The Fourth Verse

Throughout history God has blessed America. It's time for America to bless God.

Throughout history God has blessed America. It’s time for America to bless God.

Yesterday was the 200th Anniversary of the writing of our National Anthem “The Star Spangled Banner”. Many people these days don’t give the lyrics a second thought. There are even some in the media who have totally misinterpreted the lyrics and feel that our National Anthem should be changed.

When I think about where our nation was 200 years ago, in the midst of a war, I am humbled by the words. Not many people remember or even know the true meaning behind the song. We are also in a war of sorts in our Nation today. There is a movement of people who want to take God out of everything and anywhere he might possibly be able to “offend” anyone. Yet they can not see that very act is causing so much chaos and confusion, thus weakening our Nation.

An event took place at churches all across the Nation last night called “Star Spangled Sunday” put on by the Family Research Council. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn the forgotten story about the Great Acts of Faith behind our National Anthem. Yes as much as some people want to wipe “Faith” from our founding and choose to misinterpret our founding documents, America was in fact founded on Christian principals. Our founders were deeply religious men who understood what happens when a Government can give you everything, it can also take away everything, including how you’re allowed to worship. They were farmers, clergymen, ordinary men and women who did extraordinary things not in  their own strength, but with help from almighty God. They prayed and believed for divine intervention from the Lord which happened on many occasions. Stories of these miracles of course have been wiped from the history books. The Star Spangled Sunday event offered an eye opening look at the true story and meaning behind the lyrics to the beautiful song that is our National Anthem.

The event was a call to action to Christians across our nation to Stand Up for our religious freedom. A key point of the event was the Fourth Verse of the Anthem that isn’t talked about much these days. Reading it knowing the true story of the situations that led the writing of the song, there is no doubt about the Faith of it’s author or the meaning. Although not many in government today choose to utilize our Constitution, it is still incredibly unique and what has made America the beacon of hope for people across the globe for generations. People have risked life and limb including my own father to immigrate here. One little word though misinterpreted can make a big difference to people whose agenda it is to remove God and Christianity from society. They can use the misinterpretation as a weapon in a process of a very slow fade. Done over time to dumb down our society to the point where one day you look around and realize how far its gone and wonder how in heck the world did we ever get here. How did we ever let this happen to our nation? The founding documents say Freedom “Of” Religion. However the people who desire to remove Christianity from society twist it to say “From”. Little word, big difference in it’s meaning.

Our founders were not Muslims, they were Christians. Christians who fled a tyrannical government in England who risked everything to be free to worship God as Christians. They did not want to be forced to have a Government appointed church, Catholic or any other set denomination. Freedom “OF” means freedom to practice whatever denomination one chooses. Yes I know, many people choose to ignore God and want to be free to do whatever they want regardless of the consequences and so they twist a lot of things, including history. The problem is when we Christians turn the other cheek, remain silent and complacent, decades go by and all of a sudden we are living in a modern day war of sorts. Not that much different from the war of 1812 when Francis Scott Key wrote that beautiful song.

We are on the front lines of a war on Christianity. Government and organizations like the ACLU bend over backwards to make sure we do not offend homosexuals and Muslims. While at the same time will not lift a finger to respect the rights of Christians. In fact going out of their way to marginalize and prohibit Christians from exercising their Faith. So far as to even prohibit our Military men and women from sharing their Faith. Really? Think about that for a minute… America is where it is today because of the brave men and women who have stood in harms way in engagement after engagement throughout history; who have relied upon their Faith in God to deliver them. So here we are, government is standing for the rights of everyone except Christians. The question is what will “we” do?

As I watched the event last night so inspired by the passionate speakers, time after time chills ran down my spine as one after another they quoted lines from a song I wrote about this very issue. Ironically I wrote my song right around September 12th, 2009. The day after the very first March on DC, where Americans gathered to Stand Up and send a message to Barack Obama and his minions that “We The People” were not happy with his hope and change. During the War of 1812 the key miracles and God intervention leading to the writing of the song took place September 11th through the 14th.

