top-10

Dangerous Lee’s Top 10 Picks of October 2013

top-10Click titles to read

  1. What Do Dangerous Lee and Poetic Justice Have in Common?

  2. Why I Hate Being A Woman

  3. Dangerous Lee Interviews The Next Best Thing in Hip-Hop – Tony K

  4. Dangerous Lee Interviews Professional Handmade Guitar Maker – Ron Luczak

  5. Dangerous Lee Interviews Illustrator – Kasim Earl

  6. Michael Jackson Joins DangerousLee.Biz

  7. Party City: Making  Me Hate “Thriller” Every Halloween

  8. Will Write For Traffic: How to Successfully Guest Blog (eBook)

  9. 7 Ways to Prevent Breast Cancer

  10. The Fall of Man – Will Women Replace Our Fallen Politicians?

Read more October 2013 content

  • Dangerous Lee’s Top 10 Picks of May 2013 (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Dangerous Lee’s Top 10 Picks of March 2013 (dangerouslee.biz)
angelina jolie

Top Story: My Thoughts On Angelina Jolie’s Double Mastectomy

angelina jolie

I applaud Angelina Jolie and any other woman for taking the necessary medical steps to live a longer and healthier life for themselves and their family. Cancer is a HUGE deal so don’t think I am making light of it, but if I hear one more person give her kudos for having her breasts removed because she’s considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, I will scream!

Her breasts being removed is much deeper than Hollywood beauty and it’s beside the point!

People are literally visualizing her breasts being hacked off, but that’s not the case. The procedure involves removing the tissue inside the breasts and replacing it with implants.

Besides, now Angelina Jolie will always have perfect, perky breasts, so her vanity is still in tact and I’m sure she got a pair that hold up better than the originals.

Of course if she decides to have more children, before having her ovaries removed (she has a 50% chance of developing ovarian Cancer), she will not be able to breastfeed; other than that the physical aspects of her decision were probably last on her list of worries.

Angelina has said that she doesn’t feel less of a woman after the procedure and she shouldn’t because breasts don’t make the woman. The woman makes the breasts!

Werk those new ta-tas, Angelina!

 

red top hand on chin

National Poetry Month Spotlight: Mary Ellen Ciganovich – The Journey

red top hand on chin

The Journey

You are on your journey,
Will you learn
your lessons
this time?
Or
will you stay
in your ego state
and refuse?
Stubborn, controlling
human that you are.
If you make
that choice,
I guess you will just
have to come back and
begin the journey
again!

Bio:

Born – Mary Ellen Stewart – now { Mary Ellen Ciganovich}

            February 22, 1952

            Batavia, New York

Raised – Atlanta, Georgia from age 4 on

Diagnosed – Epilepsy – Petit Mal Temporal Lobe – age 6

Diagnosed – Multiple Sclerosis in 1986

Graduated:

Tucker High School – Tucker, Ga. – 1970

University of Georgia – Magna cum Laude – Education 1974

Member – Alpha Chi Omega Sorority, Beta Sigma Chapter

Career – taught middle school for over 15 years – certified to teach in Georgia, Connecticut, and West Virginia & North Carolina

Accomplishments: put in a two mile long nature trail in Danbury, Connecticut and wrote a book of environmental activities for teachers and students to utilize while on the trail.  I was presented the key to the city of Danbury by the Mayor.

” Healing Words, Life Lessons to Inspire” published by Tate Publishing was nationally released on February 22, 2011. I speak to many groups on topics ranging from,”Awareness of the Self” to “Parenting” and “Healing Relationships.” I also speak to groups on the topics of Epilepsy and Multiple Sclerosis as those are the situations I had to deal with in order to learn what I needed to learn. This book was entered for nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for 2012.

Selected to be one of 30 women who wrote an inspirational essay featured in the new book,” Women Will Save The World” by Caroline Shearer – Absolute Love Publishing – released March 8, 2012

Featured Inspirational Luminary on Inspire Me today .com – May 12, 2011

Featured writer on Fun and Fit.com

Featured writer on Whole Woman Village Post – article “The Strength of a Woman”.

