Urban (mis)Advantures

In Response to Ann Coulter…. — July 15, 2014

In Response to Ann Coulter….

The most exciting and anticipated weeks of summer drew to a close yesterday when Germany took the World Cup by a narrow 1-0 win over Argentina.  Futbol (or as we backwards Americans call it, soccer) is the one team sport I actually enjoy watching.  Like the American mis-named football (where the ball is mostly carried by hand), basketball, baseball, and hockey, it does take a team to win it.

In June, columnist Ann Coulter wrote an article blasting soccer, calling it a “sign of the nation’s moral decay.”  Although soccer/futbol can be boring, the 2014 World Cup proved many of her points erroneous.

First, Ann claims that individual achievements are no big factor.  Along with that, she claims there are no heros.  Ann, doubting people, and world, meet Germany’s Miroslav Klose, who holds the record of 16 goals scored in World Cup games.  And speaking of Germany, “Super Mario” Goetze, kicked the goal that won Duetschland’s title.  This single shot is now called “the goal heard around the world.”

Goetze (L) and Klose during a friendly match before the World Cup.  Image from gmanetwork.com
Goetze (L) and Klose during a friendly match before the World Cup. Image from gmanetwork.com


Now, on to us Americans, who are improving their skills in the World’s Game.  My man, goalkeeper Tim Howard, earned his own Sweet Sixteen, by blocking 16 shots in a single match from Belgium.  This is the most he’s stopped in his career, and the most attempts blocked in the World Cup in a single game since the 1950’s.  If Tim hadn’t been such an epic hero, the Belgium-U.S. game would have looked more like the Germany-Brazil stomping.

Tim Howard and his awesome beard. Image from goal-news.com.
Tim Howard and his awesome beard. Image from goal-news.com.

And lastly on Ann’s point of there being no individual achievements in soccer, yes, there is an MVP award.  Lionel Messi of Argentina was awarded with the trophy, along with the Golden Glove award presented to the German tank goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer.  Though us Americans will argue that Tim Howard deserved that coveted Glove.

Ann indicates that there are no “humiliations” or major injuries in soccer.  Well, if you didn’t pay attention to the matches of the 2014 World Cup, pay attention now.  American team captain Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones, midfielder, both sustained broken noses.  Jozy Altidore tore his hamstring in the first U.S. match and did not play for the rest of the tournament.  Alvaro Pereira of Uruguay took a knee to the head and was knocked out cold, lying unresponsive on the ground.  In the final match, Germany’s Christoph Kramer took a jarring hit to the head that sent him spiraling to the ground, and he may have a concussion.  He appeared very dazed after bouncing off the opponent’s shoulder and a few minutes later, required assistance off the field.  And, oh yeah….


Image from thenews.com.pk
Image from thenews.com.pk

No humiliations in front of millions of people?  This year, the host team of Brasil was crushed by the Germans.  The German team played with absolute precision, and the sloppy and impulsive Brazilian team was no match for them. This video about sums up the 7-1 score game :

The host nation sadly left the field that day knowing they had let their entire country down, playing on their own home grounds.  And they did it in front of millions of people.  Then during the final match, a BILLION spectators watched Argentina’s Messi miss his free kick.  He was so disappointed that he appeared to not look fans in the eye when accepting his MVP award.

And obviously football is not played with your hands. ITS WHY THE WORLD CORRECTLY CALLS IT FOOTBALL. The absence of being able to catch the ball makes footballers use specific athletic skills to carry it down the field.

Perhaps this comparison to America’s favorite past time will help non-football (soccer) fans understand the excitement:  If you enjoy baseball, you find it exciting that people stand in a diamond shaped field and wait for a ball to come their way.  You hold your breath once the bat cracks the leather ball, sending it soaring, anticipating that no one will catch it.  You stand up and cheer when its a base hit or better yet, a home run.