As the daughter of a man who came to America with $20 in his pocket to live the American dream, I grew up with a reverence and appreciation for the incredible opportunity that is available here in America. Opportunity that does not exist anywhere else on the face of the earth. When I saw hope and change a la Barack Obama my heart was saddened. Sad that millions of people were hypnotized into a state by the media and entertainment figures and blindly led into letting others do their thinking for them. Allowing the government to speak for them and ultimately to speak for the rest of us. By instituting things like government run health care, and so many other actions that are diametrically opposed to the entire concept of our founding principals.

The question is what will we do… the following are some of the lyrics to my song:

“What’s going on, I look around, and I don’t recognize this place anymore. Foundations crumbling down, when only lies abound. We can not afford to sit back and ignore. 

“Time to Stand Up, Time to Speak Out, We’ve got to Fight to get it back… This Country’s Our’s and We’re Taking it Back, We The People.”

(Click to read entire lyrics here)

I wrote that song on a cocktail napkin while working my pay the bill job as a bartender at a catering event during Fashion Week in NYC. An environment full of ultra left leaning liberals who were all under the spell of Obama praising the hope and change. After five years have passed it is frightening to see how more eerily true the words become by the day.

The Star Spangled Sunday event was a call to action to Christian Americans to stand up and fight. How do we fight? No we’re not all ultra wealthy, or media figures, or talking heads. What we are though is Christians. All of us, the moms, the dads, the firemen, the Pastors, the nurses, the military, ordinary people who do the things that make our country work, we must all stand united. We must start to pay attention like never before. We must support the things throughout pop culture that represent our values especially in film, and music. Because if we don’t the mainstream media will continue to produce and promote entertainment that is denigrating our society. Then we must vote our values. The Family Research Council is on the cutting edge of a movement to ensure we have the tools to do just that. They announced two new initiatives to help Christians vote our values. To make an impact to stop this slow fade and fundamental transformation of America. Visit 123vote.com and ipledgesunday2014.com to get involved and learn how you can make a difference!

Remember, if we do not speak up someone else will speak for us. As we have already seen over the last five years, we will not like what they have to say.

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No Excuse

I’ve blogged about animals on many occasions, and well what can I say? I love furkids, deal with it. Besides it’s been said ones true character is revealed in how they treat animals. So you know what that means… yes that means Greek Girl is a Good Person ;o)

Seriously though besides having four furkids of my own (used to be five until our ten and a half year old Maltese “Itty Bitty” passed unexpecedly of congestive heart failure back in September of last year) I am involved with rescue. Sometimes fostering, and often do home visits for potential adopters for a few different rescue groups. A home visit is necessary to make sure the animal does not end up back in a dangerous situation. Because as you might have guessed not everyone out there is what they appear to be. Or for whatever reason their wires get crossed in their noggins and decide it would be OK to dump their pet in a shelter. So home visits are necessary and vital to make sure rescued furkids truly do go into forever homes.

After all the things I have seen in rescue nothing really surprises me. However, I was particularly upset this past week when I saw a story in the news about an outrageously horrific situation involving craigslist. I would hope that most people understand why it’s never OK to put an ad on craigslist for an animal, especially for Free. It’s sad but stories like the one I’m about to share happen often these days. The following link is about a story of a man who was recently arrested for having been found in a motel room with multiple animals he had dismembered. Animals he had obtained from craigslist. Don’t believe me… here ya go: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/16/jason-brown-adopted-dogs-dismember-motel_n_5592267.html

I know life can be chaotic, especially in the times we are living. The economy is rough and people have life changes, I get it. However I’m not sure why when some people start to cut back they jump to something as severe as dumping a family pet in a kill shelter. There are always options, there is always a way, it’s just a matter of if someone is willing to make the effort to make adjustments that will allow them to keep their pet. Some people just don’t want to be bothered.

