Unexpected lesson from “Unplugging”

9 07 2013

Weather: Dear benevolent deities, we have achieved July Steambath weather. Upper 80s, Humid as hell. GAH!

So I took a week off from the interwebs. 

But I really didn’t.

Yeah, I checked my e-mail. Glanced briefly at Facebook. Glanced briefly at Twitter. The only real change in my habits for that week was I didn’t interact. Or respond. Made for a lot of tongue biting and twitchy fingers. But I got art done. And peace of mind came in the silence and lack of brain clutter.

The unexpected result from this, once I returned to social media interaction, was that I was suddenly, acutely aware of the incivility of people. Not that it was new, or even had increased in volume. The fact was, I had forced myself into re-sensitizing. I’d become numb to it to be honest, and I could see that pretty much everyone else was numb to it too. Oh sure, if things got particularly egregious, people reacted. But for the most part the reaction was the usual -“It’s the internet” Shrug. Advice not to feed the trolls. Let it pass. It’s not worth the fight. Let the bile and venom build, just throw a tarp over it. If we ignore it, it’ll go away.

While I understand this is the nature of a free and open internet, I kinda found myself really getting irritated more than usual.

So I made a decision.

I’m not allowing incivility in my life anymore.

Before I get a litany of “free speech” , “I have a right to express my opinion”, “I don’t believe in sugar coating…” BLAH BLAH BLAH — Re-read my sentence there.

I didn’t say YOU couldn’t be uncivil. Or rude. Or opinionated. Feel free! Knock yourself out.

I said I wasn’t allowing it in MY life.

Let me clarify.

I have opinions. Strong ones. Usually pretty fucking liberal ones. But I tend to keep them to myself for the most part. That’s been a conscious decision on my part. I’m sure people can infer where I stand on things by the nature of the pages I like on Facebook or the people I quote or the feeds I follow on Twitter. This isn’t me trying to camouflage my leanings. They are what they are. I just don’t feel the need to explain them or defend them to the internet at large. They’re my opinions. That’s it.

I know others have opinions. Strong opinions. Some that line up with mine. Some that don’t. Some that stand violently in opposition to mine. That’s also fine. My mum and I overlap on some things, but can get a little heated discussing others.

I tend to err on the side of you having a right to differ in opinion or view or fandom or anything. Frankly, and to be blunt: I really don’t care.

Even more blunt: I really don’t spend more than a half minute to read your rants or screeds. If I disagree, I just stop reading.

Here’s a harsh reality that no one wants to hear: I have zero obligation to hear your counterpoint to my beliefs. Just like you have zero obligation to hear mine. It’s a courtesy on both our parts to do so. I’m always willing to listen if your counterpoints are presented coherently, backed up with facts from good sources (not news pundits or “my friend/relative says they heard…) and delivered with the intent to inform not inflame.

Hell, I get annoyed by people I AGREE with when they constantly flog things with histrionics and flimsy at best facts underlying  their rants.

Also? I have little patience for conspiracy theories. I don’t place much credence in any of them, regardless of topic matter. I DO believe in healthy skepticism & not placing 100% trust in any institution or authority. But give me facts, numbers and not a series of links to websites with little of either.

So there’s my take on online posting  for the most part. Circling back to my point.

I’m tired of all the yelling. Nobody is listening anymore. We just keep shouting louder and louder, hoping volume will get us heard. We use shocking pictures to get people’s attention. (BTW– Showing me a picture of an abused animal or child will get you blocked immediately. I KNOW IT HAPPENS. I support a lot of aid groups to PREVENT it from happening or help after the fact. In fact, as one of my friends recently pointed out– WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE WITH THAT? If you have someone on your FB page or Twitter feed who thinks that’s okay? You might want to reassess your friends. Otherwise YOU ARE PREACHING TO THE CHOIR AND MERELY UPSETTING YOUR FRIENDS!)

When I say I’m not tolerating the incivility anymore? Here’s my solution.

1: I’m going to maintain a level of positive and calm when I post online. (With a minor exception for squee, which is inevitably positive for the most part anyway) If something angers me, I will do my best to post only some way to take action on it, not just grouse, grumble or bitch about it. All that results in is a choir of “I’m pissed too” which doesn’t do anything to FIX it.

2: If you are on my feed and are constantly posting political, religious or personal rants? If they’re civil and presenting facts, fine. If they consist of “Everyone opposite me is an asshole” or “I dislike a thing and anyone who likes that thing is an idiot”? I’ll hide your post. Twice. Third time, I’m dropping you. I don’t care if we’ve been friends for years or family. NOTE: I AM NOT TELLING YOU WHAT TO POST OR HOW TO POST IT, I’m just saying I don’t want that shit on my timeline anymore. You can continue to vent your spleen or share your views. I just won’t be part of your audience. I’m fairly certain you won’t notice my absence.