The same goes for the real football.  A defender kicks the ball past forwards, the midfield players pick it up and toggle it around their opponents.  Then the correctly shaped ball is kicked to a forward, who skillfully pops it around shark-like defenders.  Fans in the stands and at home stand up and clench their fists, heart racing, eyes unblinking and glued to the action.  And lastly, the striker succeeds at kicking it past a 6-foot-plus, 200 pound goalkeeper with ninja reflexes.  Nothing but Net.

So, you don’t like real football.  And I don’t like American football.  But don’t, for a second, think that it’s what has “demoralized” me. 😉

The Zombies Are Here…. — June 22, 2014

The Zombies Are Here….

Undead War


The Zombie Apocalypse is upon us!

Dead Guns Press has unleashed a collection of zombie tales,

featuring my short story


published under my pen name, Kameryn James.

Availabe from Amazon.

“May Day World” is based upon an extremely vivid dream I had a in 2012 about the zombie apocalypse and how it changed my family.
Here is an excerpt from the beginning:

     Many months have passed since the husband, Liam, and I had a shouting match, for such noise attracts Them.  And They bring death, or something like it. Our last argument was shortly after the bombs left craters on the western seaboard, instantly killing an unmeasurable amount of people and filling the air with devastatingly powerful toxins. We were both in such shock, and I was providing crisis counseling to many people who lost relatives, and we took our stress and anxiety out on each other.
   Little did we know that the bombs were only the beginning.

So if you would like to add zombies to your summer, don’t miss out on The Undead War!  Maybe we’ll all learn a few new survival tips!

“Skin, Skin, Let Me In” Published via Sirens Call Publications! — November 27, 2013

“Skin, Skin, Let Me In” Published via Sirens Call Publications!

Woo-Hoo! It is a happy day despite the rain and fighting traffic after grocery shopping just before Turkey Day.  Why, you ask?

After dreaming of being a writer for decades, I got over my neurotic fears and submitted a short horror story of a modernized Southern folklore.  The people I’ve read the story to have never heard of such an antagonist.  So, I’m celebrating Sirens Call Publications anthology

vftg_vol1_final_front_coverFeaturing “Skin, Skin, Let Me In”
written under my pen name
Kameryn James

Synopsis from Sirens Call:
“Voices from the Gloom is an eclectic collection of tales that echo in your mind, making you question what is real and what isn’t.
Whether it’s a mail delivery system with terrifying consequences, a sucker bet with an indelible foe, or a cellar full of family secrets – each of twelve stories contained within will leave you breathless and begging for more.
Let yourself get lost in the different voices. Let their horrific nature speak to you from the shadows. Let them pull you in and wring the morrow from your soul…
Contributing Authors:
Brent Abell, Shaun Avery, Kevin Bannigan Jr., Donna Cuttress, Trevor Firetog, Kameryn James, Katie Jones, Jon Olson, Elaine Pascale, Katerina Russell, Justin M. Ryan, and Tim Wellman

Purchase a Kindle version of the book on this link at Amazon or Smashwords.

Or if you’re like me, and prefer to curl up in bed with an actual book, visit the link on Createspace!

Thanks so much to the Chelmsford Writers Group who greatly helped me edit this story by removing unnecessary characters and cutting out a lot of words.  And thank you very much to Sirens Call Publications!

“All Bad Things Must Come to and End…” — September 28, 2013

“All Bad Things Must Come to and End…”


I did not watch AMC’s spellbinding show, Breaking Bad, from the year it first aired.  I must admit, I was a bit nervous about viewing a show depicting drug manufacturing and use.  After seeing advertisements for it while watching The Walking Dead, the Mister and I had heard enough kudos for the show that we watched the DVD’s about two or three seasons in.  And tomorrow night, the season wraps up, and all of us Bad-heads are anticipating the end.  

The brilliance of this show is depicted from the memorable first scene, in which Walter White’s khakis float onto a New Mexico dirt road.  What happened here?  How did someone’s trousers end up flying around a perfectly blue sky?  We gotta watch this.