We have an epidemic of puppy mills producing millions of puppies that are shipped to pet stores. Backyard or kitchen breeding dogs to make an extra few bucks. Then add to that the ones who refuse to spay and neuter either for financial reasons, or even worse they don’t want to make their pet an “it”, are just a few of the absurd justifications I have heard. When you add it all up it equates to five to seven million animals and growing being euthanized in shelters across the country every single year. The only way this is ever going to change is to change the law. Make Puppy Mills illegal, and not allow backyard breeding. Have  mandatory spay/neuter and for anyone who is interested in betterment of the breed and who wants to breed, make them have to be licensed. The license would be a very hard test like a Dr. and include a high yearly fee which would keep the backyard breeders out. Believe me I’m for LESS Government control not more. The government wants to control almost every aspect of our lives i.e.: health care, cap and trade to regulate how much energy we consume, food, medicine, etc. Yet they allow the rampant torture of Gods creatures in Puppy Mills. It boggles my mind, that however is a blog for another day.

My point here more than anything is why is it that at the first sign of trouble or inconvenience, people’s first instinct is to throw up their hands and “dump” the family pet? They wouldn’t ever do it to you, you wouldn’t do it to a child, so why on earth do it to a helpless creature who only wants your love? I’m really beginning to think that God must be rethinking the whole part where he gave man charge over the animals. I can just imagine with all the evil things that go on every day, he must be sitting up there thinking maybe it should have been the other way around. It’d probably be a lot less cruel of a world.

As you can imagine there is no circumstance where I would ever give up an animal, period. Trust me and it’s not like I’m rolling in the dough either… I’m an Independent Recording Artist. That means there’s no label or big machine pushing my music all over TV, radio & social media. I do the best I can with what I have and work my pants off. I built my following brick by brick, fan by fan, and work social media like mad. Like everyone else out there working for their dreams I do what I have to do and try to live my life according to my moral compass. That for me means even if I were homeless on the street, I’d be in my cardboard box with my four furkids. That’s just how I roll. Animals are family, there is never a reason to “get rid” of them, period. That may sound extreme to some people, but a living creature that can not survive without you that you made a commitment to is not something to be taken lightly, or to be forgotten when life changes. It’s called making adjustments. I thought it would be interesting to post a few meme’s that quite bluntly demonstrate some of the illogical thinking regarding dumping pets. Some also that dispel some of the misconceptions about what happens to your pet after you dump it at a the “shelter”.

The Truth

The Truth

How do these people sleep at night?

How do these people sleep at night?

There is No Excuse.

There is No Excuse.

Can you imagine?

Can you imagine?

Every day they die waiting...

Every day they die waiting…

More ridiculous excuses.

More ridiculous excuses.

You can make a difference.

You can make a difference.

Pets Do not Belong on Craigslist - Ever!

Pets Do not Belong on Craigslist – Ever!

Trust, Love. Unconditional that never ends... Don't fail them.

Trust, Love. Unconditional that never ends… Don’t fail them.

You can make a difference. Not only be being vigilant to furkids in need around you, but also with social media. Sharing helps place dogs. Giving even the smallest amount, even $1.00 to a rescue who has just taken in an animal with obscene medical bills makes a difference. There is strength in numbers… if everyone who cares and has liked a page gives even the small amounts when a rescue asks instead of scrolling past, just think of the number of animals that would be saved.

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

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Dreams Do Come True

Not only a fan... one of my closest friends :D

Not only a fan… one of my closest friends :D

Ever feel your heart smile? Well mine recently has and I couldn’t help but share it with you. Like many people do, Greek Girl has a “bestie”. You know someone you have known your entire life. A person that no matter what in heck in the world happens, what they do, where they go, they will always be your friend. Even if twenty years were to pass, when you get together again it is like no time has passed at all, as close as family.

Well my BFF is my friend Ricky. We grew up together, and I have known him since I was a little Greek Girl of about five years old or so. I think at one time I might even had had a crush on him, that was until I realized he didn’t actually like girls. lol We’ve laughed, cried, fought, and done all the crazy things that kids do. I remember one time we may or may not have even set an old crumbling house down by the river on fire. Good grief that was a muckery filled day that ended up with yours truly in the hospital getting a very painful tetanus shot due to a Giamungo nail going all the way through my foot and sticking up out of the top of my sneaker. Ouch! Just thinking about that episode makes me cringe.

