Monday, January 27, 2014

The Straw That Broke The Camels Back

This symbol used to be about Music, now it stands for "Gay Marriage" whew knew?
This symbol used to be about Music, now it stands for "Gay Marriage" who knew?
Ever since I was a little girl I have been getting lost in music. I love music, I started singing pretty much around the time I started talking. If you've read my blog for any length of time though, you already know that. What you might not know is that I do not play any instruments, I use my voice as my instrument.
When I was little I started to hear melodies in my head so I started writing them down the only way I knew how, which was the words in notebooks. I would later sing them to whomever I was working with and they heard the chords I was singing and would then play along with me either on a piano or guitar. I have a very accurate sense of pitch and hear the music in my head. So why the "Greek Girl history of singing" lesson you might be wondering?
Because part of developing my musical recipe and or chops per say was listening to and looking up to successful music artists. I would look forward to all the award shows and seeing a live performance of a song I had grown to love. It was such a thrill to my little Greek noggin to watch someone like Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Journey, Mariah Carey, or whomever was set to perform stand there and sing a song. Nothing more nothing less, just sing. Sing it from their heart, without any antics. Just live musicians, no auto-tuned back track, no parade of half naked dancers, and especially no agenda themed awards shows.
Well here we are in 2014 and it's no secret that I've been at this a long time and have not yet "made it". Not for lack of trying or lack of talent either. As a person who has had one dream and one goal for over two decades I have watched as the music industry has changed from something special to something sad. Anyone even half paying attention can see it has been less and less about talent and music and more and more about shock & awe, TV talent shows showcasing sad sappy backstories, celebrity train wrecks, and anything and everything that is well... pretty much about everything "except" the music.
The gatekeepers focus on and engage in so many things that people in any other walk of life could and would be fired for doing. Like what? Hmmm let me see discriminating against things they are not supposed to... like age, religion, oh and lets not forget political affiliation. Besides Susan Boyle ask yourself when is the last time you saw a "new artist" presented from a record label over the age of 40, a man or woman? Really as much as I love her you can't even really count Susan Boyle because she came from a TV Talent show and had she not been so exceptionally talented she would have been just another ratings joke like they had intended in the first place.
The music industry jumped the shark a long time ago not only by lining up like a lap dog to sign and promote the talent show winners and flunkies in order to capitalize on semi notoriety vs. doing their job which is finding and promoting music artists. That would entail actual work though, and that might be too hard. Probably the most annoying thing to me is that people who have any idea what singing "on key" is are so few and far between anymore. I saw a clip on yahoo of Harry Connick Jr. from American Idol giving his critique of one contestant and I was doing a standing ovation. Yeah, people can have sad stories and sad things happen to them and be eighteen and all, but that does not make them an "artist" or worthy of a record deal because they stood in line and went on a TV talent show for a few weeks.
Knowing all this and growing numb to the antics of the music industry for some time, was I shocked to see the Grammies turn into a full blown ad campaign for Gay Marriage? Yes, I was. I guess maybe because somewhere deep down inside of me is that little kid who is still so in love with music and what it can do for ones soul that I really believed that somewhere in there underneath all the Katy Perry, Beyonce, Jay-Z, and the rest of the muck that the powers that be at the Grammies still valued the craft as much as I do. So yes, I was surprised and I was actually quite shocked. In fact I was so shocked I almost dumped my hot cup of happiness a la Dunkin's when I learned of it.

