Kane’s Favorite Things Week of 3/20/15

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Fleur de lis in black and goldThis week features a classic fight movie you can watch right here, a song that gives me the warm fuzzies, a reminder of courage and one act of kindness that changed the lives of an entire basketball team.

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That’s Paco on the left ūüėČ

Movies:
One of my Hooligans has recently taken an interest in¬†Capoeira, a style of Brazilian martial arts that combines music, dance and acrobatics in a series of complex, high speed, rhythmic moves. It just so happens that one of my favorite “not Steven Seagal” fight movies is Only the Strong. Staring Mark Dacascos¬†and my very first Hollywood crush,¬†Paco Christian Prieto, Only the Strong is the story of an Ex-Special Forces soldier who returns to his former high school only to find it overrun with drugs and violence. In an experimental program, Louis Stevens takes 12 of the worst kids under his wing, using Capoeira to teach them discipline and self respect.¬†Silverio, the local drug lord, also an expert in Capoeira, isn’t too thrilled and an all out war ensues. As far as I can tell, Only the Strong is the only feature film ever made showcasing this unique fighting style. Netflix doesn’t stream it, BUT, you don’t even have to leave this page to watch it for yourself. The entire, uncut, full length film is available on Youtube. Here it is! Enjoy ūüôā

Music:
Discovered this song recently and fell in love. It has a very special place in my heart.

 

Books:
*le sigh* Still haven’t had a chance to read anything. Still waiting download (1)on The C.E.O. and I’m getting pretty antsy for an update from Lora Leigh. I did¬†one-click a few Claire C. Riley books though. She’s a Best Selling British horror writer who comes highly recommended by quite a few of my favorite authors, so I’m anxious to get started! Besides, we share the same affinity for Cadbury Cream Eggs ūüôā

Fashion:
This week’s fashion fave is a bracelet that was given to me1175294_516019631808124_1425836872_n shortly after the passing of my dearest friend Ruby Knight. It has¬†been almost two years, and I still find myself reaching for the phone to call her. I wear this bracelet any time I need to remind myself of the strength and courage Mrs. Ruby¬†swore she saw in me.

Epic:
I love inspirational stories and this one is hard to beat.¬†Sometimes all it takes is just one act of kindness to change the course of someone’s life. This story does that for an entire basketball team.

“At a Gainesville, Texas, juvenile correction facility for felony offenders, one of the few perks, for very good behavior, is a chance to leave the prison a few times a year to play basketball. Steve Hartman reports on the surprise awaiting the Gainesville Tornadoes, who usually have no cheering fans, when they visited Vanguard College Prep in Waco.”

Kanes Favorite Things: Friday the 13th Edition

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It’s been a while, hasn’t it?!?! Thank you all so much for checking out this “supposed to be” weekly post!! Fleur de lis in black and goldThis week is kind of a hodgepodge of goodies ūüôā We have a song I just can’t quit, a Hooligan with a birthday,¬†some anticipated new releases and one epic as hell Facebook post! Ohh, and a new color scheme for the graphic, voted on by The Hooligans themselves!

Music:
I know I blogged about this the other day, but I really do love this song and it is definitely worth another listen. This is on the play list for my para and will probably make it on to several more of my play lists in the future.

Movies:
Today is Hooligan #2’s Birthday! To celebrate, we took her to see Cinderella. Absolutely LOVED it! This live-action telling of a classic is by far the best one I’ve seen. Hollywood has a tendency to “remake” movies, and more often than not, the remake falls short. That is not the case here. Instead of “reading” you the story, you actually get to experience it in a way that can have a profound impact on its target audience.¬†One of the things that I personally liked was the “why” of Lady Tremaine’s hatefulness. Thinking back, I can’t remember a time when the evil¬†step-mother ever gave a reason for her ways.

After the movie, we went for ice cream and I asked my girls what their biggest take-away was. They thought about it for a while, then Hooligan #2 says, “To have courage and be kind.” The evil step-mother and wicked step-sisters are nothing more than bullies. The same kind of bullies we face in our every day lives. It takes courage to stand up to them. But more importantly, it takes kindness to understand them, and to ensure that you do not become one. This movie serves as a strong reminder that everyone, even bullies, have feelings that can be every bit as fragile as Cinderella’s slipper.