A lot of time has passed since those days when we were little muckery makers. We have each gone onto live our own separate lives and I might not agree with everything he does in his life, but one thing is for sure. He will always be my friend, and no matter what he does I will never abandon a friend. I’m just not wired that way.

So as you might imagine when he told me what was about to happen I felt proud. My friend has as an adult had his share of bumps in the road to get to this point. You know what they say when you’re down but not out, it reminds me of my friend. No matter what has ever happened, he always gets back up. Maybe it was something in the water back there in Kirkwood where we spent a good portion of our childhood. Being that Greek Girl has that same “don’t quit” gene. It’s always made me smile knowing that he always, always – gets back up.

This message of “not quitting” is one I am passionate about getting out to people in whatever I do. No matter what you might go through. No matter what happens in your life, whether it is of your own making from poor choices, or something you had nothing to do with but not pleasant just the same. If you never lose your spirit, your sparkle, never lose your dream, never lose your goal, work hard, and never give up that you can and will achieve it.

That’s why I am so very proud of my Super Talented lifelong childhood friend! He has dreamed about launching his own cosmetics line as long as I can remember. Well his dream is coming true; Ricky Roberts Cosmetics is in full swing!

Ricky Roberts Cosmetics!  (photo by John Martinez photography)

Ricky Roberts Cosmetics!
(photo by John Martinez Photography)

I’m double proud of my friend for his dream coming true, and of my sweetheart for building the beautiful website for my friends company. The website was built by www.erimacgroup.com Some of you may know of my secret passion for skincare and cosmetics. So I’m super selective and picky about what I use and or recommend. Ricky Roberts Cosmetics line is high quality, long wearing, mineral based product formulas with treatment built in, that multitask for a fabulous finish that lasts and lasts.

Check out the website and if you’re located in the Charolette NC Area stop by and see it in person at one of his Primp Salonbar locations! Have a beautiful day and remember… no matter what your dream is, if you work hard and Never Give Up – Dreams can and Do come true!

Don’t forget to VISIT:
www.rickyrobertscosmetics.com

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo

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The Mondays

Look Familiar?

Look Familiar?

It happens to the best of us. You wake up on a Monday excited to tackle the week ahead, jump out of bed and before your feet hit the floor it starts… Muckery.

I don’t let days like this get me down, we all have them so I figure what’s the point in letting it get me down. In my mind it’s better to just plug away and eventually it will pass. Well last week I had one of those days. It was so bad in fact it ended up with one of my furkids at the emergency vet. Although it was quite annoying at the time, eventually it all worked out and looking back I even found some humor in the whole episode. So I thought I’d share it so the next time one of you is having a case of “The Monday’s” you might think about Greek Girl and realize we all have them. You’re not alone, just breathe and it will pass (a lot faster too if you try to find some humor in the situation).

It was Monday morning, I had a commercial audition in the city so I got ready and drove in like any other day. The audition was in a silly part of town where there is no meter parking for miles. The few meters that are available are either taken or too far away from my destination that by the time I walk to the audition; I will end up having to turn around to go feed the meter again because they are only one hour meters. So after driving around in circles I decided to bite the bullet and park. It would be $50 bucks for one hour. My audition appointment was at 12:10pm.

I think it’s funny that casting directors give out appointments and have a cow if anyone shows up late. On the other hand they can make actors wait for hours as if it’s no big deal at all. So I walk in and it is like a giant romper room. Toddlers and young kids everywhere literally bouncing off the walls, parents on iPads and cell phones totally oblivious to the fact that their kid are acting like animals. I sign in and ask the assistant who is doing the sign in’s if she has any idea if they are running on time. She looks at me like I have six heads and says “Appointment times are out the window today, I can’t give you a time just wait”. I’m thinking oh gee nice, I’m glad I made it on time and am paying $50 to park.