3.: I have a zero tolerance position on implied abuse of children/animals, bigotry, homophobia, religion bashing, or misogyny. ZERO. I give two shits if you think that’s overly PC or that I lack a sense of humor. If you find any of those things funny? You’re probably right about my sense of humor.  Again, I’m not telling you to stop posting those things. Carry on. I just won’t be around to “enjoy” them.

4:  I’M NOT ASKING ANYONE ELSE TO JOIN ME IN THIS. Free world and free will, all that stuff. As a human being living in this increasingly awful environment, I’m simply making the choice to live differently. More positive. More civil. And if I need to express dismay at something, I will do so when I am calm and do so reasonably.

And no, I don’t care what you think about this. I don’t care if you think it will make a difference. I don’t care if you’re offended by what I’ve said above.  I DO NOT CARE.

And don’t think that I’m not amused that I’m making this announcement in a blog post. Didn’t say I won’t have my contrary moments.

The reason why I’m using a blog post to share this? I just want people to be aware of why I may no longer be on their friends-list or following them anymore.

Ultimately, I just want to get my brain away from triggery things and negativity that I have zero control over fixing. Because, shock of all shocks, I’m a fixer. I’m far too empathetic for my own good, and I can only absorb so much of other people’s indiscriminate anger and venom before I have to walk away.

I have a lot of major life changes facing me right now, and to be blunt, one last time, I don’t have time to waste on internet drama anymore.  I’d rather enjoy things and make things and do what I can to get things to change for the better. Raise people up rather than tear them down. Spotlight people who do good rather than focus only on the bad.

So, only positive or productive interactions going forward. I’m sure the internet, and the world, will spin ever on without my having to know everything about EVERYTHING. If I can help someone I will. If I can stop something bad, I will do what I can. But I’m done talking this shit to death. Will my attempts here change things? Maybe. Maybe not. But you know what definitely WON’T change things? Shrugging and accepting that that’s just the way things are.

I promise my next blog post will be more substantial and contain actual art & writing content. 🙂


6 01 2012

Weather: Seriously, Weather Gods. WTF? 50 degree temps today? IT’s BLOODY JANUARY!! I would very much like my crappy blizzard weather now, rather than in March!

I mentioned that our home was broken into and burglarized right before Christmas. We were lucky not much was taken, though there were a few things that are still making me broken hearted that they’re gone. My engagement ring for one. My grandmother’s garnet pendant for another. Money is easily fixed, technology replaceable. Sigh. The worst thing that’s come from the break in is the shredded mental state it leaves behind.

Three weeks on and I’m just now getting my sense of security reassembled. we had to replace our back door in it’s entirety. (Frame, storm door, main door. New locks, new alert system. Door brace). It’s very difficult to escape from the victim mentality. It leaves you shaky, tight-chested and constantly thinking the worst case scenarios. It’s hard to sleep when you don’t feel you’re secure. It’s hard to leave the house, when every time you come back, you’re sick to your stomach at the possibilities.

I worry about leaving the cats at home. I lug my laptop to work with me everyday. And my passport. And anything else I’m worried about getting stolen. My back is not happy about this.

So now…now I’m starting to feel less insecure. I’m feeling a little more relieved everytime we come home and everything’s fine. I’m still jittery, and I’m still a little suspicious of anyone walking down our alley. But I imagine this will also dissipate with time.

The side effect of all this paranoia and fear is that it totally derailed all the momentum Brian and I had going before the holidays. We had a fire stoked to get our art and writing done. We had plans, we had deadlines….all went up in a puff of anxiety. So now we’re regrouping. Scraping up the scattered shards of our confidence and trying to reassemble them. Gonna take time.

The one thing this incident has NOT quelled, but in fact has strengthened, is our desire to move and leave behind this area for good.

It’s funny how talking about taking big steps in one’s life and the desire to make changes in one’s life are easy to come by. Especially when time appears to be available. It sometimes takes an extreme event to throw cold water on your head and wake you up to the fact that time is, in fact, not unlimited. And sometimes the comfort zone, even if it isn’t palatable, can sometimes make it difficult to change your situation. The devil you know, etc etc.

So. Life goes on. And either you let the horrible event shape you, or you grit your teeth and keep moving forward. Life moves forward regardless.

I promise the next blog will be filled with witty comments, helpful insight and more news on developments for me & the husbeast. Or at least some fun pics & a random snark.

A grey and mellow Thursday…

8 10 2009

Weather: High: 54º & rainy. Ahhhh FALL.

The Universe has picked a particularly horrible day to kick me and the husband in the proverbial balls.

