and water for it. The season must have been spring or summer, because it was nice out. We wouldn’t have left the turtle out in bad weather and we checked on her or him throughout the night. We woke up the next day and the area looked broken into. So either a vicious animal ripped into the area or this turtle unleashed its mutant ninja skills and escaped.
Fast forward 6+ years and my brother is driving down the road– he sees a sign for kitten adoptions and he spontaneously drops in and gets a kitty. She was adorable, the sweetest. I wish we had taken a picture of her. She was a ginger tabby, which someone told me is rare to have a female ginger kitty. But the timing was really bad. Pets are a commitment. She wasn’t litter trained and I think she was ripped away from her mama a bit too soon. She definitely still needed mama’s milk. All three of us in the house were working and I was working three jobs at the time. My brother was working long hours and my mom was really allergic to her, so she wasn’t getting the proper attention. I tried to play with her and keep her company when I had the time, but she was always so scared and hiding. She wasn’t litter trained yet, so she was peeing everywhere. And I’m still allergic to cats, so I felt like a physical miserable mess. It was a bit too much for us at the time, but our hearts were in the right place. We had to do the responsible thing. My brother, heartbroken, had to return her to the woman he got the kitten from. Such a sad sad day. But hopefully, she was able to find a forever home that was better equipped to deal with such a precious furbaby.
Anyways, a few years later, my brother convinced my mother to get a cat and that this time things would be different. We’d get a healthy adult cat that’s already litter trained and we had more time for her. My mama did some research, and by some, I mean a lot of research. She decided we needed to have a female cat because she read that they were less aggressive than male cats. I don’t know how true that was, but my mama is an important part of our decision making process so we. of course, complied. My brother wanted a long hair cat or a chubby cat, but my mom got the final call and she decided a short haired cat would be best for her allergies (she was right.) Our cat has never bothered or gotten to my allergies at all. They went to a cat colony in the area they were living in at the time. A cat colony differs from a typical animal shelter because the cats aren’t in cages and they’re free to roam, unless they’re sick, just got fixed, are preggers or are new mommies. Then they get put in separate room to be taken care of appropriately. So my mom and brother go in and apparently it smells bad. That many cats, it has to be a bit overwhelming. My mother was afraid of cats, even though she thinks they’re cute some of them were very aggressive. My brother had a list of cats he’d seen on their site, but all the cats he liked were either sick or taken already.
But then our luck changes. Out pops a little 9lb Russian Blue adult cat about 2 years old at the time. She came sneakily skulking out of the closet, which was a surprise to everyone working there, because apparently, the entire time she has been there Helen (that’s our kitty’s legal first name) has hid in the closet. My family automatically fell in love with her. She’s gorgeous, sweet, silly, playful, quiet, loving– everything you could ever ask for in a kittycat. We took her home and poor Helen, who we renamed Qamar (which means ‘moon’ in Arabic), was scared silly. The story that the Cat Colony assumes happened was that she was a house cat that was allowed to go outside. But one day, around age 1, she came back pregnant and like many young mamas to be, her family wanted nothing to do with it. So they kicked her out. The colony found her on the streets with her babies in the cold winter. They took her in. Let her have time with her babies until they were ready to be on their own. Her babies got adopted quickly because they were just as gorgeous as she is. But there were many much more dominant cats and larger cats at the colony that bullied our little Qamar and that is why she stayed in the closet all day, everyday.