So then you have to watch the rest of the firs episode to find out how chemistry teacher Walter White end up cooking methamphetamine in the desert with one of his previous students.  That’s what cancer and an inadequate American health care system do to a middle class man.  Well, then you’re strapped in for a wild ride that passes by Bryan Cranston in whitie-tighties, a gun-toting 12-year old, tarantulas, and an exploding tortoise and wheelchair.  The truth is, Breaking Bad holds the most memorable and some of the most shocking moments every captured on television.  

As I say good-bye to Walter, Skylar, Walt Jr., Jesse and pretty blue meth, here are some of the moments burned into my memory.

The melting bath tub.  Well, Walter and Jesse are faced with the problem of needing to kill their first enemy and dispose of the body. Walter puts his chemistry knowledge to more excellent use and concocts acid to melt away the body. Except Jesse does not wait until Walter get plastic barrels for the body parts.  He puts the body and acid in his bath tub. The chemicals eat through the floor and, well….


The ATM machine incident. A couple of whacked out addicts rob Skinny Pete, and Jesse has to get the money back and also prove he’s not to be messed with.  So he tracks them down to this horrid house that’s completely trashed and in disarray, but has an ATM machine that the nasty couple stole.  The man keeps calling the woman a ‘skank’ while he’s trying to open the safe.  She gets sick of it and….

Squish. Yep, that's his head underneath the ATM machine.
Squish. Yep, that’s his head underneath the ATM machine.

Jesse earns himself quite the reputation as a man who squashes people with ATM’s.

The tortoise. 

Holy crap! Don't mess with the Mexican drug cartel....
d Holy crap! Don’t mess with the Mexican drug cartel….

There was an episode in this current season where I fell asleep, and the Mister watched all of it.  He was very forthcoming about how I may not want to see the turd face, Todd, shoot an innocent kid.  To this day, I haven’t watched it.

Skylar goes off people. There have been a couple of times Mrs. White has needed to put people in their place.  The first being when her brother-in-law claims that family needs to support Skylar’s kleptomaniac sister during her time of need.  Skylar reminds him that she is 40 years old and pregnant, her husband has cancer and is rarely home, and the hot water heater is on the fritz, yet “Yes, let’s support my spoiled bitch sister.”  My other favorite Skylar explosion is when she repeatedly squeals at her chatterbox sister, Marie, to “Shut up! Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!” several times.  This has supposedly been turned into a ringtone.


You tell ’em, Mrs. White.

Gus’ last scene.  What did all this damage at a nursing home?

Hector’s wheelchair….

Hell, yeah.
Hell, yeah.

Mr. White saves Jesse’s butt by running a couple of guys over.
Two airplanes collide in the sky, dumping debris into the White’s swimming pool and scattering body parts all over the neighborhood.
Walter is often in his underwear or completely naked.
Eighty million dollar empire.

Many other Bad images and moments graced the television screen over the past few years.  And I know you have your own also that can be added to this list.  But one thing is for certain, we will remember Walter White.


Abby Wambach, You Are the Woman!! — June 21, 2013

Abby Wambach, You Are the Woman!!

Last night, in New Jersey, history was kicked and head-butted into a Women’s Soccer Game.  In one of the most amazing first halves (45 minutes)  of football I’ve ever seen, Abby Wambach scored the most career goals at the international level. Dubbed the Goal Queen, she is now soccer’s leading scorer. 


At the start of the match of U.S. verses South Korea, she had 156 goals under her soccer shorts, two shy of the previous goal champion (another woman) Mia Hamm.  Within thirty minutes of the game, Abby tied, then beat the world record. She went on to score yet another goal within the first half, putting the score at 4-0, with many assists from Alex Morgan. The final score was 5-0.

I was screaming  in the living room.

Mia Hamm sacked 158 goals in 275 games during her career.  Abby has scored 160 goals in 207 games.  With the Women’s World Cup heading to Canada in 2015, she is not done yet.


