Monday, October 31, 2005

Hugo Chavez calls for ban on Halloween

Remember this guy?  This is the guy that Pat Robertson said that the US should “...take out...”.  I wonder if Pat would have made this comment if Chavez had made this statement before Robertson’s statement?

http://news.bbc.co.uk
Venezuelan Chavez has urged Venezuelan families not to mark Halloween, calling it a US custom alien to the South American nation.

“Families go and begin to disguise their children as witches. This is contrary to our way,” Mr Chavez said during his weekly radio and TV show.

He also said Halloween was a “game of terror”, the AP news agency reported.

Mr Chavez is known as a fierce critic of the US government and President George W Bush personally.

Posted by SPN on 10/31 at 02:59 PM
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Pastor electrocuted while performing baptism.

Which super-natural being was involved in this action?

http://cnn.com

WACO, Texas (AP)—A pastor performing a baptism was electrocuted inside his church Sunday morning when he adjusted a nearby microphone while standing in water, a church employee said.

The Rev. Kyle Lake, 33, was stepping into the baptistery as he reached out for the microphone, which produced an electric shock, said University Baptist Church community pastor Ben Dudley.

Lake was pronounced dead at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, nursing supervisor Pat Mahl said. The woman being baptized apparently had not stepped into the water and was not seriously injured.

Pastors at University Baptist Church routinely use a microphone during baptisms, said Jamie Dudley, the wife of Ben Dudley and a business administrator at the church.

“He was grabbing the microphone so everyone could hear,” she said. “It’s the only way you can be loud enough.”

Lake had been at the church for nine years, the last seven as pastor. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer, a 5-year-old daughter and two 3-year-old sons.

“I don’t know how, when, why, where or what’s going to happen, but we will continue as a church in the community because that is what Kyle would have wanted,” he said.

Posted by SPN on 10/31 at 02:56 PM
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QUOTE OF THE DAY

Never mistake motion for action.

Ernest Hemingway (1899 ñ 1961), American author

Posted by SPN on 10/31 at 08:21 AM
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Saturday, October 29, 2005

[b]JUDGE WON’T DISMISS R. KELLY SEX CHARGES[/b]

Sat Oct 29, 6:17 AM ET

CHICAGO - Singer R. Kelly is a step closer to trial after a judge refused Friday to dismiss charges in a three-year old case against him for allegedly engaging in videotaped sex acts with an underage girl.

Kelly has pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of child pornography.

Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan rejected defense arguments that prosecutors have been too vague about when the alleged crime took place, said county state’s attorney spokeswoman Marcy Jensen.

Prosecutors claim the video was made sometime during a nearly three-year span between January 1998 and October 2000. They cut 18 months off their original timeframe of November 1997 to February 2002 after a judge agreed in June that the span was too broad.

Defense attorney Ed Genson did not return a call for comment after business hours Friday.

Kelly, whose first name is Robert, won a Grammy for the gospel-like song “I Believe I Can Fly.” He’s also known for sexually charged music like “Bump N’ Grind” and “Ignition.”

The next court date was set for Dec. 9.

Posted by CHANNI on 10/29 at 11:11 AM
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Thursday, October 27, 2005

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the:  50’s, 60’s, 70s and 80’s !

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned

HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
And I am one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!

Posted by loni on 10/27 at 07:14 AM
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Bush chews his fingernails off while awaiting word on indictments

Poor ole Democrats don’t kow how to kick a liar when he’s down.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/13004363.htm

BY MARK SILVA

Chicago Tribune

WASHINGTON - Caught in an unnerving waiting game with a grand jury, the White House is attempting to keep its focus on the governmental challenges of the day, with President Bush running a heavy schedule of meetings and speeches.

As the grand jury nears the end of its term on Friday, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald met with the federal judge overseeing the investigation on Wednesday, fueling speculation that the grand jury has completed its probe of who revealed the identity of a covert CIA agent - or that the investigation might be extended beyond this week.

For two years, a team of federal prosecutors and investigators has attempted to determine who leaked the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame after her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, publicly disputed the Bush administration’s claims that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had attempted to obtain uranium from Niger to manufacture nuclear weapons.

Posted by SPN on 10/27 at 06:55 AM
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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Those crazy Japanese.  What will they think of next?

That’s all I need now… my wife to rewire my headphones because I didn’t pick my socks up off of the floor.

http://www.cnn.com

ATSUGI, Japan (AP)—We wield remote controls to turn things on and off, make them advance, make them halt. Ground-bound pilots use remotes to fly drone airplanes, soldiers to maneuver battlefield robots.

