ask michigan

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CLEVELAND EASTER MURDER - On April 16, 2017, 74-year-old Robert Godwin, Sr. was shot and killed while walking on a sidewalk in Cleveland, Ohio. The suspect was identified as 37-year-old Steve Stephens, who posted video of the shooting on his Facebook account. Stephens is wanted on a warrant for aggravated murder. The shooting happened at around 2 p.m. EDT on April 16, 2017 in the area of 635 East 93rd Street in Cleveland's Glenville neighborhood. The shooter uploaded a video of the event, in which he proclaims “Found me somebody I’m about to kill.” before exiting his car and accosting Godwin. He orders Godwin to say <name> - the name of Stephens’ ex-girlfriend - then announces “She’s the reason this [is] about to happen to you.” Stephens then shoots Godwin in the head, returns to his car and drives off as screams are heard in the background. Facebook said the video was uploaded to the website, not livestreamed as initially reported. In other Facebook posts, Stephens claimed responsibility for 13 murders, but police said they were not aware of any other victims. A search for Stephens began soon after the shooting, prompting lockdowns at a number of locations, including Cleveland State University. The manhunt expanded to other states on the morning of April 17. Residents in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan were asked to be on alert. An arrest warrant was issued on a charge of aggravated murder. Stephens worked at Beech Brook, a behavioral health agency for children and families. He was wearing his work ID badge and repeatedly mentioned Beech Brook in videos on the day of the murder.

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tagged by my interwebs spouse and favorite recycle bin @theradiointukyshead

the rules: make your aesthetic (based on your personality and interests) with only photos you have saved to your device. you can’t search and download any items until you are done.

1. two birds with one stone: Les Mis as quoted in Girls In Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood | 2. library fountains on campus; cameo by duck friends | 3. hometown river winding toward the old Sanitarium | 4. annual Field of Flight balloon chase | 5. feeding Yoda Horses at Binder Park | 6. the spring break in Chicago that will never die 

tagging: @faeriviera, @catchphrasetroll, @redamancyx3 (let’s see if THAT works), @aaron-stahp-tveit, @overcaffeinatedspartan, @permets-tu-not-permettez-vous, @unplagued, @rhythmstarfruitcitrus, @accioinvisibilitycloak, @onesweetbeautifulsong, & @metasyntacticvariable

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This pretty boy and his sister (pictured on the right side of the bottom pic) are looking for a new home! The boy has got cool heterochromia (dual colored eyes) and the girl is a total cuddlebug sweetheart. They’re a couple months old now!

Their mama was a rescue stray after she was hit by a car and climbed into the undercarriage of my friend’s coworker’s car. They took the car to a shop to get mama kitty extracted, and it took a $700 surgery to save her life after the vet discovered her intestines had gotten pushed into her chest cavity AND she was pregnant. Some of the kittens survived it all, and these are the last two left!

If you’re interested in adopting one or both (it would be great if they could stay together), please feel free to send me an ask! They’re here in Michigan with me, but we can get them to nearby areas/states to the right person!

A heavenly matchmaker.

Here we go with another request for a change. 

Request:  I was wondering if you could do like a dean x reader but they are friends and they are on a case and the reader meets Gabriel for the first time and he flirts with her and dean gets angry and mad and jealous then he tells the reader how he feels ?(: I love your writing btw !!

Pairing: Dean x Reader

Warnings: None, but yay for Gabriel but of course he has to be alive for the sake of this fic so yeah, kinda AU-ish

Length: 1483 Words

Originally posted by strengthcas

Enjoy!

You were sitting in the back of the Impala while Dean and Sam were bickering in the front.
“I understand that you don´t like working with him Dean, but he´s an archangel and we need his help, so suck it up”, Sam said again and you rolled your eyes.
You were going to Michigan to ask Gabriel to help you perform a certain spell only an archangel could perform and Dean somehow seemed to be ridiculously opposed to this idea.
You had never met the Trickster/Archangel in person but you´ve had heard all the stories and now you were a little curious to what was behind it all.
Dean sighed: “It´s just…”
You had enough of all of this and leaned forwards so that your head was between the two of them: “Enough is enough. I´m tired, I´m starving and it´s hot as hell back here, so I certainly can´t deal with the two of you going at it all the time. It sucks.”
They both turned their head to look at you but you already bounced back into the seat, closing your eyes and hoping to find some sleep before you threw another fit.