Now, I know what the gentlemen are saying, because I’ve heard it:
“It’s because she’s a woman competing against other women.”
“It’s women’s sports.”
“It’s not the same caliber as the men’s league.”

Just keep telling yourself that, gents.  But for the past three Women’s FIFA World Cup tournaments, the United States has been a P O W E R H O U S E.  Our ladies are in the ranks with other countries like Germany.  Athletes like Abby, Mia, Briana Scury, and Hope Solo  are legendary like Landon Donovan and David Beckham.

As an American woman, I greatly anticipate watching Abby’s career grow only stronger on the road to 2015.  Congrats, Abby!

No Basements in Tornado Alley? Here’s Why…. — May 21, 2013

No Basements in Tornado Alley? Here’s Why….

In light of the tragic F-4 tornado that destroyed parts of Oklahoma yesterday, I’d like to enlighten everyone on an issue.  Every time a twister rips apart the Deep South, people around the country ask, why are there no basements to take cover in?

I am originally from Louisiana.  My childhood home is actually built about two feet off the ground.  We get heavy and frequent rainfalls.  We also sit at sea level or even below sea level in LA.  Therefore, our basements would flood with rainwater.

In New Orleans, they cannot even bury their dead.  They are stacked in beautiful mausoleums. Again due to being below sea level, the ground down there cannot house the dead. If graveyards cannot hold coffins in the ground, they certainly cannot hold basements. Other places, like Florida, sometimes have sinkholes. Again, the ground simply is not suitable to house a basement.

A reporter yesterday on CNN wonderfully clarified why parts of Oklahoma does not have basements: the rock in the ground is too difficult to dig through.  It would require blasting in order to build a proper basement. Therefore, some home owners built a “safe room” with no windows in the house for such disasters.

So, please TV media, do not blame builders, contractors, or think Southerners are lazy or stupid.  Though we have no basements, we gather in bathrooms or rooms with no windows when the black cloud spirals down from the sky.  Why? Well, the bathtub has pipes stretching deep into the ground that helps anchor us in.  Hallways are usually away from windows and clear of debris. They are a safer alternative than standing by flying glass and debris.

Although a basement is an ideal place to seek safety during a tornado, it just is not an option in some areas. I hope this article has provided answers to the continuing question.

Tragic Day in Boston — April 16, 2013

Tragic Day in Boston

As you may know, yesterday during the Boston Marathon, two bombs detonated and killed three people, including an eight year old boy.  Well over a hundred more are injured, many in serious and critical condition.  This was a horrific act during a celebrated and peaceful event, that honors athletes from all over the world.

I live and practice mental health therapy in Massachusetts, and am currently awaiting a call back from the Red Cross as to how I can volunteer these services in need.

Right now, many parents may be wondering how they can talk to their children about this tragedy, especially when dealing with their own feelings of shock and dismay.  This even takes me back to September 11th and the months that followed, when explaining to my then 3 year old son that “something very bad happened,” and that Daddy needed to go fight war on the other side of the world.  Since then, other tragedies have struck our nation, such as hurricanes and mass shootings.  Online resources have become readily available to help with these difficult conversations:

How to Talk With Children About Boston Marathon Bombs.
Even though we may want to keep up with the latest news of the bombings, the images we see are terrifying to us, then think of the impact they will have on children. So check out this site, about Media Coverage of Traumatic Events:

Here are 5 Tips on Talking to Kids about Scary News.

As we adults may be wary of traveling to a city these next few days, children may also be frightened of crowded places or cities.  Here is an article about Helping Children Cope With Tragedy Related Anxiety.

Children may present other hard questions such as “Why do bad things happen?” Or from religious standpoints, “Why does God allow bad things to happen?” As we know, there is no one true answer for these questions, yet faith, family values, and your own personal ethics can help you talk with your children about these subjects.

I hope these resources are of help to you. Other sources that can help are the support of friends and family, church members, and school counselors.