But manipulating humans?

Prepare to be remotely controlled.

Just imagine being rendered the rough equivalent of a radio-controlled toy car.

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp., Japans top telephone company, says it is developing the technology to perhaps make video games more realistic.

A special headset was placed on my cranium by my hosts during a recent demonstration at an NTT research center. It sent a very low voltage electric current from the back of my ears through my head—either from left to right or right to left, depending on which way the joystick on a remote-control was moved.

I found the experience unnerving and exhausting: I sought to step straight ahead but kept careening from side to side. Those alternating currents literally threw me off.

The technology is called galvanic vestibular stimulation—essentially, electricity messes with the delicate nerves inside the ear that help maintain balance.

I felt a mysterious, irresistible urge to start walking to the right whenever the researcher turned the switch to the right. I was convinced—mistakenly—that this was the only way to maintain my balance.

The phenomenon is painless but dramatic. Your feet start to move before you know it. I could even remote-control myself by taking the switch into my own hands.

There’s no proven-beyond-a-doubt explanation yet as to why people start veering when electricity hits their ear. But NTT researchers say they were able to make a person walk along a route in the shape of a giant pretzel using this technique.

It’s a mesmerizing sensation similar to being drunk or melting into sleep under the influence of anesthesia. But it’s more definitive, as though an invisible hand were reaching inside your brain.

NTT says the feature may be used in video games and amusement park rides, although there are no plans so far for a commercial product.

Some people really enjoy the experience, researchers said while acknowledging that others feel uncomfortable.

I watched a simple racing-car game demonstration on a large screen while wearing a device programmed to synchronize the curves with galvanic vestibular stimulation. It accentuated the swaying as an imaginary racing car zipped through a virtual course, making me wobbly.

Another program had the electric current timed to music. My head was pulsating against my will, getting jerked around on my neck. I became so dizzy I could barely stand. I had to turn it off.

NTT researchers suggested this may be a reflection of my lack of musical abilities. People in tune with freely expressing themselves love the sensation, they said.

“We call this a virtual dance experience although some people have mentioned it’s more like a virtual drug experience,” said Taro Maeda, senior research scientist at NTT. “I’m really hopeful Apple Computer will be interested in this technology to offer it in their iPod.”

Research on using electricity to affect human balance has been going on around the world for some time.

James Collins, professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University, has studied using the technology to prevent the elderly from falling and to help people with an impaired sense of balance. But he also believes the effect is suited for games and other entertainment.

“I suspect they’ll probably get a kick out of the illusions that can be created to give them a more total immersion experience as part of virtual reality,” Collins said.

The very low level of electricity required for the effect is unlikely to cause any health damage, Collins said. Still, NTT required me to sign a consent form, saying I was trying the device at my own risk.

And risk definitely comes to mind when playing around with this technology.

Timothy Hullar, assistant professor at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., believes finding the right way to deliver an electromagnetic field to the ear at a distance could turn the technology into a weapon for situations where “killing isn’t the best solution.”

“This would be the most logical situation for a nonlethal weapon that presumably would make your opponent dizzy,” he said via e-mail. “If you find just the right frequency, energy, duration of application, you would hope to find something that doesn’t permanently injure someone but would allow you to make someone temporarily off-balance.”

Indeed, a small defense contractor in Texas, Invocon Inc., is exploring whether precisely tuned electromagnetic pulses could be safely fired into people’s ears to temporarily subdue them.

NTT has friendlier uses in mind.

If the sensation of movement can be captured for playback, then people can better understand what a ballet dancer or an Olympian gymnast is doing, and that could come handy in teaching such skills.

And it may also help people dodge oncoming cars or direct a rescue worker in a dark tunnel, NTT researchers say. They maintain that the point is not to control people against their will.

If you’re determined to fight the suggestive orders from the electric currents by clinging to a fence or just lying on your back, you simply won’t move.

But from my experience, if the currents persist, you’d probably be persuaded to follow their orders. And I didn’t like that sensation. At all.

Posted by SPN on 10/26 at 01:09 PM
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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Claim: Janet Jackson has secret child

You mean the rest of the world is just now finding out?!?!?! This rumor has been circulating for YEARS!!!! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2005; Posted: 9:54 a.m. EDT (13:54 GMT)
NEW YORK (AP)—Janet Jackson and James DeBarge, who were briefly married in 1984, had a daughter together, DeBarge’s brother Young DeBarge has claimed on a radio program.