Normally it's a half naked Beyonce dressed in some stripper getup looking straight out of the 1920's slithering on stage that makes me almost dump my Dunkin's... not this time. Was I surprised that she did it again, no. What did surprise me was that she did it at 8pm where millions of little eyes would see it, tasteless. 
How could they? How could they allow a show about Music to be used as a pawn for the Gay Agenda? It is a dishonor to every musician who has ever won that award. It used to mean something and now it has been belittled. They turned an awards show to recogize exceptional achievement in the craft of making music to be used as a pawn for the left and the Gay Agenda.
When is this going to end? We have the IRS asking a Hollywood Conservative group to name names of it's members? Really?! Does anyone besides me see the hypocrisy in any of this? People follow pop culture. So not only has it been embracing and promoting left leaning politics and mediocrity, we now have world recognized organizations like the Grammies doing awards shows not about "music" but about the left's social political agenda? They want "not to be discriminated" against for their beliefs, yet anyone who does not believe what they believe or think what they think or choose to live how they live or God forbid have the audacity to speak out about it will be silenced. Now they are demanding the names? Can anyone say "McCarthyism" ?
Believe what you want to believe we are free to do so. But to say you don't want to be punished for what you believe then punish those who don't agree with you is total hypocrisy. Why does everything have to be about sex anymore? Seriously, want to sell a car, sex. Want to sell toothpaste sex, want to sell clothes, sex...
There is a whole lot more to life then that and why do people think being so stinking shallow that they feel this absurd urge to scream from the rooftops who and what they want to have sex with is cool and normal is totally beyond me.
I'm beyond disgusted. Be gay already if you want to but for crying out loud do I have to see it everywhere every minute of every stinking day? And do not tell me I'm a hate monger because I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman! I've had enough. Like so many other things happening these days I can not and will not participate in any of it. I have to live by my moral compass. I'm a Christian, the bible (which I and millions if not billions of other Christians believe to be the living word of God) clearly states that Marriage is between One Man and One Woman, period. I'm not going to change what I believe or compromise my faith because pop culture is telling me it is cool to do so. 
I'm taking my ball and going home. Yes of course I will still make music and won't ever stop pursuing my dream. However a part of that dream has died, the part that involved one day winning a Grammy. The Grammies used to mean that you had achieved a exceptional accomplishment in the craft of making music. Now it just means you approve of Gay Marriage. The Grammies are dead to me.
My hope and prayer is that more people who share my beliefs would do the same. For too long Christians have been turning the other cheek. The world is upside down and it is going to take more us us to stand up and speak out in order to turn it right side up again.
Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo

Monday, January 20, 2014

Let The Games Begin

Will you be watching?
Will you be watching?
Everyone knows the Greeks invented the Olympics along with everything else. We invented church, drama, politics, the art of drinking coffee, and the Olympics along with the Windex. One thing I know is that we sure as heck did not invent the "Winter Olympics", why? Because it's cold and we Greeks hate the snow, and you know we definitely did not invent the Polar Vortex! In fact the only ice I like is in my iced coffee. Which was probably also invented by us Greeks since it is an ingenious way of blending warm and cold together.
So if not us Greeks, who did invent or start the "Winter Olympics"? Well according to the information I found on the interweb the Winter Olympics was started in Sweden with the Nordic Games in 1901 by Vicktor Gustaf Balck; who later brought it into the International Olympic committee back in 1926. Which is actually interesting because contrary to popular belief the original settelers of Greece were "Dorian" which are Nordic people. They all had blonde hair and blue eyes, and according to my dad the only reason they got the dark skin, eyes and big noses is because... (imagine for a minute as you read the following a thick broken Greek-English accent) "They mixed with the Turks!" Don't believe me look it up. Think about it... "Alexander The Great" blonde, blue eyed. So, in a way it's almost like we did invent the "Winter Olympics" too in a round about way of course. There I rest my case, Ut Oh, I guess that would make us hypocrites then because we don't like the cold... oy vey!
One thing is for sure, if there were an event for coffee drinking the Greeks would win hands down every time. Why? Because no matter what is happening or going on in ones life the first thing a Greek person says to you when they see you is something to the effect of "it's OK, come on let's go for coffee, sit down and talk about it". We sure can talk and drink coffee.
So anyway you can bet I'll have a hot cup of my very favorite coffee a la Dunkin Dounts in my hot little hands parked on the couch with my fur kids as I watch the parts of the "Winter Olympics" that I like. Yes I said "parts", honestly I don't care for all of it. I like the Figure Skating and Hockey pretty much, and a little of the downhill skiing, that is about it.  Remember, this Greek Girl, like most of my people don't care for the cold, that is why they left the Nordic regions in the first place.  So that being said, just the thought of it makes me cold so why would I torture myself watching all that cold activity when I would rather be in Tarpon Springs Florida in a pair of flip flops, or as we like to call it the "Little Greece" in America.
Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo

Monday, January 13, 2014

Beauty for Ashes

Is it possible that anything good can come from something so horrible?