I won’t bore y’all with the details but let’s just say it’s a lovely melange of financial downturn and family drama all wrapped up in a nice migraine inducing package.  Sigh. Really getting tired of this Sisyphean cycle.

Was happy to see that they finally posted one of the acoustic performances by 3DG from here in Chicago. Feel like I’m a lapsed fangirl. I remember when I would be lining up in the rain for my bands. Old age is not kind to the slavish fan girl. Sigh.

Digestive tract is taking a hit from the stress barrage. Hope I feel better before the weekend.

On the writing front, re-writes are taking up much of my time. I’m kinda liking the new direction of the new opening scenes, but their not popping as well as I’d like. Still, need to get the words down, then the crafting can happen .

Ah well. Blogging continues to take a hit on the daily front. Will try to concoct more interesting content tomorrow.

Now playing: Three Days Grace – On My Own
via FoxyTunes

Oops…FALE on posting yesterday…

13 02 2009

Weather:  High:  40 degrees and sunny.

Apparently I was so busy posting memes on Facebook yesterday I forgot to post my daily journal over here. Facepalm.

Last night was a mess. Couldn’t get my wireless up and running so I didn’t get my data entry done or any responses to stuff online. MAnaged to do some line editing, but I was strangely distracted last night. Bri’s class went well, though he mentioned that the teacher was a little hyper (You’d think he’d be used to it, living with me all these years!) .

Had a huge monster sized meltdown right before bed last night. Was irritated that Brian had gone to bed and I was taking care of all the usual pre-bed stuff (not really his fault. He usually takes care of it all and I really should be stepping up to help out. Just was in a mood). Anyway. I ended up making a shitty comment to BRian about it and went to bathroom to get ready for bed. Then burst into tears and had myself a good sobfest. I was still crying when I got into bed. Brian flipped and was doing his best to comfort me. He thought he’d made me cry.  We laid in bed and just started purging all the stuff that was stressing us out. I made sure he knew this had little to do with him, that my brain was reminding me what a fuck up I can be, along with the financial pressures and friend obligations and family obligations etc etc. He’s as stressed out as I am and I think we’ve gotten way to good at putting up an”Everything is Fine” front for each other. PMS probably is what made the Tupperware leak. I was a glorious mess by the time we snuggled in and went to sleep with Snoots kneading the blanket between us.

Too much is on our plate and too much on our shoulders. And we’re back in the habit of scheduling too much stuff on our weekends. We were going to have Bri’s brother and his girlfriend over for dinner tomorrow night before we realized what day it is. And my sister’s birthday,while technically tomorrow, is being celebrated on Sunday. So we decided to postpone the dinner till next weekend and use Saturday to get the house cleaned up. (A lot of stuff got put on hold while we were sick the past few weeks.)

Had a bit of funtime with the Post Office over the last week. They had misplaced the Abney Park Messenger Bag we had ordered, so the guys were nice enough to send us a replacement. Well one bag showed up last Friday. Brian was ecstatic and I shot off an email to let them know we receieved the replacement.  Yesterday we get ANOTHER package, this one marked “received as Damaged”, as we can see from the envelope being ripped the hell open and retaped. Inside? ANOTHER MESSENGER BAG. From what we can deduce from the date stamp on the envelope, THIS was the replacement bag. Brian must have received the original, or maybe they sent out a Second Replacement. Either way we had a second bag. So I said screw it, and sent off payment for the second one. These guys are an up and coming band and I was not about to stiff them for the second bag as they could have sold it to someone else. So Brian and I have matching Abney Park messenger bags!:

Abney Park Messneger Bag FTW!

Abney Park Messenger Bag FTW!

Shop for other cool stuff at the Abney Park Store!

Ran out over lunch to get pressies for my sister. She’s a Valentine’s baby ( one of three holiday birthdays in my family-My Dad’s is Fourth of July and My Brother was born on Father’s Day.) We’ll be taking her out for lunch on Sunday and heading back to my Mum’s for cake and pressies.

Bri got off early so I’ll be skedaddling on time for once.

Monica Richards (From Faith & the Muse) posted a sneak peak vid for the F&TM DVD. It’d actually a song from her solo album, Infrawarrior. IT’S AMAZING.
Into My Own — Monica Richards

I want to be her when I grow up. (She’s wearing a Kambriel gown in that, BTW!!)

Have a good weekend. And if you’re so inclined, have a fantastic Valentine’s Day. I know I will! VBEG.
ETA: Dollhouse starts tonight and I’m WICKED EXCITED!

Back to the grind with a new attitude…

9 02 2009

Weather:  High: 52 Degrees and rainy this pm. Schizophrenic. It was 36 degrees when I walked to work this morning.

Weather is reflecting my mood, but that’s nothing new.

