Greetings and welcome to Round 2 of A Star is Born, where we hope to bring you the best in Solo Performances by the 9 remaining nominees for Best Performance of the Year. My name is Kendall F. Person and I am your host. You are currently listening to still the same by Sacramento’s K33ng T. Enjoy the show and please, do not forget to vote for your 3 favorite performers. And without further adieu, let us meet the actual stars of the show.
Ned Hickson, Humor
There’s nothing funny about being a firefighter. Mostly.
In addition to being a humor columnist, I’m also a volunteer firefighter. I have tried hard to separate my two pursuits because, let’s face it: Who wants to go into a burning building with someone who writes about glow-in-the-dark mice?
As I’ve discovered, this is a little like trying to separate marshmallows using a blow torch; the longer you keep at it, the more they blend together. The truth is, once the emergency is over, firefighters are funny — which is why, after five years, many of them are still asking, “Why haven’t you written about being a firefighter yet?” So to all of you, I say: You asked for it.
Before we get started, here are some actual terms we use which, in spite of how they sound, have nothing to do with Internet searches:
Reverse lay * Cross lay * Double female * Minute man * Hard suction * Straight stream * Flashover lap dance
Ok, fine. I made that last one up. For any of you who thought otherwise, while disappointed, I think it illustrates why I might need to seek a higher class of readership.
People often ask, “Why would anyone would want to run into a burning building?”
The simple answer is that firefighters are just like anyone else: Unless we are trying to avoid going to a Twilight movie marathon, we don’t want to run into a burning structure either. However, there is an inherent trait all firefighters have in common, which is a need to respond to a crisis and help people, even if it means putting themselves at risk for the protection of others.
To ensure we are trained and physically capable of handling any type of emergency, firefighters must complete a special academy designed to teach the skills they need, as well as test their physical agility and endurance. This is accomplished through intensive hands-on training, live drills and nearly 100 hours of class time studying all seven seasons of Rescue Me.
Ha Ha Ha! Just kidding, chief!
All kidding aside, as I mentioned earlier, I have avoided writing about being a firefighter because it’s something I take seriously. However, sometimes its the humor that gets you through the bad stuff. When our pagers go off in the middle of the night, and we are buckled up heading to a scene with lights flashing and sirens screaming, you’re never sure of what you’re going to walk into — which is part of why we do it. The other part is knowing, every time we buckle up, we’ll find people next to us in the engine who are part of a special community willing to put themselves in harm’s way to help others.
Unless, of course, there’s a glow-in-the-dark mouse involved.
Either way, I truly love my firefighter family…
(c) Ned Hickson 2015
Summer Rose, Digital Photographer
Oscar Plascencia, Original Performances
La Puente California
Togetherness in Love
Tranquil waves of mother’s love
Often crash upon the shore
Gently washing every stone
Equally since days of yore.
Troubles come and troubles go,
Her love is the remedy
Encapsulating our hearts
Now and then the tide is low
Evoking some resentment,
She’s not keeping love from us
Solely weights our contentment.
Insuring our happiness
Not choosing her favorites
Loving every stone the same,
Oneness permeates through me
Verging on the brink of tears,
Enraptured with this family.
© 2015 Oscar Alejandro Plascencia
Anew(Duo) Contemporary Gospel
121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
Robert M. Goldstein, Cross Section of The Arts
San Francisco California
I Will Tell You These Secrets
I think of you
I look for you
and savor the
memory of my
how can I express
To hold you,
To know that
I am safe,
I look into
and see a soul
that is not
of my pain.
I can never
for the wonder
but I can tell
you these secrets:
you kiss my lips and open my heart
you touch me and awaken my body
you gaze into my eyes and heal
my soul, and when you hold me,
I am complete.
