Soul Crushing Jobs: Follow Your Calling or The Phone Will Just Stop Ringing


Most of us have aspirations. Some want to be singers (me), and some want to be songwriters (me again). There are those who want to be models, actors, directors, etc., etc.. But we are told we need to have a job with steady income. What if we don’t make it to our set goals? Shouldn’t we have something to fall back on? The latter puts doubt into most our minds. There are those who refused they wouldn’t make it in whatever career they choose. But then there are people, like myself, who made sure to have a backup plan just in case.

My back up plan led me to be content with the job at hand and partially giving up on the dreams. Any job you take that is not in line with what you really want to do will become a soul-crushing job, no matter how much you enjoy the job. I’ve been there plenty of times.

But as Joe Rogan (Fear Factor, UFC Commentator) and Henry Rollins (Blackflag) state, if you live your life as expected by society, you’ll never be happy. Following their video, watch Steve Harvey’s Jump, which also speaks about being happy doing in life what you want to do.


We all have doubts and fears roaming the halls of our heads. Some are able to serve them with eviction notices and carry on, while, people like me, let them reside there, rent-free. Whatever the case may be, and whatever your age is, don’t just settle. I’ve settled for anything that came along because it was income. I stopped pursuing and just started doing. Doing what was required of me at work. Come home, turn on the TV until bed. Wake up, rinse and repeat. Anyone out there doing that, we need to stop.

 If you’re in your 20’s don’t think you have your whole life ahead of you. I thought the same thing. Now I’m looking at my 20’s in the review mirror with no u-turn in sight. If you’re in your 30’s, refer to the previous sentence. If you’re in your 40’s you’re probably just waking up. And if you’re in your 50’s, JUMP!

And don’t forget what Maurice said to Buck in Boogie Nights, “Wear what you dig.”

Super Bowl 52 and Chris Collinsworth’s Bias Broadcast Towards The Patriots

This past Sunday, 4 February 2018, Super Bowl 52 was on in which the Philadelphia Eagles played against the New England Patriots and what a game it was. I have to admit, I almost didn’t watch the game due to the Patriots being in it and I thought it was going to be a shutout.  But as soon as the first play after the kick off took place, I knew it was going to be a good game. And it was.

My vote was for the Eagles and I’m so glad they won. Nick Foles did an excellent job quarterbacking and the team did an excellent job both defensively and offensively. When they were ahead of the Patriots in scoring they never once relaxed and got comfortable. Each play was played like their lives depended on it. The coach of The Eagles, Drew Peterson, took chances when they counted, which I believe set the tone of the entire game.

Then there was Chris Collinsworth.

Image result for uggghhh

I was a big fan of Chris Collinsworth and Al Michaels. I feel they made the football games more enjoyable to watch. Until….Until Super Bowl 52, when  Collinsworth was constantly praising the Patriots, even when the Eagles had the ball. Collinsworth would find a way to say something about the Patriots.

Commentators are to be biased during game calls. Showing favoritism is very unprofessional and they should be held accountable for it.

I remember watching a San Francisco Giants baseball game when Joe Buck was commentating along with someone else. I don’t remember who the Giants were playing but I do remember Buck constantly praising the other team throughout the entire game. Even when the Giants made great plays, he would make a small mention of the play but found a way to sing the praises of the other team in the same breath.

People took to Twitter and other social media about Buck’s antics and in the next game he was totally different and kept his personal opinion out of the commentating. Unfortunately for the Super Bowl, it’s a one-day event, therefore, we had to suffer through Collingworth constant praises, especially when none were warranted.

I hope people flooded Twitter and other social media site with complaints about Collinsworth and we never see this unprofessional behavior from someone who is supposed to be a professional.


Chris Collinsworth

Image result for cris collinsworth memes

But in the end, boys and girls, the Eagles won. If the Patriots had won I wouldn’t have been made because it wasn’t a shutout game with the Patriots taking over the game.