It’s fate. We wanted a sweet kitty and a sweet kitty came out to find us. Bless her a million times over. She’s the best. When my brother had his surgery, she sat next to him all night. When my mama is upset, she paces with her back and forth until she calms down. And me, she lets me cuddle her and love her. She’s addicted to turkey, like she’ll fight you for some turkey. She loves gravy and goes wild over catnip. You can often find her running out of the house to explore her outside surroundings, only to come back immediately when she realizes she doesn’t like it– I think she finds it overwhelming. She loves to play catch and tears apart any dangling strings she can find. She loves playing with flowers and cheap toys. She doesn’t go anywhere near expensive toys, she’s all about the Dollar Tree. She loves her kitty treats, but hates it when we tell her to get off the table. She didn’t start speaking to us until a year ago, and when we first got her she would have horrible nightmares. She has stolen all of my hair ties and I can’t be mad at her for it. She has a bit of a hard time connecting the dots– she still can’t figure out how food goes from a plate in my hand to the floor. She used to love sleeping on her cat bed, but now she enjoys sleeping on the couch or on a blanky in the closet. She also loves sitting on a sunny windowsill. She sometimes falls off the couch which sends me into a panic, but she shakes it off. She has the sweetest, softest purr, but the moment she sees a dog she growls and sounds like a mini-lawn mower. If she hears a dog bark, she will hide. There’s clearly some bad blood there. She’s the love of my life and my soul mate. 😛
Peace and Pistachios,
What’s on your bucket list?
I have an ever long and ever changing/shifting bucket list. And it seems fitting to reassess my life goals in light of the new year. Here are just a few wants on my list. Some are simple, some are more challenging.
- Have my book published
- Write another book
- Get funding for a PhD
- Get into a PhD program that is right for me
- Learn to surf
- Get healthy
- Go to a dinosaur museum
- Be an extra in a movie or show
- Learn to spearfish
- Own a home and piece of land where I can have lots and lots of animals like donkeys, horses, llamas, lambs, dogs, cows and more.
- Adopt and/or foster children
- Get a job that allows me to travel and pay off my student loans
- Get lasik
- Get laser hair removal
- Start a nonprofit
- Take horseback riding lessons
- Have friends
- Become more flexible
- Fly first class
- Make someone’s wish come true
- Go cliff jumping
- Hang out by a serene waterfall
- Name a star
- Have my own private plane and/or helicopter
- Be in the fashion industry
- Learn to dive
- Go scuba diving
- Befriend an elephant
- Have one of my plays produced
- Have someone illustrate a comic book based off of one of my stories
- Have one of my stories turned into a film
- Learn to draw
- Live in a castle
- Learn to sew
- Go Ziplining
- Publish a cookbook
- Own a car
- Dance in the rain
- Hang glide
- Go to a haunted house
- Throw a themed party
- Go through a corn maze
- Witness a miracle
- Take singing lessons
- Take kickboxing lessons
- Learn to knit
- Learn to ride a bike
- Go parachuting
- Swim with dolphins
- Meet Harry Styles, cut off some of his hair and sell it on ebay for millions so I can afford to fund my bucket list.
AMBER Alert (missing child) for New Jersey
Rebecca Valenzuela (3-years old)
Last seen Dec 1, 2015 in New York, NJ
2004 Dodge Caravan, SilverNew Jersey license plate #K24ECS
UPDATE: Vehicle information. The New Jersey State Police is activating the Amber Abducted Child Alert Plan. The New York City Police Department is investigating a confirmed child abduction. The child , Rebecca Valenzuela , is a 3 year old Hispanic Female. The suspect, Diomedes Valenzuela, is a 47 year old Hispanic Male. The suspect was last seen operating a 2004 Dodge Caravan, silver in color, bearing New Jersey Registration K24ECS, crossing the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey. The suspect is considered to be armed and dangerous.
Anyone having information regarding this abduction is urged to immediately call the New Jersey State Police at 609-882-2000 or 9 1 1.
If you have information, contact:
- Age now: 3-years old
- Sex: Female
- Skin: Hispanic
- Height: 3 feet
- Weight: 40 pounds
- Age now: 47-years old
- Sex: Male
- Skin: Hispanic
- Eyes: Brown
- Height: 6 feet 1 inch
- Weight: 230 pounds
- Description: Date of birth: 05/05/1968
What is an AMBER alert?
