All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

Saturday 9: Key Largo

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Saturday 9 is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Crazy Sam Winters (she added the crazy, not me!).

Every Saturday there will be nine questions – sometimes they will be around a common theme, other times completely random – to be answered however we like.

1) This song was inspired by the Bogart/Bacall movie of the same name. Do you have a favorite Humphrey Bogart film? 

Although far from my favourite Hepburn movie, Sabrina is one of the few Bogart movies I can remember seeing. Plus, Billy Wilder :)

2) Where do you rent movies? (Netflix, Redbox, OnDemand, etc.)

When I can afford to do so, I rent my movies from a little known service called a DVD rental store. Back in the day, they used to be rather popular. You could roam the shelves checking out movie after movie, indulge yourself in holding the DVD cover in your hand to peruse the synopsis and stills, spend some time debating whether the cleavage shot is really necessary (yes, Sleepy Hollow back cover, I’m looking at you!) and ask the staff cunning questions to find out just how knowledgeable they are in the realm of film and television.

3) Have you ever been to the Florida Keys?

I have never been to the Florida Keys. In fact, I’ve never stepped foot on American soil in my life. The closest I came was the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Perhaps one day I shall visit, but in all honesty, the Florida Keys would be very low on my list of places to visit. (No offense to anyone in the Florida Keys intended :p)

4) According to government statistics, more than half the people who currently live in Florida were born in another state. Were you born in the state where you currently live?

I was not. I was born in a rather random town in Northern England called Leeds. I lived there for only a few months before we moved when my father got a new job, never to return.

5) To be honest, Crazy Sam really hates this week’s featured song. (Hear it here.) Do you like it? Loathe it? Or are you unfamiliar with it?

I do not know the song or artist. However, he has a remarkably entertaining beard :)

6) Local authorities in a suburb of Sydney blasted Barry Manilow songs into a neighborhood park to keep “hooligans” away after dark. Is there an artist or song that would make you run in the other direction?

New life goal: discover what suburb of Sydney this is so I can move there and begin crooning every night. Barry Manilow rocks!

However, if they were to start playing this song, I would run a country mile without ever looking back:

See also the Paul McCartney’s The Frog Song.

7) Two of the most common fears are going to the dentist and speaking in public. Do either of those really get under your skin?

Given I am open in suffering with social anxiety disorder, I am not afraid of dentists and speaking in public; I have an outright phobia about them! I would rather lock myself into a room playing the above song on repeat for an entire year than go anywhere near these two.

8) We’re having burgers. What do you want on yours?

The burger would have to be chicken breast, for I am not a fan of red meat in any way, shape or form. Toppings? Some crisp lettuce, pineapple, a sprinkling of cheese and a dash of bbq sauce would be lovely, thank you.

9) Here’s your chance to do a shameless plug. What charity or cause do you wish got more support?

“I once heard a story about a homeless man on Hollywood Blvd who really thought he was invisible. But one day a kid handed the man a Christian pamphlet. The homeless guy was shocked and amazed, “what! You can see me? How can you see me? I’m invisible!”

It isn’t hard to comprehend this man’s slow spiral into invisibility. Once on the street, people started to walk past him, ignoring him as if he didn’t exist… much like they do a piece of trash on the sidewalk. It’s not that people are bad, but if we make eye contact, or engage in conversation, then we have to admit they exist and that we might have a basic human need to care. But it’s so much easier to simply close our eyes and shield our hearts to their existence.

The purpose of this vlog is to make the invisible visible. I hope these people and their stories connect with you and don’t let go. I hope their conversations with me will start a conversation in your circle of friends. These are the real people, telling their own, very real stories… unedited, uncensored and raw.

The invisible guy didn’t intend to become homeless. I didn’t plan on living on the street. Everyone on the streets has their own story, some made bad decisions, others were victims, but none of them deserve what they have been left with, and it is a reflection of our own society that we just leave them there.

Please always remember, the homeless people you’ll ignore today were much like you not so long ago.”

from InvisiblePeople.tv

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9 thoughts on “Saturday 9: Key Largo

  1. Oh, the Invisible People story is so moving. I live in Chicago, where the homeless coexist on Michigan Avenue with the high end stores. It’s sobering to see consumers race into the Apple Store to buy the latest i-whatever for hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and yet find themselves unable to make eye contact with the less fortunate. These gadgets are supposed to make it easier for us to connect to one another, yet I suspect we use them to ignore one another, too.

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  2. #2 made me snort. Although if we’re really going to go there, we should mention VHS tapes. Remember them? haha

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    • Ah, the humble VHS tape. I was a huge fan. Once upon a time I had a collection of over 500 VHS tapes sourced from market stalls and ex-rentals from the video rental store I used to work in :) It used to infuriate me when I had to rewind every single tape that got returned because people couldn’t be bothered doing it themselves!

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  3. Our homeless problems started when politicans decided to empty mental institutions, a noble social experiment, but they neglected to put support systems in place to help folks I think our mental health system needs some renovation, in the meantime we have some great private assistance programs that need our monatary assistance for direct help.

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  4. Your burger sounds yummy. I’ve been loving Morning Star veggie burgers lately, with a little ketchup and brown mustard.

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  5. All these great causes. The homeless are one of my top as well. People just seem to not look at them or talk. There is a homeless guy that goes to our library. My daughter talked to him the other day. He asked about trick or treating and how much candy she got. When we were driving home, she said, “Mommy they make them seem like bad people but all it is is that he just doesn’t have money.” The truth of youth.

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  6. The Canadian side of the Falls is much nicer than the US side in my opinion.

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    • Other than the spectacle of the Falls themselves, my only remaining memory of Niagara Falls is how touristy it was. All the motels, gambling venues and the like took me completely by surprise. For some reason I guess I seemed to be expecting a remote waterfall with very little around. Oh, how naive I was back in the day :)

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