(c) Rob Goldstein 2015
H-Y Loco, Music in Collaborations
Kelly Lewis, Artists Collaborations
Los Angeles California
Forlorn is the spirit that does not have a home
Within a beating heart of another to call its own
Seeking permanent shelter the weary soul roams
Through emotional turmoil heightened by alone
Personal endeavors that drive strangers together
Divine powers intercede to raise an eternal dynasty
Creating strong family bonds that endure forever
Values and traditions bestowed upon a living legacy
Extending ourselves to others exchanging needs
Surrounded by people with intellectual variety
Gatherings in communities by those who believe
In forming distinct units within larger society
Wealthy are the hearts with cultural immunity
Held together by rich diversity’s home of beauty
(c) Kelly Lewis 2015
Charles Okpere, Leadership in Writing
What crime would I say I actually committed, all I did was chose to do what I had always loved to do. Society has its very special way, of putting man into a space of acquiescence; that sphere man never decides to choose for himself, that’s if he would ever be given a chance to choose …but why? Society goes ahead, using confusion to cut the soul that should hold humanity together; into bits, at the same time; it wants every single piece of cadaver it chops off to be very functional at every single tax it shoots at man. Impossible as it seems, we accept this ‘gift’ society has given us.
It seems my questions are never going to end anytime soon, because the ‘status quo’ humanity seems to be completely satisfied with hasn’t come close to being self-explanatory to me …except the “wise ones” do justice to my huge questions on this topic.
I figured society has always being the same, right from the first community on planet earth, if not this stereotypical facet we exist in, should have somehow evolve into something all our hearts coincidentally craves for at the same time.
It seems to me; no man can just change the mentality of a fooled crowd. it seems society has more ignorant individuals on its side, so we are somehow all forced to follow, without any sprout of resistance residing on the inside of the ones that thinks the status quo isn’t right.
What’s really painful; is when family and “real friends”, who should be there to share in our mental wars and daily battles – on keeping dreams alive, choose to turn their back on our struggles and then joins the crowd in making my ‘salient potentials’ look like mirage and one silly lustful pursuit.
…but I have to still say this; “dreams would always be dreams, till they take bold steps into reality”. I guess every man that have this same experiences as me, should join me in holding unto convictions and those unseen assurance that keeps him going and waxing strong, even in the face of oppression and intimidation.
Lately, words like “disobedience” “rascal” “self-reliant” “independent”, have being practically thrown at a few of us, as if we are actually headed for doom …and I am thinking to myself, could this negative vibes from society be that one needed spice, that sends a man to that “abysmal” point of stardom?
Well!! I do care for my family, loved ones, well-wishers and hard-hitters as well. I also do care about my happiness and long term relaxation in actualization of dreams; added with plenty of fulfillment.
My daily convictions are the oil that keeps the engine running, you could either join our crew-ship or abandon ship completely. I am sure no one, within the space I own, would ever fault me, for trying to be me. So I choose to live on, heads up high in complete focus. All I need you to do when you choose to stop by; drop your words of encouragement or just keep moving and act like I never existed to you, either ways, let’s keep growing in peace and oneness; making our land a better place for the ones not born.
(c) Charles Okpere 2015
Rebecca Lemke, Mommy Blogger
When I first found out that you were here with me, I was overjoyed.
I had wanted you for a long while.
It was a constant longing. An ache in my heart that I couldn’t seem to fill.
Then, it happened. Your tiny form began growing inside my womb.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, those two pink lines staring back at me.
My heart was exploding with new-found love for you, my baby.
The knowledge of your existence was the sweetest message I had ever received.
Your little heartbeat was music to my ears.
Your tiny kicks against my ribs were my daily delight.
I prayed for you, that you might be my baby someday. That your presence in my womb be a reality.
I loved you, even before you existed.
I fought for you, against everyone and everything that threatened us.
I missed you so much, and I hadn’t even met you yet.
My arms ached to hold you. My heart carried that blessing for so long, alone.
I introduced you to music, and felt you dance within my womb. I spent hours feeling your joyful dancing.
I became more and more anxious for your arrival. The anticipation was unbearable.
My heart raced when the doctor said, “You are having a baby today.”
How could I be anywhere near what you deserved?
What if I wasn’t good at being a mother?
Doubt filled my mind.
I didn’t have time to dwell on doubt, though.
My attention was torn away by waves of intensity wrapped around my abdomen as contractions drew you nearer to the outside world.
A kind of strength I had never felt before enveloped my body, washing through to my core.
I knew it was time.
The force of your tiny body leaving mine was indescribable.
I felt no pain or fear.
I heard your cry and instantly experienced your damp, wrinkled skin touch mine as you were placed on my chest.
As I held you, I rejoiced.
The missing piece of my heart was finally where it belonged.
We were together at last.
(c) Rebecca Lemke 2015
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