Thursday, August 21, 2014

Facebook Drama - It's An Epidemic

It amazes me, the stupidity in this country overcoming common sense and the thirst for knowledge.  The resources we have to search out answers is amazing – not only do we have libraries, but we have the internet that gives us a choice to believe or search and there are a lot of us who would rather not search, even if we don’t believe.  We would rather sit complacently by and share a story rather than find out if it’s true.

What’s my problem today?  Facebook, again.  I wish I could quit it, I really do, but I like the fact that it has kept me in touch with family members that I normally wouldn’t hear from on a day to day basis, and it has reconnected me with friends from long ago.  That said, it makes me realize that some of my friends are more toward the bottom of the food chain.

Recently, an old acquaintance posted about toothpaste and chemicals and color bars.  When I saw it I thought to myself is this true?  And I immediately went in search of an answer.  It wasn’t true and I posted the link in his comments section, hoping that it wouldn’t go further.  Under my post someone swore that they were switching toothpastes.  They couldn’t believe it.  I wanted to comment for them to read the link above them, but I wanted to see how far it would go.  My friend didn’t acknowledge my contribution.  Several people ignored it and then the last person to post said it was a hoax and he liked their comment.  Now I know what I’m dealing with here – he’s a total drama queen that wants to get everyone worked up and then let them know there’s nothing to worry about.  He lives for dramatic comments and fights among his friends that he can monitor, and even though I loved working with him years ago, I’m going to un-friend him.  In fact, I’m going to go through my list and dismiss others as well.  The ones I just don’t talk to, the ones that have “collected” me, I will leave in my internet dust. 

I do have friends who post old Amber Alerts or news stories who don’t check on them before they re-post them.  The most common post is of the two little boys who were abducted somewhere in the middle of the country by their parents.  The headline doesn’t say that though, it just says they were taken.  Every time I click on that story so I can find the link that says they’ve been found.  I then post it to her page and every time I get a Thank God! response from her.  I don’t mind this so much as she’s actually reading what I posted.  Kind of makes me happy that she is considering what I said.

I don’t usually go all ape-shit about expired amber alerts because it puts the fear of God into people and might make them a little more wary for themselves and their children, maybe even their dogs and cats. Who knows?  I like to let them know, though, if they’ve been found, especially if it’s a good ending.

I guess as I get older I don’t worry so much of offending someone with the truth.  I’m guessing some people don’t like it, and I’m realizing that sometimes I just don’t care.  I’m tired of lies, smokescreens, and un-thought-thru “shares”.  And I’m tired of people saying they are my friend when they are not, and me wasting my time on them.
By the way, I know I'm not the only one experiencing this - what sets you off???

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Brother

My brother is a writer.  He's really good.  I would like to be a writer, but I'm not so good.  I'm not disciplined enough or eccentric enough (though I try to be).  He's pretty normal and he's working on a novel and he sends it to me in chapters and I want to scream from the rooftops that it's awesome!  I encourage him and wait, and I give him my opinion, and I wait. 
And best of all - and this truly is the best of all - we have communicated more in the last couple of months than we have in years.  I guess it happens to some families that move to different states.  Out of sight, out of earshot.  Never out of mind, always there, but even though we're in an age where we are instantly connected it seems we never do.  Know what I mean? 
He keeps telling me he's going to finish the novel and not send me anything else until he's done, but then I check my Facebook and I see he's messaged me and I know I'm in for some good reading.  So here's to my brother, you little brat!  Keep writing!!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Week of Tragedies

            This week has been insane.  Starting last Friday, we learned of a kid in our 4H group that got in a horrible accident and is now in critical condition.  This kid is one of the sweetest little boys one could ever meet, with a natural curiosity about the world in which he lives.  He may never be able to move freely again, we just don’t know. We don’t know if there’s brain damage yet and not being part of the family we just have to wait and see what happens.  All we can do is pray and we definitely do that.  Whether it is to God, Allah or a tree, prayers are always welcome. 
            That’s the type of week it was – one of multiple prayers for multiple people.
            The next crazy thing that happened was Robin William’s committing suicide.  Why?  Why?  It was all I could hear and see from my friends, family, the internet – why would he do such a thing?  This remarkable man who could make us laugh and cry within the same frame in a movie.  What was so horrible that he couldn’t work through it?  And then the realization that we would never hear any new material from him, never see him act again or be on stage, watch him age and change his craft.  It was all so final.  The photo montages and the blogs offering up heartfelt and very real grief, experiences and remembrances – they were all beautiful. 