Many radio and TV appearances including PBS radio and NBC radio.

www.askmaryellen.com

  • National Poetry Month Spotlight: Indi Wright – Infinite Hope (dangerouslee.biz)
DANGERMASLOGO

365 Days of Dangermas: Day 66

DANGERMASLOGODay 66 – March 7, 2013:

I got the pilot for the TV show as the host and we will be shooting soon. I will keep you updated as the project goes along. I’m excited, nervous, and scared, but hopeful. I tested a young man for HIV today and he’s positive. It always makes me sad to tell someone that they’re HIV positive, but I am glad that he was tested and knows his status so that he can live a healthy life. A condom goes in the Dangermas tree today just for him.

condom

If you’d like to donate items to the Dangermas tree, please view our wishlist for ideas, or you can send ornaments or other light weight items to:

Dangerous Lee

PO Box 7317

Flint, MI 48507

  • 365 Days of Dangermas: Day 60 (dangerouslee.biz)
  • 365 Days of Dangermas: Day 63 (dangerouslee.biz)
  • 365 Days of Dangermas: Day 65 (dangerouslee.biz)
cancerisabitch

Humorous Breast Cancer Reads

cancer-vixen

If laughter truly is the best medicine then these hilarious books are not to be missed. Cancer can be a difficult topic to discuss, and as a friend it may be hard to think of an appropriate get well present for a breast cancer patient. The books listed below use humor to tackle one of the toughest situations in life. Not only are they great to give for those diagnosed with breast cancer, but can be informative and uplifting for those who love and care for breast cancer patients.

Cancer Made Me A Shallower Person by Miriam Engleberg

One woman’s experience with breast cancer in her forties told in graphic novel form complete with black and white drawings and loads of laugh out loud moments. Some find the graphics a bit amateur in terms of drawing skill, but her writing style definitely makes up for it. Readers praise her ability to tackle even the toughest cancer issues with humor and an ability to make one feel less alone in those moments.

Cancer Vixen: A True Story by Marisa Acocella Marchetto

Who could imagine that there is actually more than one graphic novel cancer memoir? Trend or not that is yet to be seen, but Marchetto’s account is a full color graphic novel. She works as a cartoonist for both Glamour and the New Yorker so it is no surprise that readers love, love, love her cartoon take on getting breast cancer right before her wedding. Spoiler alert, there is a triumphant outcome so the humorous tale comes complete with a happy ending for those needing a more uplifting read. Overall it is about a 40-something woman living the life and finally getting ready to walk down the aisle when breast cancer throws things for a loop.

Cancer is a Bitch by Gail Konop Baker

Subtitled I’d Rather be Having a Mid-Life Crisis this book is as much about a woman’s typical challenges with marriage, motherhood, and the what ifs that pop up during mid-life. Some have criticized this book because cancer is only a marginal part of the story, but those tackling breast cancer might enjoy reading about one woman who continued on facing life without letting cancer dominate very inch of it.

It is based on the author’s column “Bare-Breasted Mama,” which is celebrated for its frank, witty, and laugh out loud funny style.

Getting It Off My Chest by Janice Day

The British Ms. Day is rather unhappy with life at 39 when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. As she writes with great humor and personal reflection about refusing chemotherapy and going through reconstruction, she delves many personal details about her unhappy childhood, leaving her husband during this time and finally achieving her dream career. A cancer survivor who is now living out her fantasy of being a comedian, cabaret singer, and a published writer this books promises big laughs and amazing triumphs.

Lopsided: How Having Breast Cancer Can Be Really Distracting by Meredith Norton

As the title suggests this is the book for those who love a good dose of sarcasm and find their smart ass friends endearing. Norton cracks readers up as she details her journey with breast cancer by pairing it with humorous insights into her kooky mix of family and friends. Her rants against receiving multiple copies of Lance Armstrong’s book and strong language might alienate some readers, but lovers of black humor will find this helpful dose of comedy leaves them wanting to read more from this author.