It wasn´t until this evening, that you reached the motel in which you were supposed to meet Gabriel in the morning and you were hella glad that the long drive was finally over.
You booked two rooms and then decided to just call it a day, but when you walked by Dean and Sam´s room, ready to drop the two of them off and head to your own, someone was leaning against the door:
“Dean, Sam, how are you doing? Anything going on besides the end of the world?”, he asked and you figured that this had to be Gabriel.
You were standing behind the boys, which meant you were totally shielded from his view.
Sam sighed: “Gabriel, what are you doing here? I thought we were going to meet up in the morning.”
The angel pushed himself of the wall he was leaning against and shrugged, while wearing a kind of creepy grin, that somehow also looked nice:
“Thought it was time for a little fun first, what do ya think? Let´s hit a bar and trick some dumb humans for fun. Dean, I bet you could use some female distraction, you looked a little tensed over there.”
Only then did you notice that Dean´s shoulders were hunched, which usually meant he was about to punch someone.
In order to keep him from doing something stupid, you finally pushed through the wall of Winchesters and reached out your hand: “Hi, I´m (Y/N), it´s really nice to meet you.”
You could see a small surprise in the angel´s eyes but it was replaced immediately with his apparently usual grin:
“Well look at that, where have you two been hiding that diamond for so long, boys? Can´t keep something like that all to yourself boys, it´s called common courtesy.”
You blushed a little at Gabriel´s words and when he took your outstretched hand and guided it towards his mouth to press a small kiss on the back of it, you let him do it, simply because you enjoyed the affection.
Suddenly Dean grabbed your shoulder and pulled you back: “As unpleasant as it was to talk to you Gabriel, (Y/N) is tired and so are we, so please leave and we´ll met up tomorrow.”
You frowned, since when did Dean speak for you?
Since you didn´t like the way he just made decisions for you, you ripped your shoulder free from his grip, put aside the tired feeling in your bones and smiled: “In fact, I´m up for a little drink. You boys go to sleep, I´ll go with Gabriel.”
The angel raised an eyebrow: “Sounds perfect, sugar.”
You rolled your eyes but the smile on your lips hinted that you were mostly kidding.
When you looked back at the guys, you could see the half amused, half worried look on Sam´s face and the beyond pissed expression of Dean.
You had no idea what was going on with him today but you didn´t care.
Sam took another look at Dean, then back at you: “Okay, I guess we´ll come to then.”


Twenty minutes later, you had dropped off your bags in your rooms and were sitting in a local bar that was actually rather nice.
It had a jukebox that played nice music, two pool tables and many comfortable booths.
Sam had ordered beer for you all and Dean just sat there, shooting daggers at you. You decided to ask him about his weird behavior tomorrow, but right now you were pretty occupied by Gabriel, who kept flirting with you.
You weren´t in fact interested in the small guy, but it didn´t happen often that someone, let alone an archangel, saw you as anything else than the hunter you were.
He seemed to appreciate the woman in you too and even though he was laying it on very thick, you still giggled and smiled all the time.
This went on for maybe an hour before Gabriel decided to push a strand of hair beside your ear.
That was when Dean stood up, grabbed you by the arm and pulled you up: “(Y/N), can I talk to you for a second, please?”
His tone implied that it was urgent and even though you didn´t like being pushed around like that, you didn´t want to irritate Dean even more than he seemed to already be, so you followed him towards the back of the bar and leaned against a pool table, facing him:
“What is it, Dean? I was kinda in the middle of something.”
The anger on his face was so obvious by now that you were downright confused and when he talked you could hear held back aggression in his voice:
“Yeah, in the middle of letting yourself getting groped by a sleazeball.”
You raised your eyebrows: “Excuse me? Dean, I have no idea what the hell is going on with you, but just because I get shown a little affection as a woman for a change, it doesn´t mean you have to be such a dick about it.
It´s almost like…”
You stopped your sentence and suddenly recognized Dean´s features. This happened every time he was jealous of something or someone.
“… it´s almost like your jealous”, you finished and then stared at him, totally blown away by the realization.
You could see his jaw clench and knew he was thinking about what to say and finally he looked down at the floor: “You say that as if I never show you affection.”
The conversation had taken a turn you weren´t quite ready for but now there was no going back and you shook your head:
“Well, it´s not like that. It´s just… you always seem to see me as a hunting buddy, not as a woman.”
He looked at you again, his green eyes focusing on your lips and you felt butterflies erupting in your stomach:
“Well, I didn´t feel like I needed to tell you that you are the most beautiful woman in the whole world and also the funniest and nicest by the way, because it´s so obvious.”
You were shocked at first but then you found yourself smiling weakly: “You really think that I´m beautiful? You? Dean Winchester?”
He grinned: “In fact, I do. Ever since you jumped out of that green SUV of yours and saved our asses from those vampires.
It was the hottest thing I´ve ever seen. I guess that was when I developed the biggest crush I ever had.”
There followed a silence and you felt like he was going to say something else, but then he just leaned forwards and kissed you.
His hands grabbed the sides of your face and curled your fists into his shirt.
When you broke apart, you just looked into each other´s eyes, totally lost in the realization that what you had wanted for so long had been right in front of you all the time.
“I knew it”, you suddenly heard a voice and when you looked up, you saw Gabriel standing a few feet away from you:
“Saw it right from the beginning and thought I´d push it a little so you would man up and tell her already.
Dean you got yourself a nice one there, better keep it or I change my mind and seduce her for real after all.”
You laughed and you even saw a small smile cross Dean´s face: “Thank´s Gabriel.”
The angel winked at you one more time, and then you found yourself zapped back into your motel room with Dean by your side.
“You´re welcome”, you heard a faint echo of Gabriel´s voice in combination with some laughter.
You looked at Dean: “Seems like he isn´t so bad after all, does it?”
Instead of an answer, he kissed you again.