It has been almost 15 months since Israel’s military assault on the Gaza Strip, dubbed Operation Protective Edge, killed 547 Palestinian children and left another 3,000 injured. Despite well-documented evidence of war crimes committed by the Israeli military during the assault, there has been no accountability and no justice.
In October 2014, on a visit to Gaza, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon stated, “I met so many of the beautiful children of Gaza…What did they do wrong? Being born in Gaza in not a crime.” Despite numerous similar comments in the aftermath of Israeli attacks, the international community has consistently failed to take concrete action to hold perpetrators accountable.
Today, as I spoke at the United Nations in New York, I called upon the international community to actively support growing demands for justice. To keep the pressure on, I am asking you to join us in building a movement demanding justice and accountability for Palestinian children. I know that together we can force policymakers to act.
You are a critical part of the growing global movement demanding accountability, increased protections, and justice for Palestinian children. You can make a difference. Join us.
Thank you for your support.
Attorney and International Advocacy Officer
<tr> <td style=”padding: 100px 20px 40px;”> <img src=”separator.png” width=”100″ height=”4″ style=”line-height: 1%”> <span style=”display: block; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 16px; text-transform:uppercase; padding: 20px 0 5px”>More Information</span> <span style=”display: table-cell; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 16px;”> <span style=”display: block; padding: 5px 0″><strong>(1)</strong> <a href=”http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_sitrep_04_09_2014.pdf” style=”color: #f69141; text-decoration: none”>http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_sitrep_04_09_2014.pdf</a></span> <span style=”display: block; padding: 5px 0″><strong>(2)</strong> <a href=”http://dci-palestine.org/documents/july-28-update-child-death-toll-gaza-approaches-200-and-rising” style=”color: #f69141; text-decoration: none”>http://dci-palestine.org/documents/july-28-update-child-death-toll-gaza-approaches-200-and-rising</a></span> <span style=”display: block; padding: 5px 0″><strong>(3)</strong> <a href=”http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/2014/07/serious-human-rights-violations-taking-place-in-gaza/#.VBmOGS5dVQY” style=”color: #f69141; text-decoration: none”>http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/2014/07/serious-human-rights-violations-taking-place-in-gaza/#.VBmOGS5dVQY</a></span> <span style=”display: block; padding: 5px 0″><strong>(4)</strong> <a href=”http://www.dci-palestine.org/documents/eight-children-killed-israeli-airstrikes-over-gaza” style=”color: #f69141; text-decoration: none”>http://www.dci-palestine.org/documents/eight-children-killed-israeli-airstrikes-over-gaza</a></span> </span> </td> </tr>
Are you a Daily Mail reader? I won’t lie, I usually read the Daily Mail for a laugh. Some of these stories they come up with… they’re just interesting and chuckle-worthy to say the least. I do, however, know that I should never read an article concerning a serious matter on the Daily Mail website. But alas, I torture myself every time and even worse, I always scroll down to the comments section to read the vile things people feel so confidently typing, but rarely say in person.
Some of the worst things I’ve read include:
Comments about how “Real” refugees shouldn’t have phones- Many refugees are fleeing war. That doesn’t mean they didn’t have possessions. Cell phones are no longer a first world standard. Get over it because I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of refugees don’t have these fancy contracts and money to spend speaking hours on the phone.
Comments about how “real” refugees shouldn’t be allowed to wear makeup- First of all, I saw the video this ignoramus was commenting on and the woman did not have makeup up. She was and is naturally gorgeous. Perfect contours, skin and thick eyebrows. She’s prettier than all of us put together. That comment was pure jealousy. Plus, considering everything these refugees have been through, so what if she gets to put on a tiny bit of makeup. She deserves to feel beautiful and like her normal self after the torment of fleeing her country and home.
Comments about how refugees are only in it for the benefits- You know what benefit they really want. The benefit of life!!! I can’t entertain that nonsense.