Went to see Coraline over the weekend and it was FANTASTIC. Brian loved it as well. Was glad to see they did justice to the book, even the added character of Wyborne didn’t feel arbitrary. Visually stunning and very creepy in parts. WE were in a packed theater with a ton of 8- 10 year olds who were quiet through the whole film. Very cool!

Woke up this morning feeling much better physically, but still a bit tempestuous mentally and emotionally. For all my intentions of scaling back my online presence, all I’ve done is increase it. Sigh. So Today, I’m only keeping one tab open on Firefox, which is this one. And I’ll check my mail at lunch. But other than that, there will be no refreshing Facebook or LJ or Twitter. (Well, Twitter I can check from the bottom status bar– Thank you TwitterFox!)

Bri and I are both feeling quite feisty these days. I rather like it. The no bullshit attitude is getting things done for once. We’ve decided we’re going to do a basic fix up on the the downstairs bathroom. This means we need to get tile, a toilet and a sink. We’re not going to mess with putting a shower in as that requires too much work and we’re on limited time and resources. So we’re budgeting and figuring how we’ll purchase the stuff and how long that will extend the time to get it done. But we figure, it will only help the sale value of the house. We’re not planning on getting rich when we sell, but we’d at least like to make a small profit. (Our house isn’t that big, but it sits in a rather affluent neighborhood — we’re surrounded by houses ranging from $600K to a cool mill. ) Needless to say, if we can just get the cosmetic stuff done, the rest will fall into place. Good thing I married a Virgo. This house is in pretty damn good shape, even after 10 years of living here. Rugs are still almost new, the walls are in good shape and so are the appliances. So the real push is on to get things fixed…on a fixed income. Sigh.

Brian’s back freelancing this week and will be starting his first Master Gardner class on Thursday. Only downside is with it being in Crown Point, and us having the one car, I’ll be leaving early on Thursdays for the duration of the class. Wouldn’t be an issue, but my company recently instituted a new PTO policy and they dock down to 15 minutes. So I’ll be losing a grand total 2 days of PTO once the whole thing’s done. This new policy is because some people in my office were abusing the old PTO.  So everyone gets penalized now. Even if I left a 1/2 early, I’d have to claim it as PTO.  Sigh.  Anyway. My whine is small, though. As long as he gets to take this class and get his certification. He hasn’t been excited about something for quite a while. Not like I’m gonna be at this job for the full year.  Two days I can spare. 🙂

When we were driving home from Coraline yesterday, Bri and I both commented while we drove through the neighborhoods and the commercial districts about the complete disconnect we felt. We’re done with this area. While I’m not naive that every place in the world has the same cross section of people,  there are particular idiosyncrasies that are native to NW Indiana. A lot of them based in class and ethnic tensions. Rich versus poor, white collar versus blue collar, Right Wing Yahoos versus Tree Hugging Lefties.  It’s not all that uncommon. What we notice is the particular viciousness that accompanies everyone’s attempts to prove that “You’re not better than me!”  It’s this combination of insecurity driven bullying with the unfounded elitism that drives me nuts. I personally don’t think I’m better than pretty much anyone. I think I might be smarter than some, and maybe have more common sense than most, but does that make me a better person? Until I’ve saved a few lives or made some great sacrifice for the greater good, I’ll reserve stating that.  Maybe I’m just getting really cynical in my old age, but I really get disgusted at the way people in general look down their noses at others or revel in another person’s disgrace or downfall. Are there people who need to have their ego taken down a peg? Sure. But it’s not my job to do it, unless of course they make the grievous error of engaging me directly. Then all bets are off.

We have a problem in the country as a whole in that we love an underdog. We’ll cheer them on, make inspired speeches as they struggle, and even clap them on the back when they make something of themselves. But just as quickly, we are just as invested in making sure that once they’ve succeeded, we need to nit pick and critique their behavior, like we had some hand in making them, so they owe us. Such horseshit . We put our idols on pedestals, but dear gods do we crow when they stumble and fall off. Or better, we knock them down. How have we come to this?