I sat down and began to take it all in. We have a word in the Greek language for what was going on “χάος” it means Chaos! So after basking in the chaos for almost an hour they had seen a whopping one set of people for the role. It was for a family: a mom and two young kids for a food product. I could not wait any longer due to the $50/hr parking garage, so I asked if I could leave and come back – little miss sunshine aka the assistant said OK.

So I went back to the garage paid the $50 bucks, retrieved my car and drove around for about  half an hour to find some meter parking. Finally after what seemed like forever I found a spot on the corner of 30th street and 3rd avenue. I had to be extra careful to park not touching the white line (or the parking natzis will tow the car) yet far enough from the car behind me so my car would not get hit if they tried to leave. I maneuvered Jillian Jetta in the perfect spot which wasn’t easy I might add as she is a 6 speed. I got out, fed the meter, got the receipt and walked back to the car. Put the ticket on the dash and was set to leave to walk back to the audition. No sooner do I lock the door does the guy behind me yell out the window he is leaving that I can have his spot…. UGG now I’m already on the meter clock. See you have to be back to the car by the time on the meter or guess what? You guessed it a ticket. So in cecil the turtle mode he leaves and I back up to his spot. I grab my stuff and run the four blocks back to the casting.

I go back upstairs (runnning four flights of stairs as the elevator is old fashioned and the operator is out to lunch) to find no movement in the casting order.  Apparently the software broke and in all the time I’d been gone they only saw one more group. Ov Vey! So I wait, and since I had to be back to my meter within an hour to avoid a ticket, guess what happened? Yup I had to leave again to go feed the meter. So I ran the four blocks back to the car, fed the meter, and returned. Finally after almost three hours of total Muckery I was able to be seen for the casting. I did a great job and kept my cool despite the circumstances. It didn’t hurt that they paired me up with some adorable kids who did a great job.

I left and got over to the West Side Highway just in time to be stuck in afternoon rush hour with all the other people who live outside the city and commute in. I finally got home about five. At this point all I want to do is workout. So instead of feeding the furkids like normal, I decided to give them a treat to hold them over and feed them “after” my workout. I gave them all small pieces of the fruit from the smoothie I was making with my Nutribullet in addition to some doggie cookies.

Right about then the monsoon started complete with thunder and lightening and torrential rain. One of the furkids “Pepe” is horribly afraid of thunder so I had to stop and get his doggie drugs in him fast (all natural no worries a little melatonin and “Rescue Remedy” drops to calm him down). I changed into my workout clothes and was about to go down to the workout room when I heard a bunch of commotion from the doggie room.

I rush in and find “Punkin” turning blue and four piles of throw up. Her eyes are all bugged out and she doesn’t even look like herself. I grabbed her put her in the car and rushed to the emergency vet in the pouring rain. It was raining so hard I couldn’t see. Thank God I got there in time… she threw up a piece of apple at home but I didn’t realize she had stolen one of the other furkids apples because we found out later this is what was stuck in her throat.

They X-Rayed her and found that in addition to swallowing an entire baby carrot whole she had a triangle shaped thing stuck in her throat. They did emergency surgery to push the item down with a tube. They were unable to get it into the stomach, only to the bottom of the esophagus. They had to wait overnight for the specialist to come to do the next step which would have been endoscopic surgery to push the item from the bottom of her esophagus where they got it the night before into her stomach.

Needless to say it was a long night. The 6am X-Ray showed the triangle in the same spot. Then at 11:30am the vet called me to tell me they would try one more thing before doing the endoscopy which would have been another $1,200 or more. They fed her a tiny amount of baby food with some powder dye on it. Then re X-Rayed her, this time they found the little triangle was in her tummy. They called me to tell me I could take her home. With medicine and no hard food for a week, as her little throat was all inflamed from the trauma.

"Punkin" being sprung from the emergency vet!

“Punkin” being sprung from the emergency vet!

The moral of the story… Sometimes you can make a bad day worse by putting off something. Although it wasn’t intentional and I consider myself to be a very responsible dog owner, I put off feeding them when I got home because I wanted to workout. Which I never got to do anyhow because I had to rush “Punkin” to the vet. I didn’t want to wait for them to eat, then take them out in the rain to do their business. I figured it’d be faster to give them a snack and feed them after. Even though they have dry food down all day, they love their special mash I make them every day. Had I just done it when I got home I quite possibility might never had had to spend a long night and a ton of money at the emergency vet.