Woman tackling breast cancer as either a patient or supporter of a patient find solace in reading about those who have gone before them in tackling the ugly “c” word. The way in which these ladies write about their personal experiences with such humor and wit, while never forgetting that life’s other challenges do not stop simply because of cancer, is relatable and comforting at the same time. When in doubt a good dose of humor certainly never hurts.

Author Byline:

Jamie Pratt is a contributing writer for The Breast Cancer Society, Inc. — a comprehensive resource guide covering breast cancer information, facts, statistics and other pertinent information. Learn more about their cause and join the community that has already helped thousands of breast cancer patients and survivors. 

But These Books:

 

janine

Janine Brignola: Living an Exceptional Life with HIV

When you were diagnosed with HIV, how did you react?

My first thoughts were quite literally that I would die. I thought I am the worst mom in the world. I am carrying a baby inside of me that will not only get HIV from me but will not have a parent either, I thought of all the things I had done wrong in my life and this had to be the worst. I wanted to kill myself because I thought that would be better but I couldn’t do it and kill my baby too. After this initial feeling I then felt angry, not at the man who had knowingly and purposely infected me but at myself for being so naive and careless with my body and sexual habits that I allowed him to not wear protection with me, that I trusted him not do something to hurt me, that I believed him when we talked about STDs and HIV before we ever had sex, but mainly because I had been abstinent for two years and I had made a promise to myself that I would not carelessly have sex with another person ever again until we were tested together. I felt like I was so stupid!

How is life living with HIV?

Dealing with any illness is a growing process. You go through the same or similar stages as people go through when someone dies, but having experienced both the loss of my sister and being diagnosed with HIV; I can say that the process of learning to cope with the illness has been harder. When you loose someone you love it hurts like hell but there is closure in some weird way, even if it is as unexpected as my sisters death was. When you find out you have to live with a chronic illness that the majority of people on this earth deem to be a dirty disease, that people assume or insinuate you did something to deserve, or that people want to pretend isn’t a real and serious problem, it is like going from having open doors to brick walls.

I mean that if you try to live a life where you do not publicly disclose then you can’t tell anyone or only people you know without a doubt you can trust one hundred percent, the thing is though HIV is like a juicy bit of gossip and I have never met anyone that doesn’t have some kind of gossip in them, no matter how small. Then you are constantly thinking they know, oh God. Someone looks at you and you think they know, someone jokes about STDs or HIV, and you think they know, you go to a club or bar and feel like everyone is looking at you because they all know. At least for me it caused me to be so paranoid in part because I have always been a keep it real type of girl. Coming out and taking back that power, telling my own story, that is something that no matter what no one can take away, degrade, or tell me how to do and most importantly it is freedom from the bondage of lies.

My everyday life is being a really normal person that everyone seems to think cannot or should not be living in a place where the stigma and everyday ignorance about my illness determines how I am treated and being caught between two worlds of normal mommy to activist/advocate extraordinaire. On one hand I get to be this awesome HIV ass kicking chick and on the other I am like the way normal, covered in tattoos mom next door living in Nebraska and being like yeah so what I have HIV, fuck you! I end up being like a party favor for people, it’s like wow she must be super cool, and I totally am but I am like boring mom too. Up until about seven or eight months ago I didn’t really go out or have a life and people would meet me and try to hang out with me and be like she is so boring because I would always decline invitations or I’d hang out with them and I think I was never quite what people would expect.

So, basically, having HIV will weed out the not so good friends, the smucks who are looking for a little booty, and it will teach you, if you allow it to, that it really is okay to be yourself and to love yourself, mistakes and all.

Do people treat you differently when you tell them you are HIV positive?

Yes, I have more reactions than I could even tell you about but I will choose the major ones. I have had men be total jerks. I regularly am told by people who work in the field of HIV/AIDS that I just don’t look like someone with it. I have been told by others living with the virus that I dwell on HIV because I choose to talk about it and educate people. I have had nurses and doctors treat me like crap, I have been told to kill myself, people on my YouTube channel are brutal, but my favorite is how my so called best friend acted when I found out I was positive. I was about three months pregnant and my “best friend” told me that I was selfish and should have an abortion because there was a .04% chance I could have passed the virus to my unborn baby, who by the way is five and negative.