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This game came down to the last seconds, literally with the Patriots having the ball. Brady threw a Hail Mary that if a touchdown was made with a two-point conversation afterward, would have put the game into overtime. But as mentioned, the Eagles played like their lives depended on it and made sure they left the victors.

Wentworth, Gold Fish and Joan Ferguson’s Relfection [Opinion]


There’s a show called Wentworth which is set in a fictitious women’s prison in Wentworth, Australia, currently running on FOXTEL (new season to begin in May). In this drama, there is a character named Joan Ferguson (but you can all her Governor). If the name sounds familiar it’s because there was a series (soap opera) on some thirty years ago called Prisoner: Cell Block H in which there was a screw (guard) of the same name played very well by Maggie Kirkpatrick. Joan Ferguson is synonyms with evil and manipulation and anything else you can think of, yet, she’s a fantastic character, both in Wentworth and Prisoner because the character is more than what we see on the surface, but to keep reminding us of our pain, sorrow, anguish, we choose not to look too deep and just enjoy the antics that is Joan Ferguson.


In Wentworth, Ferguson is played by Pamela Rabe who does an excellent job of becoming evil personified, yet I am fascinated with her (the character, that is) and most don’t know why and for me to explain would be difficult. In a nutshell, I see more than just evil lurking in the eyes of this character. I see hurt and anguish in which there is no outlet. It’s something we all can relate to if we take the time to look past the antics of the character and look at the character. The writers did a great job in taking Ferguson to the next level by reminding us that loss is the most painful thing we can experience, and loss can haunt us for years if we let it.

But Ferguson’s pain goes deeper than just the loss of someone she loved. Her pain and anguish also stem from a year of verbal, and possibly, emotional abuse by her father. Although Ferguson is a fictional character, all characters are created from someone’s truth that soon becomes out the truth. This is why we, at times, grab on to fictional characters. I tend to gravitate towards troubled characters; those that the world would soon turn it’s back on rather than try to understand. Someone else’s truth, sometimes, becomes my truth.


The picture below was captured by me while watching S3:E8 (titled Goldfish). I feel this is an extremely important episode in the whole series and there were a few scenes that played into my thought, this one is one of them. It depicts Ferguson in her office staring at her reflection (I captured the picture when she turned from her reflection). You see her turning from side to side watching her reflection do the same. Then she turns from her reflection to walk away but her reflection remains standing.

It’s also interesting this episode was named Goldfish:

In Buddhism: The golden fish symbolizes the auspiciousness of all living beings in a states of fearlessness, without danger of drowning in the ocean of sufferings, and migrating from place to place freely and spontaneously, just as fish swim freely without free through the water.

I added the poem tonight because this particular picture kept staying with me in my mind and as an artist, I had to write it’s tale through my eyes.

Joan's Reflection for instagram


My reflection stares
though I can’t comprehend
The meaning behind my eyes
and a heart that won’t mend.

A master controller
has invaded my space
Bringing me closer
to my dead-end race.

Memories are lacking
behind my cold gaze
My soul is entangled
in my homegrown maze.

I stand face to back
on this bleeding leading ledge
Always planning my demise
with this dull razor’s edge

I know of no solace
from the destruction, I did comprise
For my reflection can’t comprehend
the soul that has since left my eyes.

(c) 2016 by Nikki Hoskin
All rights reserved.

Wentworth S1-5 is on Netflix. S6 premiers on 6 April 2018 on Showcase (a division of FOXTEL).

All 692 episodes of Prisoner: Cell Block H can be viewed on YouTube. Look for Episode 1 and enjoy.

Match Game Nervous Contestant

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I grew up watching Match Game and now I watch reruns on BuzzrTV (channel 169 for me – San Francisco Bay Area Xfinity). This is one game show that doesn’t get old no matter how many times I watch it. The main reason is it’s host Gene Rayburn (pictured left on above picture).

I must say I was little when I watched this show, therefore,I don’t remember a lot of the contestants and some celebrities guests (minus the regulars like Brett Sommers, Charles Nelsen Reilley and Richard Dawson and few others) that were on the show, but I remember the format and some other things related to the show.