Asked and Answered: President Obama Responds to an Eight-Year-Old Girl from Flint

At eight years old, Mari Copeny — known around town as “Little Miss Flint” — wrote to President Obama last month from her home in Flint, Michigan to share how she is working to bring attention to the public health crisis in her community. She also noted that she’s headed the President’s way, and asked if she could meet him during her trip to Washington, D.C.

This week, President Obama wrote back to “Little Miss Flint” with some big news: He’s coming to town. On Wednesday, May 4th, the President will travel to Flint, Michigan where he will hear first-hand from Flint residents like Mari about the public health crisis, receive an in-person briefing on the federal efforts in place to help respond to the needs of the people of Flint, and speak directly with members of the Flint community.

Read Mari’s letter to President Obama, and then check out his reply:

Mari’s letter to President Obama:

Mr. President,

Hello my name is Mari Copeny and I’m 8 years old, I live in Flint, Michigan and I’m more commonly known around town as “Little Miss Flint”. I am one of the children that is effected by this water, and I’ve been doing my best to march in protest and to speak out for all the kids that live here in Flint. This Thursday I will be riding a bus to Washington, D.C. to watch the congressional hearings of our Governor Rick Snyder. I know this is probably an odd request but I would love for a chance to meet you or your wife. My mom said chances are you will be too busy with more important things, but there is a lot of people coming on these buses and even just a meeting from you or your wife would really lift people’s spirits. Thank you for all that do for our country. I look forward to being able to come to Washington and to be able to see Gov. Snyder in person and to be able to be in the city where you live.

Thank You
Mari Copeny

President Obama’s reply to Mari:

The White House
Washington

April 24, 2016

Amariyanna Copeny
Flint, Michigan

Dear Mari:

Thank you for writing to me. You’re right that Presidents are often busy, but the truth is, in America, there is no more important title than citizen. And I am so proud of you for using your voice to speak out on behalf of the children of Flint.

That’s why I want you to be the first to know that I’m coming to visit Flint on May 4th. I want to make sure people like you and your family are receiving the help you need and deserve. Like you, I’ll use my voice to call for change and help lift up your community.

Letters from kids like you are what make me so optimistic for the future. I hope to meet you next week, “Little Miss Flint.”

Sincerely,
Barack Obama

anonymous asked:

Sorry to bother you, but how do you add so many pictures to your posts? THanks!!(:

Ooooh I’m really sorry it took me so long to reply to this.  So for pictures I basically just use that little plus sign that appears next to the text box after pressing enter, and then click the camera icon to add pictures from my computer (I just save them from the internet).  I’m not sure if tumblr has a limit on the number of pictures that can appear in a post, but I never have a problem with putting in 16 (one for each type).  Hopefully that helps! 

And, just for the fun of it, let’s give each type a nice picture from my home state, Michigan :)

ISTJ Lighthouse, South Haven

ISFJ Sleeping Bear Dunes, Empire

INFJ Tahquamenon Falls, Luce County

INTJ Riverwalk, Detroit

ISTP Turnip Rock, Port Austin

ISFP Tunnel of Trees, near Harbor Springs

INFP Tulip Festival, Holland

INTP Barton Dam, Ann Arbor

ESTP Pictured Rocks, Munising 

ESFP Electric Forest, Rothbury

ENFP Heidelberg Project, Detroit

ENTP Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum, Farmington Hills

ESTJ University of Michigan Law Quad, Ann Arbor

ESFJ Bavarian Inn, Frankenmuth

ENFJ Yates Cider Mill, Rochester Hills

ENTJ Cranbrook Kingswood School, Bloomfield Hills

Nightmare - Part 1

Word Count: 3050

Pairing: Eventual Dean x Reader

Warnings: Language, mentions of suicide, some graphic stuff. 

Tagging: @letsgetoutalive @aprofoundbondwithdean @pb-5minutefanfiction @spnfanficpond @faith-in-dean @blacktithe7 @supernotnatural2005 @nothingeverdies @thegirlwiththeimpala @paolathedragonichuntress @deans-cherry-pie1

Series Rewrite Masterlist


Sam suddenly startled awake, sitting on the side of the bed to collect himself, then started shaking Dean awake. “Dean. Hey. Dean!” Dean stirred a little and rubbed his eyes.