An expensive lesson, but never give your furkids anything that is not mashed up or soft enough to go down their throats. The vet said they see dogs with apples stuck in their throats a lot. So the next time the Mondays come creeping up on you just sit back, take a breath and smile. The rain will stop eventually and if you find some humor in the situation somewhere, it will make it go a lot faster.  Looking back on it I realized you just can’t make this tuff up. Life, it happens to the best of us… enjoy it, it’s the only one we have.

Blessings, Love & Music,
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

 

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Summer Fun

Okay so since Ferris Bueller, I mean Obama is out playing golf while Iraq is burning, and since I don’t want to get audited by the IRS, and my Veteran husband can’t get a doctor’s appointment at the VA for another 6 months I figured I would focus on what I can do to “enjoy” this summer.

Now if you are like me and the rest of those living up here in the Northeast, you may have not noticed that summer has officially kicked off.  I literally didn’t even realize it until I heard it on the news.  Well, I obviously didn’t get the memo and since my flip-flops have barely seen the light of day since my trip to see family in Florida for Christmas, it was a bit of a shocker.  So I’m finally getting geared up for my Top-10 things I am looking forward to doing this summer.

the 76 house tappan ny

10. Have dinner at the 76 house in Tappan NY with a couple of good friends.  Legend claims it is the oldest tavern in the US.  Just for those who are wondering… it is one of the places George Washington met and planned his strategy during the Revolutionary War.

Ava Aston on the Beach

9. Find a Jersey Beach to actually go to.  Yes I have lived here most my entire life and no I have never been to the Jersey Shore.  So this summer that too will change.  Oh and I will of course have a iced-cup-o-happinss a-la Dunkin Donut’s in my clutches.

hiking in harriman state park ny

8. Now, this one is a stretch considering when I go outside I break out from poison ivy.  But I would love to actually go for a proper hike through Harriman State Park here in NY. Don’t worry, I will make sure to bring some Twinkies just in case I run into a bear on the trail.

bannerman castle

7. Then I want to take a guided tour of the Bannerman Castle aka “the Crumbling Castle on the Hudson River”.  It is something I have wanted to do for a long time.  I love to explore and this just seems to be such a cool thing to see before it is completely gone.

Statue of Liberty Island th-3

6. Take a day-trip with my favorite person in the whole world and visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  No, I have never been.  Since I am the daughter of an immigrant this is a very important trip to me.  Then finish the day off off at the Southstreet Seaport or Little Italy in NYC eating junk food.  (Hey Stan Appling, I can hear you snickering).

Yonker's Raceway Slot Machine Casino

5.  Jingle-Jingle-Jingle!  That’s the sound of the slot machines I love to play.  Now, I don’t do it often and I only do it for fun.  But when I do it I make sure to play it safe.  So, I will be headed to either Yonker’s Raceway, Monticello or maybe even Foxwoods.  I am not sure but it will be fun… I guarantee it.

writing a book

4. Finish my book. No… not summer reading, but summer writing.  What?  You didn’t know I am writing a book?  That’s right.  I am working on a 40 Day Inspirational Devotional that will go along with “Operation Mustard Seed” the crowdfunding campaign done for my new music, which I am currently working on.

ava aston singing

3.  That brings me to the next thing.  Get in the studio.  Yep, this Greek Girl has been working on a whole bunch of songs.  Now, it’s getting close to that time.  Time to make some tracks.  So that is one main thing to do… Get back in the studio ASAP.

ava aston mossberg shotgun

2. I fully support the 2nd Amendment.  So that means I want to finally go to Gander Mountain and buy me that 12-gauage Mossberg 500A Tactical shotgun and lay down some lead.  No, not at animals of course, but I am not opposed to a little target practice (just in case I ever have to defend myself or my furkids).

ava aston on a summer road trip

1. Take a special road trip.  I love road trips and nothing beats going to a city or town you haven’t been to in a long time or someplace new.  In the past I’ve gone to Niagara, DC, Philly, Outer Banks and others.  This year it will be either Boston or Historic Williamsburg. Of course if time permits we might make it to both…  We shall see.