What advice do you have for those that don’t want to be tested for HIV?

I would say that I totally understand and empathize with the fact that someone could be so scared that they would not want to be tested and that sometimes we feel like the fear of the unknown is better than the fear of knowing. It takes a lot of courage to face our fears. When you do you realize that not only was the fear silly but it is one of the most empowering things a person can do. You realize there is nothing you can not do.

And as far as the actual medical side of it goes you could think of it like this, do I want a disease that I could live an awesome, normal life with or would I rather allow a fear of knowing be the cause of what could kill me? The sooner you get tested and if it happens that you are positive it is better to know you have HIV and start meds if you need them or be in the care of doctors because you really can live with HIV. So wake up and go get tested, I mean do you want to be the cause of infecting others, do you want to be sick and miserable? HELL NO! You want to live and enjoy life AND YOU CAN. Knowing is better!

What advice do you have for those living unhappily with HIV?

I really hope this does not come across as being harsh but I am just one of those people that like to keep it real, that said there is nothing you can do to change the fact that you have HIV. Being mad about it or at the person who infected you, worrying about retribution, stressing about the mistake you made, asking “what if”; all of that will get you no where. You can not change that you have HIV. You will not wake up tomorrow without it. You will not have a normal life if you just pretend, so dwelling on all of that does nothing but stress you out, make you unhappy and make you hate your life. If instead you concentrate on the lessons you learned, the people you love, and the people who love you you’ll realize how beautiful life is. You stop taking things for granted and you stop worrying about your past mistakes. If there is someone in your life making you feel like you are less than, like you are damaged goods or if someone is just not loving you and treating you right don’t take that shit! Seriously!

There are so many people out there that are going through this and I promise they will help you, they will support you, I will help you. If you want advice about medical issues, if you want someone to listen who knows what you’re going through, anything at all you can e-mail me and I promise I will answer and do anything I can to help you (It may take me a minute to respond because I am a mom and have a really busy life but I WILL) speak_hiv@yahoo.com AND REMEMBER YOU HAVE VALUE, YOU HAVE WORTH, YOU ARE NOT A MISTAKE, YOU ARE PERFECT HOW YOU ARE,YOUWERE CREATED THAT WAY, AND NOBODY ELSE CAN BE YOU SO SHINE BABY, SHINE!

Terry Delonas: Living an Exceptional Life With HIV

When were you diagnosed with HIV and what was your reaction?

I was first diagnosed with HIV in 1986 and received an AIDS diagnosis in 1990. My reaction was panic, a sense of loss and fear since at the time it was a death sentence. I immediately went to local ASO’s and got involved in their support programs including volunteering when possible.
 
How do you make the most of living with HIV?
Living with HIV for me, is all about starting over, again and again.  Every time I have a severe health setback that causes me to lose weight, have a cancer surgery, have a bout of depression, miss the ability to work out and build stamina; I start again from where I am and rebuild my body or routine. Starting over after 8 cancer surgeries and two chemo series for Kaposis Sarcoma is about remembering what is possible from a renewed healthy routine of exercise, diet and social engagement. All anyone healthy or sick has in life is a window of opportunity to make the most of life.  Keep the window open as long as possible.
 
What advice do you have for those unhappily living with HIV?
Start over with whatever has worked for you in the past to build a healthy lifestyle. Baby steps at the beginning like just walking to the market instead of driving and adding to the effort as stamina builds does wonders.  If you have no experience with building a healthy life style, observe others who have and ask for their help in constructing your own personal healthy routine.  Get involved with a local ASO or go online to blog and seek advice.
 

Tell us about your Sit Relief product and how it came to be:

After suffering for a long time with Lipoatrophy and watching others with lipoatrophy sitting pain drop out of social opportunities, I decided to stop smuggling cushions into sitting venues like lectures and volunteer meetings and restaurants and invent something we could all wear to prevent sitting pain from a thin buttocks.  It took over 5 years of R&D and development, a clinical trial with 40 HIV patients,  and lots of favors from people in the garment industry but I eventually went to market with SitRelief Shorts.  I sell them online and have helped almost two thousand people with sitting pain lead a more normal life.  People absolutely love the Shorts!