Watching re-runs I’ve been introduced to the most nervous game show contestant I’ve ever seen, past and present. Her name is Evie Phineas. You have to watch the entire show below. I must warn you, you will be rolling over Evie. I have a feeling this lady was the nicest person on earth.


MTV’s The Challenge: Rivals III (Go on Take the Money and Run)


MTV’s The Challenge started in 1998 under the name Road Rules: All Stars, which had members from Real World and Road Rules in a competition show to win some money. In Season 2, the show’s name was changed to Real World / Road Rules, and is currently known as The Challenge with variations on the name such as: The Challenge: Fresh Meat I, II, The Challenge: Rival I, II, and recently, Rivals III, among other names it’s know for.

I started watching it in the early 2000’s and continue to do so til this day. I thoroughly enjoy this show along with The Real World, and Catfish.


Each season, MTV’s The Challenge tries to mix things up. First it was Fresh Meat and the Rivals. I, personally, find Rivals more enjoyable for two reasons: 1. they are bringing back people the viewers are familiar with, and 2. you know there’s going to be major drama because you have two people in the same house, that dislike each other, if not hate each other.

In Rivals they like to pair Rivals up with each other, which makes for better TV.


courtesy of MTV

courtesy of MTV

Instead of giving the whole set up for this season’s The Challenge on who was paired up with whom and their history, I’m going to cut straight to the point of this post.

Friends now Rivals:

Johnny Devenanzio aka Johnny Bananas and Sarah Rice (now Patterson)

Johnny and Sarah from Rivals III

Johnny and Sarah from Rivals III

Quick back story:

Johnny and Sarah had been friends for a long time. I believe they met on the show a while back and from there became good friends. In last season’s The Challenge: Skeletons, Sarah was paired with Jordon from The Real World Las Vegas, and Johnny was paired with Nany, also from RW Las Vegas.

Johnny and Nany

Johnny and Nany


Sarah and Jordan had won the last challenge in the game before the finale, and had to choose who would go into elimination. It It was discussed, and I believed, agreed between Sarah/Jordan and Johnny/Nany that Sarah would not put in Johnny. Well, Sarah ended up putting in Johnny and Nany to battle another couple in the elimination round, in which Johnny and Nany lost, sending Johnny home without a chance at the money.

This move by Sarah turned her and Johnny into Rivals and a perfect pair to bring back for Rivals III.

I’m So Happy To See You

During the entire challenge, Johnny and Sarah worked great together and won a lot of the challenges, which made them the team to beat. About mid way through the season, Sarah apologized to Johnny for what she did to him in the previous season. Johnny expressed himself, Sarah expressed herself and they seemed to have made up and left the bad blood behind them. They both expressed their like for each other, how much they missed being around each other. Johnny even told Sarah that when she walked into his room one night he was genuinely happy to see her. From that point on, their rivalry was gone and friendship was back on the menu. Or so we thought.


The teams that made it to the finale were:

L to R: Devin, Cheyenne, Johnny, Sarah, Jenna, Vince

L to R: Devin, Cheyenne, Johnny, Sarah, Jenna, Vince (this is at top of the mountain where Johnny and Sarah finished first)

How it normally works in team challenges is the winning team splits the money down the middle, but not this time. TJ Lavin (host of the show) tell the teams the person with the highest point at the finish line can decide to either keep all the money or split it with their teammate.

3rd place: $25,000

2nd place (which is first place loser): $50,000

1st place: $275,000

How the scoring worked: Everybody would complete the same task. The first person first each team that finished the task first got a point, if they choose, they could help their teammate, which all of them did for each challenge. In the end Johnny and Sarah won the whole thing and the $275,000.

Devin and Cheyenne came in third and Devin split the money with Cheyenne.