Either way, no matter what I do this summer I am going to make sure to have fun, lots of it.  Oh and of course I will be wearing my flip-flops and keeping cool with my Iced Cups of Happiness a la Dunkins.  So what are you doing this summer?  Hope you have fun and keep it safe and stay cool!

Blessings, Love & Music~
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

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Stand Up

Three words... Happy Greek Girl.

Three words… Happy Greek Girl.

It’s no secret that Greek Girl rolls to the right. So I’m sure you can imagine when I learned I was invited to an event where Senator Ted Cruz would be speaking I was excited to say the least. In fact I was so excited I almost spilled my hot cup of Dunkin’s all over my lap as I was reading the email announcing the event. No it wasn’t a “thrill up my leg” but I’ll leave that to Chris Matthews for when he’s watching Obama.

Thanks to some good friends who arrived a smidge early we were able to get a table in the front and what an evening. First I have to say how down to earth he was. No entourage, no handlers, just him and a small staff. I’m not sure many people know this but he is actually very funny. Not only was he giving a rousing passionate talk about the madness that has taken over our great nation, but the entire time he was doing it with a smile and making everyone laugh. If ever there were a person who embodies the phrase “The Happy Warrior” it is Senator Ted Cruz.

Not only was he gracious enough to be there, and to stay for a log time, but he also took question after question after question. As I sat there listening I have to say something was happening. No it wasn’t a thrill up my leg, but I began to see something very special. I’m not sure if other people watching him on TV can see it. I’ve caught glimpses of it before watching on TV myself, but as I sat there it began to grow in my noggin from a whisper to a scream… this guy is so much like Reagan.

Right there in midst of all the chaos, confusion and madness that has taken over Washington there is someone there who is speaking the truth, understands and respects the constitution and founding documents, but also most importantly has the backbone to stand up for his convictions. As the world saw when he did the filibuster against Obamacare regardless if the left wing media demonized and labeled him a loon for doing so. Why?… because he gets it. He gets a fundamentally simple thing that almost all of Washington has either forgotten or has been ignoring for years. The United States is a Constitutional Republic, the Congress and Senate are elected officials who are elected to do what? To vote the “will of their constituents”. Too many elected officials get elected and then it’s almost as if they get sucked into some sort of vortex where they do not vote the will of the people who elected them, but rather vote down party lines or whomever is lining their pockets.

So as I sat there listening, I began to have hope again. There has been so much fighting and tearing down in politics for the last several years, I like many have wondered will America survive? In that event listening to him speak I saw hope that not all politicians are bad and not everyone is a slick talker just trying to win votes. There right in front of me was a man who spoke so honestly and passionately about common sense solutions and ideals. I began to see that there is really something very special about Ted Cruz, and if the people in this nation get a glimpse of what we all saw at that event last night, there may very well be another revolution coming. No it won’t be a Reagan Revolution like we had in the 1980’s, I think it will be bigger, much bigger.

Back then we didn’t have the internet, (Thank you Al Gore) bloggers, alternative news, and there were only three news channels. Now we have cable news and a plethra of technology to get information out in the blink of an eye. When the people in this country see what we all saw it may not be a revolution that is coming, it may look more like a Tidal Wave.

By the way my husband ran out to put his suit jacket in the car that was parked on the street out front later in the evening. The Senator had just left with his staff, and they were standing in front of the venue on the street just waiting. My husband said “hi” and asked them if they needed a ride jokingly. They said “no were all set.” Were they waiting for a town car, limo, a driver?… Nope they were waiting on a cab. Senator Ted Cruz with his staff of three hailed a cab and were all going together in a cab to their hotel. So when he talks about living within your means, and common sense principals know that he doesn’t just talk the talk, he has the courage to stand up and walk the walk.