And, since it is Friday the 13th, we ended our night with a terrifyingly fun Jason Voorhees marathon. We made it through the first three movies before we all nodded off. We all agree, the first was the scariest!

Funny:
Oh, there are sooo many this week, but these two¬†are my favorite ūüôā
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Books:
Ohhh lordy… You tell me!! I haven’t had a chance to read in weeks! I feel deprived and starving! I am definitely looking forward to The C.E.O. by Niquel though! She is having a big release party on March 23rd. Consider yourselves invited! Just click this link right here. I am also looking forward to Saving Austin by Nicole Clark. The synopsis is very intriguing and the hot blonde chick on the cover is one of my faves!

Fashion:
I am obsessed with History Channel’s¬†The Vikings. So much so that, in lieu of flowers and chocolates, The Hooligans gave me this hoodie for Valentines Day.

10463919_376603992509656_1046153573315744424_nThis Teespring Campaign is available until March 25th through Vikings Nation, so hurry up and grab yours!

EPIC:
Eddie Ray Routh was convicted and sentenced to life in prison¬†for¬†the murders of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield. While this blogger would love to see him hang, I think Marcus Luttrell’s Facebook Post pretty much sums up Routh’s bullshit plea and what he has to look forward to the rest of his life.

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Take Me to Church

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My good friend Kimber introduced me to this song a few weeks ago, and it’s been on repeat ever since. Some of the lyrics are so powerful, I felt compelled¬†to write them down. There is one in particular that has really stayed with me, and I’m not even sure I’m hearing it right. Before we go in to why that is so important, let’s talk a little about the song.

In a Youtube Interview, Hozier stated that the song is¬†not so much an indictment¬†against religion as it is against “institutions that would undermine some of the more natural parts of being a person.” Nevertheless, churches around the world have condemned the song as an attack on faith and a belief system that has been in place for hundreds of years. The song itself was written in acknowledgement of the struggles members of the LGBT community face daily, but the message is one that reaches beyond those bounds to encompass all aspects of life.

I was raised in a Christian home. For a great many years, I practiced the faith, read my bible and attended church. A Sharpernsignificant personal tragedy not only caused me to turn my back on my faith, it led me to question it altogether. Does God really exist? Is there really such a thing as higher power? I struggled with these questions for years, eventually coming to the singular conclusion that there was no way to really know. As a result, I found myself less inclined to believe in the teachings of the church and even more critical of the hypocrisy prevalent in a culture seemingly built on a foundation of intolerance and subjugation.

They call people like me Agnostic. I do not believe in God any more than I deny his existence. I choose instead to live a life of morality, based not on the tenants of faith, but rather the mandates of my own personal conscience: Live and let live. Help when you are able. Be honest and fair. Have compassion and empathy. These sound a lot like the basis for Christian faith, do they not? In fact, every major religion in the world preaches these things in one form or another. The most significant difference between what I practice and what religion teaches, can be found in a single word- Absolute.

Absolute is the absence of imperfection. High HorseIt cannot be disqualified or diminished in any way. It is universally valid and cannot be seen any other way. It is black and white. It is perfect. Right is right, wrong is wrong. The church preaches absolutes dictated by standards carved in stone. There is no give. No allowance.

“My church offers no absolutes.” Most agree this is the correct wording. It is a powerful testament and one that touches me on a deep level.¬†Death is the only absolute. It is the great equalizer, the one indelible truth proven both by science and religion. There is not a living being¬†that can escape it. We can delay it, ease it and postpone it, but we cannot prevent it.¬†Beyond death, there are¬†no absolutes. Right is not always wrong. A gray area exists in the conscience of every human being that cannot be defined with absolutes.

But when I hear this song, I do not hear “absolutes”.

I choose to live a life separate from organized religion. I base my decisions on conscience and empathy. I do not sit in judgement. My actions are not measured by the testaments of others, but rather the inner knowledge that I have committed all that I am. If I have done what I can, helped where I am able, been fair, honest and just, than I have fulfilled the commands of my conscience. I neither believe nor disbelieve in the existence of a higher power. Judgement is not final. It is perpetual. I am held to account every time I look in the mirror. My sins haunt my dreams. I cannot function under the weight of a conscience made heavy by wrong. No matter the time or distance between this moment and that, I will pay penance until my own soul is clean. It is in that regard that I have become a church unto myself.