Drummond Marais: Living an Exceptional Life with HIV

When were you diagnosed with HIV and how did you react?

I was diagnosed HIV+ at the age of 55, in 2005 – Strangely enough, the news came as no shock to me (perhaps I had subconsciously expected it?) and I refused to give in to the predictable ‘victimhood’ mentality…I did not see it as a ‘death sentence’ and continued living my life with a positive attitude;

Conversely, my life-partner, who was 46 at the time, did not handle the ‘news’ very well when he was simultaneously diagnosed in 2005…he experienced a period of deep depression and hopelessness, a mental attitude that gradually corrected itself during the following year as he embraced a more positive outlook.

In the states we hear a lot of negativity about HIV in Africa, how’s your life in Africa?

I don’t believe the current government of South Africa views HIV as a particularly high priority. There is definitely a lack of meaningful HIV medical research being done in this country. And although we have the world’s largest percentage-concentration of HIV+ ‘victims’ within our southern hemisphere population, the ART drugs (made freely available by the government) are often in short supply, so poor disadvantaged and indigenous patients occasionally have to go without treatment. Fortunately, my life-partner and I (both HIV+) receive our three-monthly ARV regimens through a US-AID sponsored organisation called ‘ANOVA – HEALTH4MEN’ which operates on a fairly small scale within a few of the major centres in this country. ART programmes are provided by this organisation free of charge, for which my partner and I are immensely grateful. However, there remains a great deal of social stigma surrounding HIV infection, especially within the outlying rural areas, and most people tend to keep their HIV status a private/secret matter.   Tell us about your book that highlights your HIV journey:

My book ‘A POSITIVE JOURNEY’ (published 2011, by Xlibris Publishers) is a part-journalised, part-narrative record of the emotional, spiritual and medical processes that my partner and I encountered after being simultaneously informed of our HIV+ status, back in 2005…it describes the evolving stages of our mental acceptance of the virus, my partner’s almost-fatal encounter with PCP and TB (which was subsequently ‘cured’), and our early ART treatments – my book contains a message of HOPEFULNESS to other HIV+ people, whilst attempting to alleviate some of the ignorance and social stigma that is propagated within our HIV ‘negative’ populace.

You’ve been on a HAART regimen since 2008, do you have a healthy T-Cell count?

Due to his chronic experiences with PCP and TB, my partner (now 52) went on to a HAART regimen late in 2008, with a T-Cell count of only 21 – his health has dramatically improved since then. His current T-Cell count is in the region of 230, with an ‘undetectable viral load’, and he leads an active, healthy life once again;

I am 61 years old, and only went on to a HAART regimen halfway through 2009, when my general health suddenly began to fail, with a T-Cell count of 48 – likewise, my health has since improved positively, although my current count is still just below 250…unfortunately, I have recently been obliged to cope with an ‘opportunistic’ invasion in the form of melanoma and lymphatic cancer, and because my T-Cell count remains so low, local oncologists will not even contemplate the use of Chemotherapy. So it seems probable that this particular disease (cancer) will finally be the cause of my demise.  

What advice do you have for those unhappily living with HIV?

HIV, just like any form of cancer, requires an extremely POSITIVE mindset…one cannot allow victimhood to take control of one’s consciousness – I offer a message of HOPE to those who are unhappily living with HIV…it should NOT to be viewed as a ‘death-sentence’. The amazing efficacy of ART treatments / HAART regimens is truly ‘miraculous’ and these drugs provide the HIV+ person with a ‘second chance at life’. But above all, a positive mental attitude is essential when living with HIV. My partner (52) and I (61) both continue to lead very FULL and ACTIVE lives…he enjoys full-time employment within the challenging realms of Information Technology – whereas I continue to work as a freelance actor, author and artist. Thanks to our wonderful relationship and sustained ART treatment, our lives are immensely fulfilling!

contagion

Movie Review: Contagion

I enjoyed this film because I was also creeped out by it. If you’ve managed to avoid getting sick with the stomach flu this winter cold season, consider yourself lucky. I am among the thousands if not millions of people who have survived the stomach flu virus in the past few months. Try to imagine that the stomach flu is what is killing people in this film as you watch it; we’d all be dead!