Vince and Jenna came in second and Vince split the money with Jenna

HOWEVER, when TJ asked Johnny what was he going to do, Johnny gave some BS story about how he may not have many challenges left and needs to look out for his future, thus deciding not to split the money with Sarah.

baby 1

As both Devin and Vince said, if it wasn’t for their partners they wouldn’t be in the finale, so they should split the money. Johnny felt his future was more important than thanking his partner, Sarah, for getting him to the finale. He didn’t get their by himself. Johnny didn’t win all those challenges by himself. He had Sarah with him all the way. As Sarah said in the reunion show, she would have never done that him. No descent human being would do that to someone was their partner an entire season and contributed to them being in the finale and then winning the finale. But Johnny proved to not be a descent person.


Somehow, Johnny Devenanzio got the name Bananas and it’s stuck for all these years. Well, after this season of The Challenge, he will be known as Johnny Rotten.

I normally watch these shows with a grain of salt. They are mindless entertainment while I’m doing something else (playing Candy Crush Soda, mostly). But what Johnny did in the finale really had me heated for I really liked Johnny. He had his moments in which the light didn’t shine favorably on him, but for the most part, I thought he had a good heart, and he showed it, especially to the newbies on the show. He’s said some harsh things, but if anyone knows, the older you get the less of a filter you have, and if you know the person well enough, you know they mean no harm. Yeah, there’s a lot of me in those last statements. I have no filter and I mean no harm.


Splitting the money would have given each $137,000, which would have been more than enough for Johnny to “protect his future”. I’m not sure what the cut off age for the show is, but if he’s still in shape as the years progress, why not keep doing them. Well, hold on…this is how I felt before he pulled a fast one on Sarah. Johnny doesn’t seem to have a real job outside of these shows. He apparently has his own clothing line, but I feel that came about after his popularity on the shows grew. He also is the first contestant to have a bobble-head made after him.


Yeah, I don’t get either.


I’m not sure if the decision Johnny made was last minute or seeking revenge on Sarah for what she did last season. However, like I said on Twitter:



I’m sure by next season, if Johnny and/or Sarah are on, we might find out something different has taken place. It might be a good something. I think I’m still hoping that Johnny Bananas isn’t Johnny Rotten after all.

I must add, I was glad not see Cara Marie in this season’s The Challenge. But hope to not see her next season or the season after that.

Is the Golliwog Doll a Symbol of Racism or Just an Innocent Child’s Toy? [Opinion]


Is the Golliwog Doll a Symbol of Racism or Just an Innocent Child’s Toy?

While watching an episode of Prisoner: Cell Block H, that was the question I asked myself and to others. A potential resident of the Susie Driscoll House (half house on the show) was looking at some dolls and she picked up this one. It’s called a Golliwog doll. I personally find it quite offensive, but others don’t.

golliwog dolls


Here’s the history of the doll:

The golliwog, golliwogg or golly is a black fictional character created by Florence Kate Upton that appears in children’s books in the late 19th century usually depicted as a type of rag doll. It was reproduced, both by commercial and hobby toy-makers as a children’s toy called the “golliwog”, and had great popularity in Europe and Australia into the 1970s. The doll is characterized by black skin, eyes rimmed in white, clown lips and frizzy hair. Though home-made golliwogs were sometimes female, the golliwog was generally male. For this reason, in the period following World War II, the golliwog was seen, along with the teddy bear, as a suitable soft toy for a young boy.

The image of the doll has become the subject of controversy. While some see the golliwog as a cherished cultural artifact and childhood tradition, others argue that the golliwog is a destructive instance of racism against people of African descent, along with pickaninnies, minstrels, mammy figures, and other caricatures, and it has been described as “the least known of the major anti-Black caricatures in the United States“.[1] In recent years, changing political attitudes with regard to race have reduced the popularity and sales of golliwogs as toys. Manufacturers who have used golliwogs as a motif have either withdrawn them as an icon, or changed the name. In particular, the association of the golliwog with the pejorative term “wog” has resulted in use of alternative names such as “golly” and “golly doll”. (Source: Wikipedia).


The doll, to me, reminds me of the days of minstrel shows back in the day. White people would dress up in black face and look like the doll presented here.