Young DeBarge said the child, named Renee and now 18, has been living with Rebbie Jackson, Janet’s oldest sister. His comments lent support to reports that have circulated for years claiming Janet has a “secret” daughter.

Jackson’s publicist didn’t immediately return a call from The Associated Press on Monday, but Brian Oxman, an attorney for the Jackson family, told E! Online that he asked the Jackson family years ago if the story was true.

“The answer is no way, no how,” he told E! “From the sisters to the mother, every last one of them said it never happened.”

Oxman calls the secret baby story an “urban legend.”

Janet Jackson and James DeBarge were married for less than three months when she was just 18. The marriage was annulled a year later.

“James and the Jackson family kept everything real close, real tight,” Young DeBarge said Friday on New York radio station WQHT, known as Hot 97. “They weren’t very revealing about what the relationship was about.”

“No one really knew how it was working out until things kind of surfaced,” he said.

He added, “There’s no telling what (Janet Jackson) is telling her.”

DeBarge said Renee “is a wonderful singer.”

Jackson, 39, secretly married Rene Elizondo Jr. in 1991. They separated in 1999. She is now dating Jermaine Dupri.

Posted by loni on 10/25 at 06:19 PM
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new poetry

JOY

The pine breeze
Caresses my spirit
As the sunset
Warms my spirit
And illuminates the nights sky.

The starry sky twinkles
As I dance to
The kind whisper of your song
Joy rushes through my spirit

As the sun
Reveals new adventures
The mist recedes to day
My minds eye gasps in celebration

The heavens
Woven with your paint
Proclaim your love for me
Blankets of color
Comfort my sorrows

The flowers glisten forgiveness
Tears of yesterdayís regret
Forgiven today
My daily bread
Given by you.

Posted by bbeard on 10/25 at 03:14 PM
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new poetry

Prayer of the Broken Hearted

Take my life from me,
I donít want it anymore
Give me eyes that see
The love that youíve prepared

Here is my angry heart
Every broken part
I give you everything
The sorrow, joy, and pain
All Iíve ever held dear

Take from me
My fears
Give me ears
To hear your laughter
Give me eyes
That I might see the way
Paved with joy
That youíve prepared

Posted by bbeard on 10/25 at 03:04 PM
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New POETRY

The Meeting

Holding my cup of dark secrets
I reflect as the steam rises
From around my haggard reflection

As I ponder
My lifeís worth
In the balance of wreckage
Left behind in my storm

I hear my story
Fall from another mans lips
I know that I am no longer
Alone in my world of regrets

This freedom of brotherhood
Feels as a compassionate
Sunrise on a darkened heart

Only the wreckage
Shame, regret, and healing
Can form bonds
That out-fathom
All understanding

Posted by bbeard on 10/25 at 02:48 PM
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Rosa Parks is dead at 92.

genImage.aspx?uri=2005-10-25T024559Z_01_HO508630_RTRUKOP_2_PICTURE0.jpg&resize=other

http://today.reuters.com
DETROIT (Reuters) - Rosa Parks, the seamstress whose refusal to give her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white man sparked a revolution in American race relations, died on Monday at age 92.

Shirley Kaigler, Parks’ lawyer, said she died while taking a nap early on Monday evening surrounded by a small group of friends and family members.

“She just fell asleep and didn’t wake up,” Kaigler said.

The cause of death was not immediately known. Parks had fought a long battle with dementia.

Kaigler said Parks was at home in an apartment complex overlooking the Detroit River and the border with Ontario, Canada, when she died.

Posted by SPN on 10/25 at 08:24 AM
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Monday, October 24, 2005

Just so everyone knows, “I hate the King”.

I mean he really freaks me out.  There he is just standing there with that freaky smile on his face.

I want someone to lay him to waste.
image

image

Freaky Burger King man!

Posted by SPN on 10/24 at 04:22 PM
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Saturday, October 22, 2005

I’ve got a new Numark TTX turntable!!

I’ve got a lot of albums.  Well maybe not a lot of albums.  I’ve got enough albums that sometimes they get in the way.

Earlier in the year I gave my mother about 60 or so CD of artists that I hadn’t listened to in years.  I told her that she was free to take any CD that she wanted just as long as I was able to rip the CD onto my Macintosh G5.  I figured that if I ever NEEDED a CD again that I could burn one.  I think that the need for a CD is unlikely because my wife has a 20GB IPod which still has nearly 10GB of space left on it.