There are a lot of things readers of my blog know about me from reading over the past few years, one of which I hope is that Greek Girl loves & adores animals.  There are very few things that upset me more than a helpless animal hurting.  Some people argue that they are just animals and they don’t really matter.  I have to argue (I’m Greek remember we invented arguing along with acting, politics and the Windex) that God made them therefore they matter.  They are His creations and the decision to abuse or walk by and ignore one who is clearly in need of help is an expression of your character and God sees everything we do.
I’ll be the first to admit many of my animal rescuing episodes have led to muckery.  What kind of muckery you might be wondering, well let’s see: rescuing a dog tied to a parking meter on Houston St. in NYC, chasing down and rescuing a dog on Hollywood Blvd. in LA for over three hours, rescuing a dog while on vacation in FL, etc., is it any surprise that I ended up having five dogs?  Until recently of course when my beloved Maltese “Itty Bitty” passed away of Congestive Heart Failure, so now we only have four.  Even with all the joy and heartbreak, it’s a muckery I wouldn’t change for anything in the world.  To have an animal who was hurting either from neglect, or abuse to have them in your care to see the change, to see them safe and loved it is something that would never trade.
So like most people when I heard about the horrifying situation with NFL Star Michael Vick back when it came out I was not only sad but also angry.  It’s been some time now, he paid fines and you know I'm all about forgiving people but really? Michael Vick took not just one life, the innocent life in this photo is just one of many lives.
It’s so upsetting that a person could easily jump to thinking something like: “Not only is he "not rotting in a jail cell" but he gets to continue to do what he loves play football, make obscene money and to add insult to injury own a dog. This is so wrong!  If anyone buys his clothing line they need to have their head examined.  What moronic investor would put up good money to fund such a venture?”
Well that is exactly what I was thinking until I learned that he is actually a “Born Again” Christian who apparently got saved after being arrested and pleading guilty to the charges.  In fact he is being mentored by Tony Dungy a well-known and outspoken Christian retired NFL coach for the Indianapolis Colts.  So it makes sense that he would call his clothing line “Redemption - V7”.
Since his salvation he has written a book titled “Finally Free”, started the clothing line called “Redemption” and is giving proceeds from both the book and clothing line to the Humane Society’s “Pets For Life” Program, and also to programs for Youth at Risk as well.  How much of the proceeds I am unaware, my hope is that it is most of the proceeds.
My first thought when hearing about him being able to return to playing football was here we go again.  This is just another example where we are promoting and rewarding "Mediocrity" in this country.
Be vulgar and obscene sell a bazillion records, abuse and torture animals and no worries you get a slap on the wrist and are back playing in the NFL in no time. People wonder what is wrong with society today…. Take a good look. Sad… very sad.  Michael Vick has over One Million "Likes" on Facebook? What exactly is it that people "like" ?
Then I had to stop and ask myself if I had done something like that wouldn’t I too want a chance to be forgiven?  If his heart is truly changed and if he wants to try to stop animal abuse and raise money to help animals, why shouldn’t he be allowed to play again?  It’s definitely a situation that makes you stop and think.  As an animal lover I can be very quick to turn my heart off to anyone who has done such despicable things, yet as a Christian I am called by my creator to not only forgive him but also to hope he succeeds.  So that he may in turn be able to make a larger impact.  Not only to demonstrate the grace and goodness of God, but also to illustrate to people that it is wrong to do those things to animals.  God willing maybe even make a dent in the horrible Dog Fighting epidemic in this country.
Honestly I am torn because I see the photos, my heart breaks and I am enraged.  Then I think of the funds that can be raised by him being able to continue to play, selling clothes and books.  Which can enable helping abused and neglected animals and youth and then my heart softens.  One could also argue he is just using Christianity as a front to garner sympathy so he can sell a lot of merchandise and continue to live the lifestyle in which he was accustomed.  No one but Michael Vick knows what is in his heart.
In no way shape or form do I condone what he did, or what happened to his animals.  To be honest if I ever ran into him I'm quite sure I would not be able to stop myself from giving him an unfiltered piece of my mind via my Big Fat Greek Yap trap.
However, I for one am hoping it is a true heart change and that in this horrible, awful situation there truly can be beauty for ashes.  That something good can come from so much bad.
Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava :D xo