Being shocked by such a doll I presented the picture in a Prisoner group am apart of on Facebook. I received a lot of feedback. I wish I had kept that post up so I could post reactions by some of the members. Some were in defense of the doll.


Here’s the history of how the golliwog came be:

Florence Kate Upton was born in 1873 in Flushing, New York, the daughter of English parents who had emigrated to the United States three years previously. Following the death of her father, she moved back to England with her mother and sisters when she was fourteen. There she spent several years drawing and developing her artistic skills.

To afford tuition to art school, she illustrated a children’s book entitled The Adventures of Two Dutch Dollsand a Golliwogg. The 1895 book included a character named the Golliwogg, who was first described as “a horrid sight, the blackest gnome“, but who quickly turned out to be a friendly character, and is later attributed with a “kind face.” A product of the blackface minstrel tradition, the Golliwogg had jet black skin; bright red lips; and wild woolly hair. He wore red trousers, a shirt with a stiff collar, red bow-tie, and a blue jacket with tails — all traditional minstrel attire.

Upton’s book and its many sequels were extremely successful in England, largely because of the popularity of the Golliwogg. Upton did not trademark her character, and its name, spelled “golliwog”, became the generic name for dolls and images of a similar type.[1] The golliwog doll became a popular children’s toy throughout most of the 20th century, and was incorporated into many aspects of British commerce and culture;[2] for instance, some of Enid Blyton‘s books feature them, often as a villain and sometimes as heroes. Upton’s Golliwogg was jovial, friendly and gallant,[1] but some later golliwogs were sinister or menacing characters. (Source: Wikipedia)

Again, my issue is with minstrel reference, “A product of the blackface minstrel tradition, the Golliwogg had jet black skin; bright red lips; and wild woolly hair. He wore red trousers, a shirt with a stiff collar, red bow-tie, and a blue jacket with tails — all traditional minstrel attire”


The minstrel show, or minstrelsy, was an American form of entertainment developed in the 19th century. It was a form of entertainment that required payment to attend. Each show consisted of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music, performed by white people in make-up or blackface for the purpose of playing the role of black people. Minstrel shows lampooned black people as dim-witted,[1] lazy,[1] buffoonish,[1][2] superstitious, happy-go-lucky,[1] and musical. (Source: Minstrel Show)

I am the last person on this planet to be offended. To pull the race card or call someone a racist because they make off-color remark or joke about a race. We have too much of that going on right now. Some justified, some just for the sake being. I try to examine things before coming to any type of conclusion and I tried to do that with this particular doll.


Why didn’t the people in the Prisoner group find the doll offensive? Prisoner was a UK based show. The golliwog was popular and was not seen as racist.

I think if I grew up with the doll as many Prisoner watchers did as well as others, I would not see it in the light as I do now. And I do not hold Prisoner as a racist show for having the doll. I love the show and am a huge fan of it for many reasons, in which I should write in a blog at a later date. But for now, I hope to get responses to the golliwog doll, good or bad, for we can all learn from each other’s background.

Comments from my post on Facebook:

Jade Smith That’s a tough one… Because, it was not seen as racist when I was little, well I didn’t. You’d see them in shops and stuff and no one battered an eyelid (as the saying goes)… Even the Queen has been seen with one on her handbag, in keyring form. But then you get some people who will use this doll as a symbol of racism

AnonymousIt’s so sad that children’s cuddly toys were made offensive. Just because some adults decided to use the word in a horrible racist way doesn’t make the toys offensive. My friend was selling some vintage golliwogs on ebay and was told to remove them.

Life and Death of Merlin Santana

14 March 1976 – 9 November 2002



I used to have a lot of time in my hands right now, so I spend some of it reading and most of it watching movies or TV shows on my iPad via the Xfinity Player. While looking at the different TV shows on the Xfinity Player I came across a show called Celebrity Crime Files. This show is broadcast on TVOne and chronicles the death of high profile African Americans and this particular episode focused on Merlin Santana, who played Romeo Santana  The Steve Harvey Show from 1996-2002. He was also on Moesha and Hangin With Mr. Cooper. Some may remember him as Stanley on The Cosby Show from 1991 to 1992.