“What are you doing, man? It’s the middle of the night.” he mumbled and rubbed his eyes. Sam ran around the room gathering up his things and shoving them into his bag.

“We need to go. Now. Go get Y/N.” he ordered.

Keep reading

Every time Morrissey mentioned David Bowie in “Autobiography”

Presented in the order with which they appear in the book.

The topsy-turvydom of 1972 had brought an explosion of music and art and newness into my life and I was now in full self-development mode and desperate to be free of censure. There was no one with whom to discuss these understandings, and certainly any interest in art and self-expression through music was something to keep hidden throughout the cracked corridors of St Mary’s.

I had bought the Starman single by David Bowie, which had climbed to number 42 in the chart, and I catch this epoch of self-realization for the first time on television as the exotic and shapely Ayshea Brough celebrates newly distributed color television with her show Lift Off with Ayshea.

As David Bowie appears, the child dies. The vision is profound – a sanity heralding the coming of consciousness from someone who – at last! – transcends our gloomy coal-fire existence. David Bowie is detached from everything, yet open to everything; stripped of the notion that both art and life are impossible. He is quite real, impossibly glamorous, fearless, and quite British. How could this possibly be?

—-

T. Rex are my first concert and my dad and sister drop me off at daunting Belle Vue on June 16th 1972, watching me waddle away alone in my purple satin jacket – a sight ripe for psychiatric scrutiny. I am now determined, and newly emerged from Groovin’ with Mr Bloe by Mr Bloe. England was already set to change trains from Marc Bolan to David Bowie, whose Starman single had shaken everyone with its somewhere-over-the-rainbow chorus and Blue Mink’s Melting pot bridge.

Full-page advertising for David Bowie’s new Top Rank tour causes me to laugh excitedly as I see the now famous shot of spike-thin Bowie half-propped on a high stool, wearing tight white satin pants tucked into plastic boxer-boots, one hand on hip, the other hand pointing the way to somewhere, quite fanatically homosexual.

The face is damned-soul-as-savior-of-society, preacher and reformer, now free of his own unhappy childhood and willing to help you through yours should Black Sabbath and Deep Purple prove insufficient.

I crawl from the cultureless world to Stretford Hardrock in September 1972, where David Bowie is showcasing the venue. At mid-day he emerges from a black Mercedes, every inch the eighth dimension, teetering on high heels, with all the wisdom of our ancestors. Smiling keenly, he accepts the note of a dull schoolboy whose overblown soul is more ablaze than the school blazer he wears, and thus I touch the hand of this inexplicably liberating reformer; he, a Wildean visionary about to re-mold England, and I, a spectacle of suffering in a blue school uniform.

—-

The womanly David Bowie is attacked by the Daily Mirror as being ‘a disgrace’ – although how he is a disgrace, or why, is not explained. Bowie’s extraordinary effect of menace upon British culture is largely forgotten now, but I watched it break like a thundercloud in 1972, and its presence was as volcanic as that which later would be termed Punk. An even darker force controlled the personalities of the New York Dolls, who are younger than Bowie and who are more-or-less transgender in appearance.

—-

Jon Daley walked along Great Stone Road towards the Hardrock wearing silver knee-length boots, tight sky-blue jeans, blouse open to expose hairless body and flat belly, his spiked yellow hair expertly snipped, his eyebrows shaven off; nail polish and thin silver bracelets completing the dare. He looks sensational, as if plucked from the interplanetary beyond, living the trans earth Bowie reflection as beautiful creature – fearless and resolute.

So striking is he that a passing lorry slows down beside him and gruff voices call out in order to throw Jon off balance (well, this is the north) – a compliment, of sorts, since it proves just how much you are getting at people, pinging their own self-doubts. Jon doesn’t flinch. In this year of Aladdin Sane, Jon is the cover artwork in living form. The afternoon sun burns as Jon makes his way alone.

—-

Moores and her Dukinfield friends were all lascivious young women, and they liked their men to look like the Dolls or Bowie. They despised the macho Boddington’s-eloquent chat-up drunks of which Manchester produced nothing but. Male beauty was Mick Ronson or Jerry Nolan, and any man wearing makeup rang all the right bells. For me, it is a relief to be with people who are not shockable, although my own style is Antique Market baggy trousers and cord jackets of men long dead. I know only lodging-house thrift, and I do not ever attempt glamor in this city of gangs.

—-

By extreme contrast I see David Bowie in 1976 at Wembley. He is already cold in form and un-giving, and as I spend the night hanging around Euston Station awaiting the first train back to Manchester, I am lost in Bowie’s loss. It is Patti Smith, though, who rings as the first musical artist who promises nothing, and who gives nothing other than the sordid actuality of fact.