Absolution is the formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment. Because I choose to live my life based solely on the commandments of my own conscience, no being, human or divine, can absolve my sins.

I Kissed a Girl!!

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I’ve been getting quite a few messages about Kane’s Favorite 55304318Things and when it will be coming back. First, TOTALLY AWESOME that you’re enjoying it!! And secondly, this Friday! Lots and lots of shenanigans have kept me busy and away from the ole blog these last few weeks. I’m really excited to announce that one of the artists featured in Kane’s Favorite Things has agreed to an interview!!!

©Raising Kane Photo Co. Models: Carl White, Mandi Kay, Justin Edwards

©Raising Kane Photo Co.
Models: Carl White, Mandi Kay, Justin Edwards

I held my first major shoot of the year a few weeks ago. It featured a new and two very well established cover models. This session was a blast! We took several hundreds of images that you can start viewing at Raising Kane Photo Co. More will be added throughout the week, so make sure you check back often.

I had the honor and privilege of putting my journalism hat back
katrinaon for a feature with Wicked Women Books and More. I was asked to chronicle my own experience with book pirating, what can be done and what I thought was really to blame. It’s a bit long, but it offers a different perspective and some technological insight. Be sure to check out Pirating: Are Bloggers Really to Blame?

I-am-sorry-apologyIf you follow my Facebook page, earlier last week you were probably shocked by a post I made. It was not a typical post for me, and one that was very painful¬†to make. For those that called, messaged and texted, THANK YOU!! From the bottom of my heart ‚̧

Pressure had been building for a few weeks, and our Min Pin’s sudden illness was the final blow for me.¬†Like most pet owners, our dogs are beloved members of the family. Sonny, our 6 year old Min Pin, began getting very sick over a very short period of time. He was diagnosed with Rapid Onset Advance Stage Diabetes. He lost all vision within 48 hours. His prognosis seemed dire, and after a great deal of discussion, we made the heartbreaking decision to have him put to sleep. We were all devastated. Tuesday morning, I called the vet to schedule it. The words were locked in my throat, but bless her sweet heart, she knew what I was trying to say. That night, we gave him extra treats and extra love. Hugs, kisses and tears. I stayed up with him the whole night, trying to convince myself that it was the right and best decision. My head and my heart refused to agree. The next morning, I carried him to the truck¬†and said one last goodbye. My heart felt like a shattered piece of glass ripping its way through my chest. I don’t know how much time passed before my husband finally called, but when I answered the phone… It felt like my heart collapsed and exploded at the same time. The vet had a new therapy they wanted to try!! They were going to keep him and see what happened!!! Three days and we would know if it worked. Sonny¬†had a chance!!!!

Wiping really happy tears away.

Wiping really happy tears away.

I was able to visit him on Friday,¬†and the difference was nothing short of a miracle! He looked fuller, healthier and REALLY happy to sniff his Momma. My heart was filled with so much joy, I kissed the vet!! I’m not sure which of us was in more shock! Then again, it wasn’t like a full on KISS kiss. It was more of “grabbed her cheeks and kissed her forehead” kind of kiss. But she totally got it, and apparently I’m not the only Pet Momma to plant one on her either!kiss_me_im_a_veterinarian_posters-r9cb13e086b174bb49f4789be036aea86_w2q_8byvr_512

Saturday morning, The Man brought Sonny home!!!¬†Needless to say, we are all overjoyed¬†to have our little buddy back, healthy and happy!! We have to make a few changes with regard to furniture, the beds and stairs, and I’m learning some new diabetic treat recipes. He does have to have two shots a day, so we are rearranging schedules and plans to ensure that one of us is always home when it’s time for a shot. He does really well with them, too. The needle is so tiny, I don’t think he even notices it. He also seems to be getting at least a little of his vision back. The vet said it was possible, and I can tell he can, at the very least, distinguish sharp contrasts.

I do have some other really REALLY exciting news on the book front, but like they say, “Nothing’s final till you see it on paper” ūüėČ

Thank you all so much for bearing with me these last few weeks. It means a whole lot to me.
xoxo
D.L.