While on The Steve Harvey Show Merlin gained more fame and the perks that come with it which includes being able to jump to the front of the line when going to clubs, which Merlin did from time to time (go to clubs). But once the show ended so did the perks. He found himself having to wait in line with everyone else and not getting the special treatment he comes accustomed to. In addition, he found the roles, TV, and movie, were not flying in as he had hoped. The auditions he thought he nailed, he learned the roles went to someone else and this was a blow to him for he had been working as an actor since about the age of 10, and now at the age of 26, he was out of work.but I believe his claim to fame was The Steve Harvey Show.


It is believed that Merlin had severe depression after The Steve Harvey Show ended, but instead of staying inside and dealing with his depression, he tried other avenues, one of them is recording a rap album. He thought he could sell the album off his fame as Romeo, but I do not believe the album fared well and people found it hard to believe that Stanley and Romeo put out the type of rap album as Merlin did. People saw Merlin as the sweet and lovable Stanley and Romeo, not a gangsta rapper.


One particular night he’s out with his friend Byron Adams (also a child actor People Under the Stairs) at a Chinese restaurant when they met up with a girl and her friend. The girl told Merlin that her name was Mercedes. All four of them had dinner and went to a club later that night and hung out. Later on that evening, Merlin and “Mercedes” had sex and then went their separate ways afterward. The next day when “Mercedes was hanging with Merlin he didn’t show her the same attention he did the day before and this fueled something in her. But let’s get the backstory on “Mercedes” whose real name is Monique King.

Monique had been in 18 foster homes due to her mother being a prostitute and a drug addict. Monique’s father was not in the picture at all. Monique learned to manipulate people to get what she wants or to get people to do what she wants. Her ability to do this would lead to Merlin’s untimely death.


I am not sure if it was the same night or a few days later, but Monique met up with some friends of hers, Damien Gates and Brandon Bynes, along with the girl she was with the night she met Merlin. Because she was mad at Merlin for “giving her the cold shoulder”, she told Gates and Bynes that Merlin had raped her and she told in a way that it got her friends fired up and wanting to do something about it. That same night, they went back to their place and got their guns. Gates got a 12 gauge shotgun with a laser on it and Bynes got a handgun. The faithful day was 9 November 2002.

After retrieving their weapons, they learned where Merlin would be, which was at a house party, and waited for him to come out of the house. When Merlin and his friend left the party, they sat in Brandon”s car for a second or so. While sitting there they noticed a red laser in the review mirror and both looked back to see what it was and that’s when Gates and Bynes opened fire on Merlin and his friend, mostly at Merlin. Brandon was able to drive off and once he was in a safe spot, he noticed that Merlin was slumped over in the passenger seat. Brandon immediately called 911 in which Merlin was taken to the hospital but later died. The cause of death was a bullet to the head.


The police later arrested Monique, (who was really 15). and her accomplices. It was later learned the shot that killed Merlin was from the 12 gauze (Gates) and not the handgun (Bynes) because it jammed. Monique only got 10 years in juvenile hall for her participation in the crime. She will be 25 years old when exiting from Juvenile Hall. She will have her whole life ahead of her. Gates got three consecutive life sentences plus 70 years in prison. Bynes received 23 years of assault with a deadly weapon and voluntary manslaughter.

I am not sure if Santana would have had a long career in the movies, but I’m sure he would have had one on TV, and from what I gather from the show Celebrity Crime Files, Santana was a descent guy.decent guy.


His murder was senseless, as most murders are. The person who initiated the hit is enjoying her life and more than likely not caring about what she did. She might even be planning to take someone else out or someone has or will take her out. But I believe strongly in Karma and she will get hers, either now or in her old age.


Correction: The friend that Merlin was with on the night he died name was Brandon, not Byron