Monday, January 6, 2014

Can't Wait

I know where I'll be January 10th!
I know where I'll be January 10th!
The Holidays have come and gone, we've had not one but two major snowstorms and we're officially into the New Year.  Something I always love doing in January is checking out the new movies coming out.  Personally I have been waiting (a little bit like a kid on Christmas morning waiting to open presents) for one film in particular.  Can you guess what it is?  Drum Roll...
Lone Survivor.  Gee bet ya didn't see that one coming.  Yes it's true Greek girl loves movies about boxing and our military.  Especially when they are based on a true story. Super especially when they star one of my favorite actors.  So of course it should come as no surprise that I have been waiting like a kid on Christmas morning for this film to open, so I can be first in line with a BYOB cup of Dunkin's hidden in my purse (hey they don't sell my favorite coffee at the movies what can I say) and a popcorn.  Popcorn and coffee?… YES that's how I roll.
The Mr. is an Air Force Veteran and my mom works for the Military Order of the Purple Heart which has partly influenced my love and appreciation for our men and women in uniform.  However anyone using their noggin should appreciate them really.  I mean since the beginning of our nation it has been our men and women in uniform who have stood up and kept us free.  They go to places and endure things that most of us would not be able to stomach for a day let a lone months if not years on end.  It is my opinion that they are not thanked often enough and above anything that they should not have to wait for anything.  Especially for medical care for ailments that were sustained while standing up and serving our nation.  The VA Hospital System is well lets just say less than efficient and thousands of our finest end up getting lost in the system, wait for months and years for appointments, and in many cases end up worse off than the original reason they sought treatment in the first place.  If any "healthcare" system needed fixing in this country it was the VA, yet they say that is what The Affordable Care Act was modeled off of… Lord help us!
OK so back to the movie…  Lone Survivor is Based on the failed June 28, 2005 mission "Operation Red Wings".  Four members of SEAL Team 10 were tasked with the mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd.  It stars Mark Wahlberg and when I saw the preview a few months ago the waiting began.  Not only does it look like a great film, but I really respect the comments Mark Wahlberg made after hearing Tom Cruise's idiotic remarks about being an actor can be compared to the job of a solider.  With good reason at a press event Mark went off, as anyone with even half of a brain in their coconut knows an actor and a solider hello, no comparison.  Saying so is beyond insulting.
The other thing I like about Mark Wahlberg besides his acting is he seems to be very down to earth.  So many media figures let success go to their heads, they end up living in excess, partying, leave their spouses and children yada yada… Mark Wahlberg works very hard physically to train for various roles, stays in excellent shape and has had so much success yet seems to stay grounded as a family man, married with children and even going into business with his family in a restaurant called "Wahlburgers".  In fact he will be starring along with his mom and brothers in a new reality series on A&E about the Restaurant.  Which I most definitely will be tuning into.  
So on January 10th your happy friendly Greek Girl next door will have her butt parked in the theatre with Dunkin's and popcorn in hand watching Lone survivor.  In the meantime say "Thank You" to a Veteran today.  There are so many ways we can help people, and yes even the little things matter.
Blessings, Love & Music,
Ava :D