So one day while cleaning out the garage, I tripped over one of the boxes of albums that was sitting on the floor gathering dust and mildew.  I thought at it would also be a good idea to allow my mother the opportunity to take any of the albums that she might want as well.  Besides, I didn’t have a turntable to play them.  So, I started looking through the albums to see if I truly wanted to part with them and I saw that I had a lot of cool music that I’ve picked up over the years.  I really didn’t want to give them away without having at least a copy on hand.

I didn’t want to just copy them to tape because my car doesn’t have a tape player.  I no longer have a reel to reel player.  So, I started thinking about CDs and IPods again.  Anyway, to make a short story longer, I started researching turntables.

I wanted one that had a digital output so that I could record directly to either my Macs and a phono output in case I decided to be a professional DJ.  That’s when the Numark TTX came up in my searches.  It is a direct drive turntable with specs to be proud of.  So, it arrived last night and I was up ‘til almost midnight recording albums.

I’ve recorded everything to AIFF format with a 44k sample rate so that I could capture all of the nuances possible.  I’ve recorded four albums and I’ve used up almost 2GB of space.  After I record the albums, I’ll rip them to MP3 and split the album sides to individual songs.

I’m using two programs to record to the computer: LineIn and Audio Hijack.

Now leave me alone while I play with my vinyl.
_ Powerful direct-drive motor with adjustable torque (patent pending)
_ Choose from three distinct motor torque settings to suit your style of spinning, 2.5, 3.7 and 4.7kgfcm
_ Interchangeable Tonearm System (Straight or S-Shaped) Multi-Directional Design with Dual Start/Stop Controls
_ Interchangeable Pitch Fader and Button Cartridges
_ Removeable Aluminum Target Light
_ Solid Core Construction fights vibration and unwanted noise
_ Anti-Drag Aluminum Platter to reduce friction
_ Ultra-Precise Aluminum Tonearm with cue, height, and anti-skate adjustments
_ +/-10, 20, and 50% Selectable Pitch Ranges (optional 8% range)
_ Key Lock to maintain any key while changing tempo
_ On Board Auto BPM Counter with Recalculate Function
_ Accurate Motor Control with Instant Reverse and variable start and brake times
_ 33, 45 and 78 RPM
_ SPDIF Digital Output
_ Selectable Phono/Line Level Output (w/o ground wire)
_ Detachable Power and Audio Connections
_ Illuminated Output Bay

Posted by SPN on 10/22 at 10:03 AM
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Friday, October 21, 2005

[b]FOXY BROWN HAS BEEN DEAF FOR FOUR MONTHS[/b]

What Foxy Brown remembers most about the morning of May23 is the eerie quiet. The night before, the rapper had fallen asleep with the television blaring, but when she got up, no sound seemed to be coming from it. “I pressed the volume to maybe 60. Nothing,” says Brown. “ I ran outside to my truck and honked the horn. Nothing. I ran back inside and dialed a number on the phone. Nothing. Then I started breaking down in tears and screaming and I couldn’t even hear myself scream. That’s when I knew there was a problem.”

Three days later Brown was diagnosed with severe sudden sensorineural hearing loss, a little-understood condition that affects one in 10,000 people without warning, often the result of a viral infection. Most suffer loss in only one ear and, when treated early, the condition can be reversible. But Brown has lost her hearing in both ears and has, so far, not responded well to treatment. “Her case is severe,” says Dr. Anil Lalwani, an otologist whom Brown has consulted. “In only 1 or 2 percent of the cases are both ears affected.” For months Brown tried to hide the loss, hoping medication and surgery might restore it. Now, as she weighs further options, she is speaking out for the first time. “I have been deaf for four months,” says Brown, whose real name is Inga Marchand. She talked to People’s Sharon Cotliar about her regret that she didn’t act sooner when she felt her hearing “slipping away” and hopes that speaking out will he! lp others.

There were signs for a few days before. My phone would be ringing and my Blackberry would be going off and people would be “Yo Foxy, your Blackberry.” And I’d hear it. It would be a delayed relaction but I’d still hear it. One day I was in the studio, putting the finishing touches on my fourth album,” Black Roses”, and my friend (and Def Jam Records president) Jay-Z walked in to approve the mix. As soon as he heard it he was like,"Yo, what’s that? Does this sound normal to you, Inga?” I was like “Of course it does. What do you mean?” Then he told me, “Baby Girl, we have a problem because this is ridiculously loud. I could never put this on the radio.”

At first I just thought Jay was giving me a hard time. But the next day, he and I did an interview at a radio station. I remember conversing with the on-air personality. I was hearing her fine, but the minute I had to take callers, I couldn’t hear them. I would say, “What are they saying?” It was embarassing, because the people in the studio were looking at me like, “What do you mean? Don’t you hear them? This is crazy loud.” I said, “No, turn them up.” But they couldn’t turn it up any higher.