It’s like the online court of review. You will find the harshest critics and worst dregs of humanity online when it comes to gossip sites and tabloid web pages. Now I’m just as fond of keeping up with famous people I like, for good or for bad, so don’t think I’m trying to monopolize some sort of moral high ground here. But the way people, even non-famous people, get torn down by their peers, or worse, by people too chickenshit to even use their real names, is just horrific! We seem to get some sort of morally superior self- righteous streak when we see some pretty model without her makeup or an actor get caught doing something bad. It’s like we use them to say “SEE! I’m better than THEY are! Losers!”
Like it matters in some sort of cosmic score board.
Online reviews of music or movies or books are simply a minefield of armchair critics. Now, I have a low opinion of most critics anyway, because who told you that your opinion trumps everyone else’s? Maybe that’s the root of the problem. Maybe we’ve become so driven to be correct or respected that we find the easy way out and tear others down around us.  Last word in an argument= Win!
I have no issue with people posting their opinion on something. That’s never been the problem. The PROBLEM arises when someone posts their opinions and then follows it with “and you’re an idiot if you think otherwise.”
See there’s the fall down right there. You have stated an OPINION. Even if you hang that tree with all sorts of factoids and snippets of OTHER people’s opinions, it’s still just YOUR OPINION. How can you decide for EVERYONE else what should or should not be listened to, viewed or read? Reviews are to give a person’s insight to an experience. To let us see something through your eyes. But to expect people to blithely go– Oh! Joe Smith hated it so I’d better avoid it because I wouldn’t want Joe Smith to think I was stupid and didn’t believe his outstanding opinion!– well…that’s kind of silly, actually. This falls back on my “No Guilty Pleasures” mantra. I like what I like, and I really give a toss what anyone thinks about me as a result. I like bands NO ONE in my friends circles or family likes. Same with movies and books. And it doesn’t make me rethink it. Ever.

I guess the nutshell from all this rambling is that if people could start distinguishing between what is opinion and what is fact, and what is IMPORTANT and what is TRIVIAL, maybe we would all be a lot happier. I’ve met some extremely MISERABLE people, and the one thing they all have in common? They constantly feel the need to pick on other people’s choices or prove that their choices are uninformed. They spend their lives just waiting to jump on anyone who likes something they don’t and try and make that person defensive about what they like. They quote statistics and facts and other armchair experts while ignoring the simple fact that they’ve just wasted all that time and energy trying to make someone else unhappy. Seriously. Where’s the victory in that? Do you feel better now that you’ve piled onto a friend and made them feel small and upset about something that actually gave them some measure of happiness? Because you needed to feel like your opinion was right? Sigh.
Why do people feel that if they’re not right, that their whole world will crumble. I admit I’m wrong all the time. That’s how you learn. I’ve had some people respond to my saying, “You know what? I was wrong.” with a snarky “I TOLD YOU! See! You were wrong!” Just rude. If someone is big enough to admit they’re wrong, don’t make them think it was a bad idea by humiliating them on top of it.

Okay, I’ve gone on long enough today. I need to funnel this verbosity into my fiction.

Parting note:  Before you give a friend a bunch of crap for liking something you find ridiculous, turn it around on yourself.  How would you feel if someone dressed you down for your taste in clothes, music or movies? Opinions are personal and based on nothing more than your view of something. You can’t make someone else take on your opinion. You can only share it and hope someone gets something out of it. Let’s start being nicer to each other.

On that note: Have a video.
Metronomy- A Thing for Me. Possibly the funniest video I’ve seen in a very long time! (And that’s my opinion! 😉 (If you want a copy-it’s the free video on i-Tunes until tomorrow!)
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Life at the crossroads…

6 02 2009

Weather: High: 37 DEGREES I SAY!!! HUZZAH! and partly cloudy. Let zee big melt begin.

Today is an interesting day in that I’m feeling the double edged sword of seething resentment and crystal pure clarity. Positive and negative emotions so very carefully balanced on a sword blade. The sharp side, I might add, so you can see the balance is precarious.

Sometimes you reach a crossroads in your life and don’t even realize you were heading there until you arrive.

Several things have happened over the course of the past few weeks to make me realize that some heavy choices have been dumped at my feet.  Most of these fall under the “Time to make a decision on what’s your priority?”. The rest fall under the “Is it time to let this go?”.

Writing has taken over the forefront of my life and focus right now. With the exception of Brian, this is what is important to me. It’s not a social or group endeavor.  It is solitary by nature and necessity. And I’m finding that people who are not writers, do not seem to understand this.  If I say I didn’t get my cleaning done on a Saturday because I was writing, half the people I know are “Cool! Good on you!”
The rest act like I’m just slacking and why couldn’t I just do it another day?
Sigh. This isn’t a goddamn hobby, people.  It’s not like knitting or WOW or any other things you can just do when the time allows.  When something pops in the skull and demands to get written, you have to stop what you’re doing and write it down or you lose it.  And you don’t just schedule an hour to get some writing done. I’ve had days where I’ve sat at the laptop for 6 hours straight writing and not even realized the time had passed. Other days I can sit for an hour and be done. There’s no simply setting an hour aside in my daily schedule for it.

Another thing that has come like a fiery epiphany is that I’m no longer  allowing other people’s issues to become my priority. Sorry, if that seems harsh. I’m quite willing to help out and listen to problems, but I’m sorry, I have a metric tonne of stuff I’m trying to coordinate right now. (A major move, career change, start a family, get 4 novels finished) and they are my priority.