That’s a sobering reality when you consider that viruses are getting stronger and we get weaker. Contagion could very well be a prediction as to what is supposed to destroy humankind this year. Oh yea, did you forget that December 21, 2012 is the end of the world according to those that believe the theory and they have forced many of us to believe it as well…but not me, I’m too Dangerous and too damn smart to believe that the end of the world can be predicted.

Anyway, this film gives you the cause and effect of a super virus that kills an asinine amount of people . Wash your hands before watching!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Dangerous Lee

Week 1: The Dangerous Lee Diaries

First things first: Subscribe to DangerousLee.Biz (check the sidebar) and get a FREE ebook copy of my book, Keep Your Panties Up and Your Skirt Down!

Many of you have asked me what The Dangerous Lee Experiment is about and as soon as the official promo film and logos are complete I will debut my experiment to the world.

Essentially The Dangerous Lee Experiment came to life as I realized that even with a day job, I am living at the poverty level. Because of this, I have decided to leave the work force as an employee. It’s time to take the Dangerous Lee brand to the next level and that requires me to step out on faith. I’d rather be poor and working for a better life for myself and my daughter by fulfilling my dreams rather than punching someones clock.

I am a writer. I am an artist.  I need to create as a free spirit. I weighed the pros and cons of leaving behind a steady pay check with becoming a “starving artist” and the pros outweigh the cons. I also know that I won’t be “starving” for long. Besides, I have always taken risks in life. I moved to New York City with less than $100 to work in the music industry many years ago and that taught me to never be afraid to believe in myself. 

I’ve been unhappy and unsatisfied with my life for a very long time and after much reflection, in this horrible economy, I am happy to be working on The Dangerous Lee Experiment. I can’t wait to share it with you!

Having said all that, I will continue to work with Wellness AIDS Services on a contractual basis in the areas of HIV testing and counseling, National HIV Testing Day events, and The Red Masquerade Ball.

My artwork on display at Wellness AIDS Services of Flint

Highlights of the Week:

1/3/12 – Breakfast at Bob Evans with my mom after being up all night long. I tried the Pot Roast Hash and it was delicious, just not enough pot roast! My mom, like many of you are very concerned with my well-being in regards to my decision to leave behind a job to work for myself. After explaining to her what The Dangerous Lee Experiment is all about and all the work that I am doing she has calmed down.

I also took two garbage bags filled with clothes, shoes, and toys to Goodwill and I also threw in a copy of my book, Keep Your Panties Up and Your Skirt Down.

Goodwill Bags

1/4/12 – Slept most of the day because I was up all night (again) then in the evening I went to the library, dropped off a copy of my book for an upcoming podcast interview with the Creative Alliance of Flint, stopped by my moms house for a visit and to help her clean, and reluctantly had McDonald’s for dinner.  I was up all night reading My Friend Michael by Frank Cascio feeling lethargic, but unable to sleep. I loved reading that Michael Jackson has smoked weed and got his freak on from time to time. Good book! I don’t know what my problem is in regards to losing sleep. I think my adrenaline levels are very elevated. My memory is suffering terribly from the lack of sleep and I am crabby, so I need to get my sleep schedule back on track

1/5/12 – Didn’t do much today outside of the home. I slept all day (of course) but I don’t feel well rested at all. I love sleep, so something has gotta give in the area of getting Zzzzz’s.

1/6/12 – My daughter got sick again so she stayed home from school and I got some rest. It was a slow motion day.

________________________________

Overall it was a good work week. I had tons of great guest bloggers that have provided me with content well into next week and I am spewing out creative ideas that I can’t wait to share. Also, as I write this DangerousLee.Biz has a global traffic rank of 463, 045 and a U.S. traffic rank of 45, 444. Not too shabby!

 

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