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava :D xo
www.avaaston.com

 

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What’s With All the Hashtags

hash tag, number sign, hash tag... is this new language or what?

hashtag, number sign, hashtag…                                                     is this new language or what?

So I was minding my own business over the weekend doing my normal routine, posting a content post on my social media accounts. Something I have been doing daily to promote my music for a while now. Technology and social media change so fast, often it can be hard to keep up with.

Like any good entrepreneur I try not only to keep up with the changes, but also to utilize them in order to work smart, not hard. I’m an Independent Recording Artist and that means I need to not only build an audience to sell my music to, but also engage it. Back to the story… so I was minding my own business (Music Business that is) when I had a status come up from a friend in my newsfeed about how the next time they saw someone post several hash tags, or @ tags (@ meaning you tag a “page” so your post goes on that page for it’s likes to see) that this friend was going to block then unfriend whomever does it.

Of course I had to comment, there was no way I was going to keep my big fat Greek yap trap shut about this topic. A. because I didn’t want the person to think I was trying to “spam” anyone. B. because I genuinely wanted to explain why people are doing it. Especially people who admin pages on Facebook like I do for my music. So we went into a message exchange and as best as I could tried to explain that hash tagging and tagging helps posts to come up in news feeds so friends or likes can actually see them. This person totally disagreed, oh well what can you do.

I understand that some people just want to use Facebook to keep up with friends and think it is the way it used to be when it first exploded onto the scene. A place where people could post random thoughts, photos, videos and openly engage in conversations in a natural uncensored way. Unfortunately that is not how Facebook is anymore. As much as we would like it to be, it has gone the way of so many before it myspace included. Where ad revenue and an all powerful algorithm have replaced true conversations.

The changes are basically that Facebook does not show posts from a profile or a page to “all” of it’s friends or likes anymore. It only shows to 1% of the friends or likes. For example on my page I have around 15,900 likes. Back in the old days when I posted an update, it would come up in the news feed of all 15,900 likes. There also used to be an option to send a message to all of those likes. Which was fantastic for a business or Independent Recording Artist like my self to engage with those likes. Now when I post an update, Facebook only show that update to approximately 159 people. Unless…. and herein lies the problem, unless I want to “pay” to “boost” the post. The cost to “boost” a post on a page is utter lunacy. It can range depending on what day or time (as they vary that charge by days and times) from $50 – 300 & up for just ONE status update. For a profile to “boost” a post it’s only $6.99 (the one with friends not likes).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a capitalist, and I’m all for people making money. What I have the problem with is, in addition to doing advertising all over the layout now, they have stopped the free flow of communication from people. It wasn’t enough to have advertising which I’m totally fine with, but they now are actually charging so that friends or likes can actually “See” what you post, that’s the problem. I mean what’s the post of even being on a “social network” after all if you can’t “be social” unless you “pay” to have a conversation?

This friend whom I was talking with said people who do all the hash tagging are cheapskates because they do not want to spend the dough to advertise. It’s not like everyone who has or admins a Page on Facebook is a corporation or has the advertising budget of Beyonce or Katy Perry. The ones it hurts the most are non profits, or animal rescues. Because the the way the algorithm works is… 1st they only show your posts to 1% of likes or friends on a profile. This is a fact, it has been going on for a few years and began to hit everyone in 2013. Unless someone admins a page they probably wouldn’t notice.

The second part of it which is really the killer – is people are not “seeing” your posts… so they do not “engage” in them. Then Facebook begins to show your posts to even less than the 1%. This hurts not only businesses but non profits very hard. Churches and all kinds of people using “Pages” for a cause or business. Someone like me or a animal rescue is a lot different than a company who has the resources to spend on advertising just so Facebook can make a few more billion.

Of course everyone is entitled to his or her view of it, just where I am coming from. So until the next round of changes rolls around, Greek Girl will continue to hashtag and tag away. It’s not “spam” it’s making sure that my people actually see the content I post. It’s that simple. I hope I’ve shed a little light on why you might be seeing so much hash tagging going on. Hope you have a great week!

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava :D xo
www.avaaston.com

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