—-

Mainstream success can often be the worst thing that can befall a true artist. Imagine David Bowie without his EMI America years – better to be absent and inactive in Hannover, or better my lover dead. Iggy was a face and a voice that had not been stated before his time. He recorded Raw Power as a moment of life that could never again be lived. It spat at you. Ask a boy from Michigan to be Elgar; he can’t. Ask a boy from Michigan to be Iggy; he can’t.

—-

Johnny and I then have tea with Tony Visconti, most famously associated with the supremely noble works of T. Rex and David Bowie, but after our meeting Tony also declines. Free to howl again, I do so, and we record The Queen is Dead as we had recorded Meat is Murder – with Stephen Street making sense of it all.

—-

In America, The Smiths album had stalled at number 150, and Meat is Murder spent thirty-two weeks meandering around the 110 position, whereas The Queen is Dead finally clipped into the 100 at number 70, and managed to cling on for thirty-seven weeks. Sire attempted appeasement by assuring me that neither the Sex Pistols’ album nor David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust had entered the Billboard 100 – as if this should be our eternal blueprint.

—-

The Smiths fallout continues in Denver, where someone has held an entire radio station at gunpoint until DJs make the promise to play Smiths music. Unwittingly, this gunman is providing the very first active radio promotion on behalf of the Smiths, and evidently a loaded gun is what it takes to get a Smiths song on the airwaves.

David Bowie, who feeds on the blood of living mammals, rises like Christopher Lee to present a bouquet of flowers to Johnny. But Johnny is not taken in. If I had felt that the Smiths’ demise had left me on the scaffold, then Johnny surely felt the same. He quickly joins the Pretenders, and he just as quickly is ‘asked to leave’. Chrissie Hynde explains to me that Johnny’s perpetual lateness made progress impossible.

—-

I meet David Bowie for breakfast at a discreet restaurant at the foot of the Hollywood Hills. Both standing at the buffet with our empty plates, David hovers over what are horrifically called ‘cold cuts’. I nestle up beside him.

‘David, you’re not actually going to eat that stuff, are you?’

Rumbled, he snaps: ‘Oh, you must be HELL to live with.’

‘Yes, I am,’ I say proudly, as David changes course and sidles off towards the fruit salad, and another soul is saved from the burning fires of self-imposed eternal damnation.

David quietly tells me, ‘You know, I’ve had so much sex and drugs that I can’t believe I’m still alive,’ and I loudly tell him, ‘You know, I’ve had SO LITTLE sex and drugs that I can’t believe I’m still alive.’

—-

At The Forum in Los Angeles a royal David Bowie walks onstage to join me for the encore; he is stately against my last-gasp exhaustion. The 12-year-old within me – unable to leave for school unless I’d soothed my sickness with at least one spin of Starman – bathes in the moment with disbelief. But there it is.

—-

For the sweeping coda on I know it’s gonna happen someday Mick utilizes a heavily orchestrated pattern which we are certain echoes the falling moments of David Bowie’s Rock ’n roll suicide. I am slightly troubled by this resemblance, and I point out to Mick that the envelope has been pushed too far. ‘Yes, well,’ says Mick, ‘I wrote that original piece for Rock ’n roll suicide, so there won’t be any legal comeback.’ Mick goes on to say how he wrote the guitar parts for Starman and The man who sold the world. Mick had been naive in the past, but it was not for me to comment since I continued to be naive in the present.

Suddenly David Bowie telephones the studio and asks to speak to me. I am thrilled, but he tells me that he would like me to do a cover of one of his recent songs, and he stresses that if I don’t do the cover, ‘I will never speak to you again, haha,’ which is hardly much of a loss since David doesn’t ever speak to me. The song he’d like me to cover is called Mr Ed, and although I listen to the tape that he sends to the studio, nothing within the song shouts out to me.

A few months later I am at my mother’s house when the telephone rings. My mother hands me the 1940s shellac antique. ‘It’s for you – it’s David Bowie,’ and boyhood’s fire is all aglow again, although I cannot understand how David found my mother’s number. He explains that he would like to send me something through the post. ‘Do you have an address?’ I ask. ‘Oh, just write to me care of the management,’ he replies. ‘No, I meant do YOU have an address for ME?’ I say.

Dear Morrissey, Came by to see if you were OK. Called a couple of times but no answer. If I don’t hear from you or don’t see you, have a right smashin’ time in the States, and I will see you in the NY area. Take care of yourself. I’ll look forward to seeing you soon, OK. Mick.

—-

The order of the universe calls upon Mick in April 1993, the year still so young, but already it has taken three close friends from my dishearteningly slim roster. The telephone rang and it was Suzi Fussey – once the girl of a Beckenham High Street hair salon who had created David Bowie’s ‘Ziggy’ cut, and then married Mick. Twenty-three years on from that day, Suzi says ‘My baby has gone,’ and I knew Mick was no more. I am asked to write about Mick in the Guardian newspaper, and talk about him on Radio One, but indecent haste forbids. Mick certainly saved Your Arsenal, and by extension he saved me.