The next day, I was at a photo shoot. I was hearing the music fine. I said to myself,"Yesterday I wasn’t hearing the phone, but today I’m hearing the music, so maybe this hearing loss is from a flight.”

My mom’s sister passed away the morning after the shoot. I remember hearing my mom and aunts downstairs in the living roon crying hysterically. And I got on the phone to call a couple of people. But when we went to the funeral parlor, I had a problem hearing the funeral director explaining the arrangements.

All along I’m feeling my hearing go slowly, but I’m thinking, God would never do this. This can never happen to me. I’m perfectly healthy. I’m 26 years old. I’m young and people just don’t go deaf overnight.

The morning of the funeral, I woke up and I couldn’t hear anything. Not the TV, not my car horn, not the dial tone on the phone. Of course I still had to go to the funeral. I sat in the front row and I couldn’t hear the choir. Jay-z was there and I said, “Jay, I think I’m deaf.” He was like, “You can’t be deaf.” But I knew. I said, “Monday morning, we need to find a doctor.”

The initial doctor I went to told me that if I attacked the problem when I first realized my hearing was going, I probably would have been able to heal it immediately, but because I waited for about a week and continued to work and work and put pressure on my ear, that’s what really damaged it.

He put me on a steroid called Prednisone and an antiviral medicine. I went home with the false hope that taking this medication would work.

After two weeks on the drugs, none of my hearing came back. I thought, I’m not telling anybody this. I’m going to keep this a secret. I’m going to try to go on normally. I’m going to pretend I can hear.

So for a few weeks I was reading lips. I was pretending that I can hear but I’m speaking really loudly so that didn’t earn me any cool points. People would see me in the street and say, “Foxy we love you,” and I wouldn’t hear them, and they would think I was being disrespectful.

One of my closest friends is Naomi Campbell. She kept calling me and saying “Call me,” and instead I would e-mail her. Finally she was like, “Inga, what’s wrong? Why don’t you call me?” And I had to tell her I couldn’t hear her over the phone. She freaked out. She said, “I’m coming to New York and we have to fix this.” So she did some research and found me another specialist. I saw her June 8. The doctor told me I have severe damage to my ears and that I needed surgery right away. Her words to me were, “If you ever want to hear again, we need to do this surgery.” I said, “on both ears?” She said yes.

Two days later I went to the hospital. The doctor wanted to go in and patch possible leaks in the inner ear that could have been the cause for the hearing loss. That was the last thing I had, that surgery. Before the surgery, my hearing was zero. After the surgery,it went up to 20 percent. So at first I was thinking,"Wow,maybe next week it will be 40 percent and after that it will be 60.” But it didn’t work like that. It remained a little over 20 percent, which really wasn’t that much of a difference.

So now my issue was, “What do I tell the record company? What do I tell Jay? What do I tell my fans?” I gotta tell you, when you go through a crisis, you really see who is there for you. Without mentioning any names, a lot of people that I thought would be there through thick and thin have completely disappeared. Because I couldn’t hear, I was no longer useful to them. I couldn’t put a record out. So it was basically like, “Okay we will see you when you get better.”

But that only made me stronger. I decided when they see me, I’m going to be the same Foxy, looking head to toe gorgeous. I’m going to try to be normal- even though every night I would cry myself to sleep. Every morning I would get up and try to look my best and try to feel my best.

I know God is working on me. I’mon a personal journey. I believe God wants to be the only voice I hear right now. Every day I pray for an answer. I don’t want to come away from this not having learned God’s lesson.

The doctor’s aren’t saying that it’s definite that I won’t hear again. This is another reason I am speaking out. I believe there is a doctor somewhere- it could be the outskirts of Wisconsin or Iowa- who could say, “I know exactly what this girl needs.”

They say I may be able to hear with a (cochlear) implant. [An implant would give “much more auditory information,” says Dr. Lalwani. “It would let her use a telephone, and it may be sufficient for her to get tonality back and be a musician."] I know it will be an uphill battle. For now I am taking a break. But I will definitely be back. I still write. I write the best music when I’m going through pain. Sometimes I think, “What if I don’t get my hearing back?” But then a second later I think God loves me. He will make a way. I know I will be all right. I’m not Foxy Brown right now. I’m Inga Marchand. I’m just a girl that wants to get better.

Posted by CHANNI on 10/21 at 04:33 PM
Celebrity • (4) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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