The one thing that is chapping my ass the hardest is people’s lack of understanding where my work is concerned.
At my office there is me and my boss. We comprise our IT department. We are responsible for 100+ brokers (At 2 separate locations) and their PCs and their Citrix connections. Add in the new software we’re trying to roll out and the training to go along with it and a shit ton of data entry related to some new brokers who have joined our company recently, and yes, I AM REALLY DAMN BUSY! (Yes I post online, but I have 2 monitors and my browser is on one and my data entry is on the other. Therefore when something it processing, I can type a few lines over here.)
NOW. I am in an OPEN CUBE. This means I have 2 walls and no door. People can just walk up to my desk and bug me. I also SHARE this cube with another woman. Who sits 5 feet away from me. This means I have ZERO PRIVACY when it comes to my phone or in person conversations. This is why I don’t like taking personal calls at work. My family is NOTORIOUS for this. Also, if you call my work line? I have Voice Mail. LEAVE IT. I have  a hotline for the IT department on my phone that requires my priority attention. So if I say I have to go, I HAVE TO GO. Don’t get huffy if I hang up on you after telling you I HAVE TO GO and you insist on babbling. My cell phone is on vibrate when I’m in the office. It’s a moot point because I get shit reception  in this building.

My lunch hour at work is precious to me. Usually this is when I get a lot of writing done. And catching up with e-mail and bills. I like to take advantage of the T3 we have here at work.

Now if all of this is coming across as me turning into a selfish bitch, all I can say is this: Yes, I am. And it’s about time.
I have put everything I have ever wanted to do on the back burner for the past 30 years of my life.  I’ve said no to things I really wanted to do, because friends or family wanted to do something else. I have put my problems aside to work on everyone elses. I let my writing languish while I wasted hours on things that held ZERO interest for me.  I’ve let other people natter on about their problems, passions and traumas while finding that noone ever had time to listent to mine. (Brian being the exception to this.) I’ve let other people’s disapproval or condescension make me hesitate in doing things that I would have loved to do and now there’s no second chance on some of those things.
Life is not a series of checkmarks in a book. If I do something for you, to help you? I do it because I want to help, not because I’m SUPPOSED to. And I don’t hold that in reserve to require reciprocity. I hope that if I’m in a bad situation, someone would offer to help. I don’t hold people in contempt if they don’t “return the favor”.  Help is only noble if it’s offered, not obligated.

So, this is my crossroads. I can either keep on being the go to person for everyone and setting my own goals and endeavors aside, or I can choose the harder path to do what I need to do, following my own path and hoping that the people who matter come along for the ride.

::Re-reads what I’ve written above::

I think it’s self-evident what path I’m going to choose.
To mis-quote VNV Nation: Enough is enough, No has meaning. This is my line in the sand.
I no longer will defend my decisions.
My life is no longer up for debate.
My choices, for good or bad, will be MY CHOICES.
And if you don’t like any of this, you may want to reconsider associating with me.
I am a good friend, I am a good person.  But I deserve the right to determine my life and what choices I make. As do you.
Three Days Grace says it nicely here:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Anyway. Enough spleen bleeding from me today. I feel better now that’s out of my head.

Understand, I’m not aiming this at any person in particular. The list of people this applies to is lengthy and most of them will never read this. It’s just cathartic for me to say it. Doesn’t matter if any of them read it or even take it to heart.


Back to writing. 😉

Wednesday is FIRED. Full Stop.

4 02 2009

Weather: High: 18 degrees and partly sunny.

SO. Stayed home sick today. Sinus issues and my cough has become ridiculous.

Add in that people in general are pissing me off today, on a number of levels, and sick and frustrated have merged to make me furious.

I seem to have lost my veneer to pretend everything is fine. Probably because I’ve reached the end of my rope where it comes to expectations from others are overstepping their bounds to the point where it’s impacting what I need to do.I am always open to helping others, but this drop what you’re doing and work on my shit attitude is getting on my last fucking nerve. Work is the worst perpetrator of this.


Brian, who is also sick, just had to listen to me rant for a good half hour. Suffice it to say I’m bristling with  a lot of anger. I know part of it is simply frustration at being sick for two weeks now with no cessation in my coughing.

I think that I need to just stay offline and off the phone today. I’m not fit for human interaction. Maybe it’s just as well. I can get some writing done. Brian seems to have the usual effect of calming me down. I can’t seem to stay angry around him. Probably a good thing, seeing as he’s grumpy too right now.

So, I’ll keep this short.

BTW–we got NO SNOW from the storm. Kinda disappointed. And the forecast is for the temps to reach up into the 40s with a spike up to 52 on Saturday. So things are gonna be sloppy for the next few days. Mom got about 8 inches of snow out by her, which just goes to show how narrow the band of Lake Effect was falling.