Then the really crazy thing – his daughter getting harassed on Twitter.  What is up with that?  Why are all the haters so quick to be ignorant when no one can see them?  What do they think they can accomplish?  All I can say is that their words don’t matter, Zelda, and you are way more than they will ever be.  My heart goes out to you and your family.  Losing a dad is one of the worst things you can go through and I still need and miss my dad after 10+ years.  Keep your memories – you don’t have to answer to anyone.  My condolences to you and your family, and the world on the loss of this caring, quixotic man.
            The last (I hope) crazy moment of the week would be the abduction of two Amish girls from my neighborhood.  The fear and the anger that someone would pluck two little girls from their farm stand still is unimaginable, even though it happened.  The searches, the helicopters flying overhead, seeing the dive teams heading out to look for a car or bodies, or both in the local swimming and boating areas was surreal.  Not letting a nine year old ride his bike around the block for fear of his disappearing, and having to explain why.  Innocence disappears quickly in the face of tragedy.  Prayers again were offered up for the safe return of these children, for the rescue workers and the police, for the news crews to be kind to the Amish community in their reporting.  When news came over the scanners that the girls were safe Facebook let the locals know before it hit the airwaves.  I was able to go upstairs, wake a little boy, and tell him the girls were ok, they were home with their family, safe and sound.  After a “Thank God” and a big hug both of us were able to finally sleep through the night for the first time in a week.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pondering Cal

This morning after I was ready for work, I straightened the covers on the bed and looked at the cat.  He was sleeping on my boyfriend’s side of the bed.  Almost a year ago I looked at my girl cat, probably in the same position as he was in at that moment.  I remember this because less than a week later she had died.  That morning I may or may not have walked over and scratched her under her chin, which she loved, and I do not feel guilty if I didn’t.  I loved that cat so well, and she loved me back just as much, so if I left her alone it was because I knew it was ok. 
But this morning I went over and scratched his head.  He woke up and did his little “Why are you touching me?” meow, and I scratched a little more.  He’s come a long way in a year, and I’m glad he has, but I still miss her every day and want that closeness back. 
Cal has always been weird, for lack of a better word.  My daughter brought him home from somewhere in town.  She said a woman was giving kittens away in the park.  He was too young to leave his mother and we had no one to give him back to, so I ended up feeding him by hand, literally.  He licked formula off my finger because I couldn’t get him to use a bottle, and he wouldn’t use a dish for another week.  I thought that this would be great because it would form a bond between us, but he never warmed up to me.  When my boyfriend moved in with us he would sit with him, never with me.  I was kind of jealous but I also know animals and they have their own people.
Cal has always been in pain.  Whether it’s been his back or his skin, we have always had to be careful with him.  Cuddling has never been an option.  However, there were minutes where he let me hold him, not long but usually long enough to get a photo.  Shortly after AJ passed I noticed Cal sleeping on my pillow.  He used to do it sporadically, but now it’s almost an everyday occurrence once I am in the shower.  He’s moving into her territory.  They used to argue.  She only had the upstairs of the house because one of the dogs wanted to eat her.  When Cal entered she would sometimes hiss or yell at him and they would swat each other.  She probably intimidated the hell out of him, all four or five pounds of her to his whopping thirteen.  Now that she’s gone, Cal’s skin has cleared up.  I’m able to hold him for probably four, five minutes tops.  That’s good enough for me.
He doesn’t bite as much as he used to.  He talks to us more, like she did.  He comes when he’s called and seems to enjoy our company.  He’s learning to hunt.  He’s coming out of his shell.  Sometimes I think she is guiding him, but most of the time I think he is just learning to love us.
Do I miss her?  With all my heart and soul.  Do I wish she were home with me, safe and sound?  Absolutely.  But I am so glad that Cal is still developing and moving forward every day.  He’s ten years old.  He’s got a lifetime ahead of him and as long as he keeps progressing, I’ll keep trying.  Every once in a while I think about getting a new kitten, one that would be like her, but I have a huge fear as to what it would do to him.  We’ve come too far to back track now.  I think we need to be a one cat house for a bit longer. 
I know Cal would agree with me on this.

Cal in his younger, thinner days