—-

A note arrives at the Mark Hotel on Madison Avenue in New York. It is addressed to my pseudonym Vince Eager, and is from David Bowie. That evening I am called over to David’s recording studio, where he guides me into a favored chair at the control desk – central to the speakers. David flicks on the tape and the mammoth waft of his version of my own I know it’s gonna happen someday attacks the room with tsunami turbulence. Seated beside me in spiritual quietude, Linder is pale with emotional understanding. David’s beautiful wife, Iman, folds herself away in a corner seat.

Iman had been plucked from the streets of Kenya to illuminate catwalks all over the world, and had become one of the first women of color to grace the covers of style magazines that had not previously given space to women who were non-Caucasian. Iman has a gentle patience and a friendly perception. She does not edge into the conversation until invited, yet her comments are always thoughtful and precise. I like her a great deal. Now launching her own skin-care range, I ask her what products other than her own does she use on her skin. ‘Oh, I just mix bits of everything,’ she says.

The sound coming from the speakers is the gift of life, and nothing will keep me level after David’s bestowal. Here is the unimaginable culmination of a mad process that began for me sometime in 1970, as On the Buses chirped annoyingly in the background. Jets of steam rise in the New York streets as Linder and I walk slowly back to the hotel, scrutinizing events. David had been an infallible guide, and these are the years when he still developed his ideas with pride, and always at considerable distance from the sparkl-ing modernities of pop. I am all parts gratitude.

—-

‘I suppose you’re enormous in Cleveland?’ asks David Bowie. ‘No,’ I reply, utterly baffled. ‘Oh.’ He slumps.

—-

Back in New York, David Bowie asks me, ‘Do you, er, still have the same band?’ ‘Yes,’ I say, and he looks downwards. The word is well established that the Morrissey band is not as good as the Smiths, or even up to much in their own right. It is an accusation that I must live with for the rest of my life, irrespective of how often the line-up changes.

—-

The Lowry is the sharpest of Manchester’s hotels, many of which I stood outside for hours awaiting a squinted glimpse of Marc Bolan or David Bowie. And now it’s my turn. The bar is cleared as my private party is ushered in to take over.

—-

The reclusive cardinal of Italian music is Ennio Morricone. Although historical and royal, he has agreed to conduct his orchestra on the track Dear God, please help me. This is unusual, since the maestro of maestros has refused U2 and David Bowie, but somehow says yes to porky me. The grandeur engulfs us, and my heart is pushed to the point of collapse as I watch Ennio in studio action. I find myself wishing for tears that don’t come. Oddly, I introduce Ennio to Tony Visconti, to whom Ennio gives one very quick up-and-down disdainful look, says nothing, and turns away. Tony is not troubled by this, whereas I would slit my own throat at the shock of such a rebuff.

—-

Whilst recording in Rome I meet Elton John, who is shockingly down-to-earth and gives me high praise for You Are the Quarry. He tells me how he loved the New York Dolls and Jobriath, but how he considered Bowie to be ‘a vampire’. A pleasant evening passes under a Rome sun which – even into late evening – seems not to go away.

—-

Up here in Spokane on May 6th we are in bear-baiting country, which grants me dutiful attack. I suggest we hunt the hunters, and the crowd roar approval. By Friday we are in Omaha, America’s bosom, city of sawdust and mockingbird houses. Daytime streets are dry and wide and always empty, but the audience at the Orpheum belies Nebraska’s poverty of spirit as parents hold their small children up to the stage to be kissed or hugged by a baffled singer.

The art of song lights the touch-paper in a way that nothing else can. The audience is confused, though, when I sing David Bowie’s Drive-in Saturday, because evidently they don’t know what it is. It is the only moment when I lose the crowd.

I dont really agree with most French Laws, but this article outlines something many of us (especially parents) on social media need to really think about...

Think again before you post online those pics of your kids

You might think it’s cute to snap a photo of your toddler running around in a playground or having a temper tantrum, and then posting it on social media. But did you ever think it might be a mistake, or even illegal?

The French government earlier this year warned parents to stop posting images of their children on social media networks.

Under France’s rigorous privacy laws, parents could face penalties of up to a year in prison and a fine of €45,000 (A$64,500) if convicted of publicising intimate details of their children without their consent.

This new legality is powerful food for thought for parenting in the Facebook era. As adults, we often express dissatisfaction at the ways young people post their lives online. But if we turn the mirror on ourselves, do we as parents actually have the right to make our family photos public? If so, which ones?

Sharing pictures

Part of the issue is our tendency for over-sharing. A recent study by Nominet, which handles the UK’s .uk domain name registry, found that parents post nearly 200 photos of their under fives online every year.