Comments about how Syrians should fight for their country- This is the silliest comment of all. Syrians have been fighting for their country for years. They’re not only fighting against ISIS, you know. They’re fighting against the Assad regime and the US and Russia and the whole list of countries that have been striking Syria. What weapons do these innocent civilians have that they can use against a whole world? The numbers don’t add up. The worst part is so many refugees are children. Do we really expect children to fight? Because if we allowed that the Daily Mail commenters would comment about how child soldiers are wrong.
Comments about how refugees desire to continue their education makes them economic migrants and not refugees- You realize that these people have had their entire lives come to a complete halt. They’ve literally been sitting around starving and waiting to die. A whole generation of young Syrians is growing up illiterate and unable to do basic math or know much about anything other than war. These refugees aren’t coming over just so they can take advantage of university education. No, if they could have stayed in Syria and continued their education they would have. But there are no teachers left in schools in Syria because there are no schools left. The schools that are left get used as shelters and makeshift community centers.
Comments about how “we” should bomb “them all”- That is an incitement of terror and makes you complicit in murder. Just putting that out there, you horrible human being. I have no problem with seeing ISIS and Assad terrorist thugs get blasted off this earth, however the legal thing to do would be to capture them and try them in a court of international law, in which they would be found guilty and live a long and tortuous life in maximum security prisons. But there is nothing casual about bombing an entire city, killing innocent civilians and calling them casualties.
Comments about how everyone in Raqaa is an ISIS terrorist and that if they weren’t they would have left- Yes, Raqaa is an ISIS headquarter. Yes, ISIS controls the city, but is everyone there a supporter of ISIS, no? But to openly oppose it would leave you dead or tortured. Why don’t people leave? They don’t have the money. Sure smugglers could get you out, but where would you go? The smugglers will take all your money, risk your life and leave you penniless on a raft in the Mediterranean or in the desert on the way to a desolate refugee camp or in some other destroyed part of Syria.
Comments judging refugees for being separated from their families- Seriously? Is this the Olympic category for most vile comment made? Because if it is, you win. People get separated from their families in all sorts of ways that most people would find inconceivable. But it happens all the time. Talk to anyone whose family has been through a war or some sort of catastrophe: I can guarantee you that a majority of people will tell you they have at least one family member that ended up alone or separated from the rest.
Comments about how refugees have “such nice tents”- This dude commented on how her tent was so nice that she couldn’t possibly be a “real” refugee and that she probably has all this money stashed away. How deep in the dirt is your head exactly? Much of this type of supplies has been provided by aid workers, charity organizations and normal human people with hearts that donated much needed goods, such as tents. Do you want to live on a tent on a street corner when it’s raining and cold? No, especially since winter is nearing. You’re just a horrible person for thinking this
Comments stating the run of the mill stereotypes- The long list of racial slurs, insults, and stereotypes that I won’t humor by listing. You know the type orientalist rubbish that is slanderous, libel, disgusting and horrible filth, but Facebook won’t take it down because they’re too worked up taking pictures down of women’s bodies.
My conclusions: Firstly, humans are awful. I don’t know how people can be awful. I doubt most of these hateful commenters could handle day in the life of a refugee. If you really think “we don’t owe them anything,” then you clearly have no idea how complicit our governments are in making Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest of the world, the situation that they are in today.
Secondly, we haven’t learned from history one bit. These comments– ugh just look at some of the things people said during WWII about refugees. Please and compare those comments to now.
And lastly, I can’t be the only one who sees comparison in 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq with the Paris Attacks and the subsequent bombing of Raqaa.
Civilians, particularly children are innocent and pay the highest toll in wartime situations. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I know what the answers to terrorism, racism, discrimination and bigotry are. Offhand I would say education, but we all know the world isn’t that simple.
All I want is for people to think for 30 seconds before they type these horrible comments. I pray your ignorant minds become enlightened with knowledge, wisdom and empathy.