Waiting for my DVD to get here so I can indulge in my my eyeliner wearing emo rock boys. Think I will pop some of the movies we have from Netflix in today and get them out the door.

Maybe it’s a good thing I took the day off today. It has the feel of a pending thermonuclear meltdown on deck. Not an upset/depression trigger this time. A resentment/anger fueled one.

Time will tell.

Mercury Retrograde strikes again….

21 01 2009

weather: High: 27 degrees and partly sunny.

Commute this morning was a clusterf@ck thanks to Metra’s shenanigans. Sigh. No more whining about this. Just was a sucky commute.

Gonna do some writing today so this entry may be shorter to allow for more time on that.

Lost starts up again tonight and I’m ecstatic. So much good telly on nowadays.
Last night’s Leverage was awesome if only for the Doctor Who references and Christian Kane’s sheer annoyed expression through the whole ep. When he took out the guy in the airplane bathroom, it was an explosion of frustration that was beautiful to watch.

And Fringe was FANTASTIC. Gods I’ve grown to love this show.

Just to tide you over:
Lost Season 5 Trailer!

GOtta dash, More info tomorrow

ETA: did 500+ words over lunch! WOO!

Mulling over the whole online experience…

7 01 2009

Weather: High: 31 degrees and snow showers later.

So I was working yesterday, as I do 5 days a week, but found that my Firefox was getting more attention than my beyond late year end reports. So much for my resolution of trying to minimize my online time at work. I can’t afford to get fired. And benevolent deities know I should have learned from someone else’s mistakes.

Needless to say, that little nagging worry has made me really look closely at how much time I’m spending on the social networking sites (too much) and surfing blindly (also too much) and researching websites for writing and moving information. (Not nearly enough.)

Facebook has turned into the crack chatroom and I’m constantly refreshing the page. CONSTANTLY.
LiveJournal I’m visiting less and less. I am trying to keep up with my friends, but I’m skimming past 90% of the community posts. I more than likely will go strip off a lot of them. Most of them are posting repetitive squee and pictures and little in the way of news.

I’m finding myself much more interested in following the bands I like, mostly by going to their own websites or their best fan sites.  I have a couple LJ communities that I read every entry on, and they tend to be writing related. I’m also only posting here for the most part. At least anything of substance is here.

Mindless refreshing of social sites is like the mindless clicking of the tv remote. It fills time and doesn’t really require you to do anything more than sit back and pretend to be interested. I really could just keep my closest friends on a filter and check both Facebook and LJ twice a day and not miss anything.

I guess what’s been running through my head a lot lately is…what did I do with my time before LiveJournal and Facebook?

I found one of my old Favorites lists from back before I signed on to these two time sinks and guess what? 90% of my links were for bands and fandom websites. The rest were all writing or web design pages. I spent more time using e-mail to keep in contact with people.  I also remember vaguely spending hours…SHOCK!… writing. Granted it was poorly constructed fanfic, but I was WRITING.

Blogging like this is an outlet for me. And I almost prefer the format here to anywhere else. I know I get a lot less feedback, which I’m oddly okay with, but I also feel more free to say what I want. Maybe because I’m not self-editing for an audience. Which is what I do over at LJ. People will rush up and say, “It’s your journal and you can say what you want” but the truth is, that doesn’t stop any snark or arguments against what you say.
“My Opinion” seems to open the door for everyone wanting to share theirs and counter yours, when honestly I only wanted to mull over something, not start a conversation. Call me selfish if you will, but not everything I spew on my blog requires a dialogue. Or grammar police. Or insightful rumination that is merely re-digesting my points.

Granted, there are times I DO want feedback. Then I post at LJ. Or put a Note up on Facebook. Maybe it’s the minuscule tendril of narcissism in us  all that makes us post lengthy diatribes with an open question at the end? Or maybe it’s just simple need for contact. I’m sure it’s a mixture of that and a need to share something that touches us or makes us laugh. Nothing wrong with any of those things.

A lot of my friends live sufficiently far away that I would never have met them, let alone conversed with them except via the net. But where I’m confuzzled (and I’m sure I’m probably the only one) as to when e-mail became insufficient to have those conversations. I like e-mail. It feels more like a one on one conversation, rather than a forum on something. Sometimes I respond to something that has been posted, with the sole intent of replying back to the poster alone. Then comes the peanut gallery. Sometimes it leads to a humorous conversation between me and another commentator. But sometimes it ends up with a series of backpedals because someone misinterpreted what you said or didn’t like the tone of your comment. Mind you, the original poster understood and is okay with your response…in THEIR JOURNAL.  But someone who wasn’t involved in that conversation has stuck their two cents in and it turns into a whole “This is what I said, this is what you heard” debacle.