This means that a child will feature in around 1,000 online photos before their fifth birthday. We’ve even got to the point where if you don’t upload photos of our baby, others question whether you are a committed parent.

This new norm means that many children will have a powerful digital identity created by someone else. This process can be likened to the manufacturing of celebrity identities, where parents can potentially shape the public persona of their child in any way they want: child genius, disobedient, fashionista, fussy eater and so on.

How do you think your own mum or dad might shape your online identity? Do you think it would be an accurate portrayal of who you are?

There is also the issue of Likes and comments on those photos. Without realising it, are we choosing to upload posts about our kids that we hope will get the most audience attention? If so, how is this skewing the identity we are shaping for them?

The web never forgets - This one is important!

We often tell our kids that once something is on the internet it is there forever, and this is a core concern for kids. Research shows that parents often haven’t considered the potential reach and the longevity of the digital information that they’re sharing about their child.

Your child won’t have much control over where that home video of her having an embarrassing first singing lesson ends up or who sees it.

And for this generation of kids, the publicising of their lives can start even before they are born when parents broadcast photos to all their friends and their friends’ friends of the antenatal scan.

Parents’ actions are generally not maliciously intended. In fact, they actually often see they are exposing something personal about their own life in such posts rather than that of their child.

There’s also benefit from such sharing. Posts about your child bed-wetting might help a friend find solutions, or boost their patience for dealing with a similar issue with their own child. Many parents find this community of support important.

Given the relative youth of social media, it’s hard to say exactly how growing up online could affect children’s privacy, safety and security. But social media has also been around long enough now (Facebook is now 14 years old) that it’s important to seriously consider the issue.

It’s time to question how individuals (both children and adults) should manage boundaries around sharing personal information, and how they can control information that is shared about them.

Posting embarrassing photos of others on Facebook without consent is definitely tricky territory, but what constitutes embarrassing is slightly different for everyone, which makes this new issue even more of a minefield.

Get the kids involved

The answer of how to approach this new-found issue might be to listen to what kids have to say about it. Recent research from the University of Michigan asked children and parents to describe the rules they thought families should follow related to technology.

Adults tend to think of these rules around how much time kids spend on screen, but about three times more children than parents thought there should be rules about what parents share and don’t share on social media. Many kids said parents should not post anything about them on online without asking them.

Both children and parents considered positive images, events and news more appropriate to share than negative ones. An image of the child playing on the swings at the park is a lot less likely to resurface than a YouTube video of them having a tantrum because their breakfast is not in their favourite bowl.

If you’re a parent looking for advice or sympathy about a behavioural problem, then a community approach is still very helpful, just don’t post an image and your child’s name as part of the post. This will help to limit the searchability and reach of it.

Asking your children’s consent is also part of the issue and part of the solution. Asking if your child likes the photos of them and whether you can put it up online can be a very quick and respectful conversation. It also sets up a great approach to your kids understanding digital etiquette.

Parents sharing photos of their kids online isn’t only about digital identity. It’s also about our obsession with taking photos of our kids, particularly when they shine (or don’t shine) in their respective activities.

This can make kids feel pressured to perform to help mum and dad get the right snap to share. What the children really want to see is you taking notice of them and acknowledging that they and their actions are important.

Coliver Intimacy Drabble--Public Displays of Affection

This one was kinda hard to do, since I don’t see them as the PDA type, but I did my best. Enjoy!

“What do you think of these? I’ve always wanted to cook something with beets,” Oliver said, gazing at a case of vegetables.

“I’ve never liked beets, but you can make anything taste amazing,” Connor praised, hissing when a cool breeze brushed over them.

The two were out, visiting the farmer’s market that set up shop in Rittenhouse Square. It was a bright, clear autumn afternoon, the red and gold and orange of the leaves popping against the blue sky. Along with the bright colors of fall, came the first chills of the season. Oliver, excited for the weather, wore a heavy green sweater and his favorite grey scarf with a skull cap that covered his ears. Connor, choosing fashion over form, wore a leather jacket, that proved to be quite thin, and was now paying the price.

“I told you that you should have put on a sweater before we left,” Oliver teased, paying for the vegetables and walking away from the table, searching for another.

“I didn’t know it was going to be negative 8 degrees,” Connor hissed, wrapping his arms around himself to keep warm.

Oliver turned to face him, rolling his eyes with a smirk. “It’s 43 degrees out, drama queen. I thought you grew up in Michigan?” he asked as they walked

“Yeah, and I didn’t like the cold there, either.”

Taking in Connor’s shivering state, Oliver smiled sympathetically at him and grabbed his hand, moving him and Oliver out of the walking traffic. Oliver tugged Connor close to his body.

“Here,” Oliver whispered, reaching up and unraveling the scarf from his neck, wrapping it around the other man.