Anyway. This is getting ridiculously long. I guess what has got me chewing over my participation online is that I’ve recently seen some particularly mean behavior and am rethinking a lot of people who I’d considered friends. I’ve been posting inane one line status updates that are turning into the same drivel I used to criticize other people for writing.

I’d like to trim my online time back to just posting blogs here and interacting on a simple level over on LJ and Facebook. MySpace is merely there to keep track of some of my bands. Most people on MySpace have migrated over to Facebook anyway. And Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with family members I rarely get to see. So major ups there.

I suppose that maybe I realized that at 42 years old (Well in 5 days anyway) maybe I’m just getting too easily annoyed by people’s behavior and how much time I’m wasting staring at a computer screen. (Granted I’m staring at a computer screen when I write, but at least there I’m 100% engaged in the activity. )

A lot of the real world stuff is starting to pass me by because of this. The world won’t end if I stop posting for a week. Or if I fail to comment on EVERYONE’s posts. Or don’t respond to a request on Facebook.  I’m not interested in WOW or Second Life. Most RPGs require too much  of my free time and I’d rather spend what little of it I have either writing or interacting with my husband.  (Interpret that last one as you will.)

Maybe what the ultimate question nagging me is this:
“Am I going to regret the time wasted, when my time runs out?”

Right now, sadly, the answer is leaning towards yes.

Daily Vid:
Have something simple and poppy today. This song has been stuck in my head for the past few days. Not the biggest fan of all this band’s material, but this song is like the best earworm. LOVE the chorus and William Beckett, the lead singer, is freaking adorable. (And they’re from CHICAGO!)

The Academy Is — About a Girl
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Post ChristmasPocalypse! With added Christmas Crud!

26 12 2008

Weather: Schizophrenic! High: 43 Degrees and RAIN??? Just take the ice with you!

So! Christmas has come and gone and at least my sanity is intact. However, the sinus issues I had on Monday have migrated to my chest. So I’m verging on bronchitis, and trying desperately not to get it full blown. I don’t have health insurance so getting sick right now will have financial repercussions.

So,  Sick for the holidays. But I have to admit, we made out like bandits!

First off, let me tell you how amazingly smart my hubby is! He got me not one, but TWO Neil Gaiman books, (M is for Magic and The Graveyard Book), a gorgeous white fleece hoodie with faux fur lining in the hood, a cover for my i-pod, some fantastically warm fleece socks, an Azam Ali CD,  and of course, the annual make-Heidi-cry Christmas card.  We got a lot of neat stuff from the fam, including a 7 quart crockpot that we are DYING to use and some DVDs (Mamma Mia for me (Shut it, I LIKED IT!), The Fountain for Brian, and the BBC miniseries Jekyll (WOO!)), lotsa clothes, NEW BOOTS!!!, and the usual socks, underwear and whatnot. The winner of best gift this year? My mom, who bought us a 500GB external harddrive. SO HAPPY! Now I can get all the music and files off my work computer in one fell swoop!

So, swag aside, the holidays were actually pretty nice. I just wish I felt better. Kinda puts a damper on the day when your snorfling and hacking the whole time.

I’ve grown to dread the holidays anymore.  Mostly because the running around is getting taxing. That and the joy of visiting  relatives loses some glow when it becomes an obligation. With a light icing of competativeness and a sprinkle of jealous girlfriend syndrome. Yeah, just kinda dampens the “can’t wait to see you” excitement.

Christmas Eve went thusly, first off to Christmas Mass with the in-laws, then we drove off to my mum’s for Christmas dinner and pressies, then back over to Brian’s cousin’s for the Annual Open House.  By the time we got there, most were already gone, but we hung out with his cousins, discussing music (his one cousin is in a band) and  the usual small talk.  Got home around 2:00 am, shagging tired and scratchy-throated and freezing cold. (The temperature dropped 30 degrees throughout the day.)

Christmas day we slept in a bit, opened our present to each other, had a nice breakfast and veged a bit. Later, we went over to Bri’s parent’s for dinner and more presents. My cough had gotten pretty bad by the end of the evening so we headed home, and I dosed myself with some Tussinex, and subsequently was comatose shortly after.

Today, I’m just taking it easy, trying to keep my coughing to a minimum, and trying to get a little cleaning done around the house.  The weather is just crappy. It’s warmed up enough to start melting everything, but with everything iced over, the water has nowhere to go.  It’s actually supposed to thunderstorm tonight. Welcome to a Midwest Winter!

The new year is on the horizon and I’m formulating my resolutions. There will be a big post in the near future so I can lay out my plans for the next year. It’s kinda do or die time when it comes to a lot of things. Brian has already said his only major plan for next year is “Get the hell outta Dodge”. We’re definitely on the same page there.