“Ollie, this is your scarf; you should wear it,” Connor tried to protest.

“You need it more than I do right now, it’s fine,” he said softly, finishing his wrapping. Oliver’s heart fluttered when he saw Connor visibly relax with the added warmth.

“Better?”

Connor sighed and nodded, “much better, thank you,” he breathed. He leaned in and made their lips meet in a gentle kiss.

“We’re almost done here, there’s just a few more stands I want to check out,” Oliver assured while they walked through the park with linked arms.

“We can stay here a little longer, if you want. Now that I’m not freezing to death,” replied Connor.

“Oh?”

“Yeah, it’s still a nice day out; this is also a great distraction from that constitutional law paper I should write,”

Oliver chuckled, “in that case we’ll stay here all day, deal?”

Connor moved his hand to hold Oliver’s weaving their fingers together.

“Deal.”

My Incredible Hedwig Experience (July 3rd)

As a surprise graduation gift, I was given tickets to see Hedwig and the Angy Inch on July, 3rd. And this proved to be the most surreal and amazing night of my life.

Let me start by saying that the show was phenomenal. There are not enough words to describe how amazing it was. Hedwig was on fire, the jokes (including Chris Colfur) were hilarious, the acting was spot on, and the music was spectacular. Rebecca was beautiful, and her Long Grift was specifically amazing. And then Darren…. Darren f*cking Criss. Every song, every dance, every word he spoke… it was all spectacular. Darren truly gets lost in Hedwig and yet you can tell how much he genuinely adores this role and how happy it makes him. I have seen and loved Darren in many things, but this takes the cake as the best display of his talents by far. I was moved to tears by Origin of Love, Wicked Little Town, the proceeding dialogue between Hedwig and Tommy (which included the flawlessly executed “then love the front of me, honey!” line), and Wicked Little Town (Reprise). Again, there are just not enough words of praise to be said towards the show, towards Rebecca, and especially towards Darren. 

On a bonus note, I would just like to say that Darren’s eyes are so incredibly bright. I could see them, clear and beautiful and so full of life, the entire show from up in my seat in the front row of the mezzanine.

And now on to my experience at Stage Door

I got out as fast as I could, and by some miracle, my sister and I made it out in time to snag the perfect spot right in the middle and in the front. After a bit of waiting, and some talk with some of the fans there (shout out to Maggie for being so sweet!) Rebecca came out and signed. She was absolutely lovely and I told her she was beautiful and my sister got her to sign our Pridebill (by some other miracle they still had the rainbow playbills!). We waited some more, and then Darren came out...

When he got around to me and my sister, he spoke to her first. She told him about how he inspired her to really jump into the world of theater and how she dreams of attending University of Michigan. He asked her what her name was, wished her the best of luck in her future in theater, and signed her poster and playbill. Being a bit shaky, my sister accidentally dropped the poster, and then Darren, being the sweetheart he is, picked it up for her and joked with her about it being hard to keep ones hands on them. He then moved over to me.

I gave him my Glee Lima Bean Cup, which I had wrote a message on, and asked him if he minded reading it, and then signing it. He said of course.

The mug says: Darren, thank you for giving me the courage to come out as gay, and for teaching me to love that part of myself. You truly changed and saved my life. 

Darren read this and listened to me as I told him it was a dream of mine to be able to simply thank him for all that he has done for me in my coming out process. After staring at me and smiling, he wrote: awwww! Well thank you Cassidy. And he signed it with a heart.

Then, I told him to open the cup because there was something in it that I wanted for him to have. After making a joke about hoping that it would be snakes, he opened it to find this:

The note says: Darren, this is my graduation tassel. My trip to see you tonight in Hedwig was actually a graduation gift. I want you to have this as a weird token of my gratitude, because I wouldn’t have made it to this accomplishment without what you have done for me. I give this to you as a representation of a life you have changed. Thank you.

I explained in short term what it was and what it meant, and after asking me if I was sure that I wanted to give him something so important (to which I said I was sure, of course) he handed it to Bobby and told me that he would put it somewhere to keep it safe.

After that, he told me that it was amazing, congratulated me, and then went in to give me a hug, so I asked “can I have a hug?” and he just hugged me, and when he pulled away he said “you don’t need to ask for that” (which was actually the sweetest thing ever?) and then continued to say how awesome that was as I thanked him and moved to make room for others.

My two favorite pictures that my sister, mom, and brother managed to get were these:

This was Darren’s face as he read the note and I thanked him for everything.

And that of course was when I died.

SO yeah. I had the most incredible experience. Every moment of it was so special and I will remember it for the rest of my life.

I got to say thank you to the man who changed and saved my life, look him in the (even more beautiful in person) eyes while I did so, and he hugged me. What more could I ask for?

OH, and I have a video of all of this! I will be posting it in a moment :)

Video Links: Part 1 Part 2