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Baby Got Back

I’m a little annoyed right now.  I found out from a friend on Twitter that Iggy Azalea recently quit Twitter, giving control of her account to her management team, due to online bullying.  Apparently, people went crazy over a photo of her in Hawaii wearing a bikini that displayed her large assets and her cellulite.

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Quite honestly, I am disgusted.  I’m ashamed to live in a world where the photo above is so revolting and so horrific, that people can’t help but reach out to the subject of the photograph and let them know they should wear multiple layers of clothing to hide their gross body from the world.  Are you kidding me?!?

Let’s look back at Kim Kardashian’s “break the internet” photo of her giant, oiled up ass.  No cellulite to be seen, right?  Of course, when you use photography tricks, perfect lighting, and countless other ways to alter the photo into something artistic and flawless.  No body is perfect.  Photoshop can turn even the most horrendous looking person into someone aesthetically pleasing.  But that simply isn’t reality.

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Do we really have nothing better to do with our time than hurl insults at someone for the tiniest of flaws?  Especially flaws we all have ourselves?  Are we that insure with our own bodies that the only way to feel better is to degrade famous people for not being free of flaws?  How pathetic are we?

I’m not some die-hard Iggy fan who is angry that her favorite celebrity got her feelings hurt.  I personally don’t care for her music at all and have zero interest in her personal life.  My focus here is on our sad society.  It’s one thing to have an opinion.  We all don’t have to agree on who is beautiful.  We are allowed to think certain people are hideous.  What isn’t okay is to purposely target the person and make them feel lower than a piece of shit.  Famous or not, that isn’t okay to do to anyone.

We are all flawed in some way, but flaws are what make us beautiful.  There are some things that one person considers a negative and another sees it as a fantastic positive.  No two people look at one thing the same way.  There is no right or wrong when it comes to beauty.  So the next time you feel like calling out someone directly for wearing the wrong thing or looking the wrong way, take a second to think about why you’re acting like such a hateful twat and maybe keep your opinions to yourself this time.

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All Work And No Blogging

Back when I worked for the National Guard Finance office, I spent a healthy amount of time writing about the various people I observed and the events that took place.  Tubberpottimus, the bane of my very existence, was a frequently covered topic, as it was either write about her or go absolutely insane.  Now that I’m out of there and settled into my new position, I find myself wanting to write about so many things but being 100% unable to do so.

We have very strict policies in my office.  Cell phone usage is strictly prohibited except in break rooms or outside.  This includes talking, texting, or even taking it out to check the time.  Training materials, notebooks, and anything else with company information on it or written in it cannot leave the property.  Unless you have a photo pass, like I do, you cannot take pictures or record videos.  Even with my badge, I cannot take a photo on site and post it to Twitter; it has to be a photo for on-site company use.

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The days of forwarding my husband funny emails I receive are over.  If someone decorates my desk for my birthday, you won’t see it.  And as much as I want to share some of the insane things that happen here sometimes, I have to keep my mouth shut.  It drives me absolutely insane.  I love sharing crazy stories from the office, and we have more than enough here on a daily basis.  But because I love this job, there is zero workaround, so you guys are going to have to miss out on a lot of WTF moments.

At the end of the day, I’m just glad to have a job that I love.  It feels like it’s been forever and a day since I was able to say that and mean it.  I work somewhere that changes lives.  I support and help run an office that is bringing amazing things to the world.  And I don’t answer phones, deal with customers, greet clients or visitors, or file a single thing.  As far as having to keep my mouth shut… who knows, maybe I’ll write a book.

Dumb Phones

My company has a very strict policy regarding cell phone usage.  During my orientation, we were all warned that using our phones during training can and will result in immediate termination.  Once out of training, every employee must follow very strict rules regarding cell phone usage.  Other than the designated break rooms, the cafeteria, and outside of the building, cell phone use is prohibited.  You can’t text while getting coffee or using the microwave; you have to get your food and/or drink and go to a designated break room before pulling out your phone.  You can’t throw a post on Facebook while walking through the hallways; any spot but the designated spots are strictly off limits.  Because of this, my phone is shut down before I leave for work and doesn’t get turned back on until I’m in my car and ready to drive home.

The cell phone policy is an easy one, thanks to the countless signs posted around the office.  We have them above the microwaves and coffee machines, on the bathroom door and on every stall, and in other rooms where people could try to go for privacy.  Supervisors give strict instructions that the phones are not to be seen or heard unless in one of the specific zones.  You would think it’s an easy policy to follow, but I’ve already seen more than one person lose their job because they’d rather text than pay attention and take notes during training.  To be honest, part of me wants to be sympathetic, as I had 4 hours of training and was frustrated and bored; they have two weeks.  But the bigger part of me wants to slap them upside the head for being so stupid.  Can’t you survive for two hours at a time without a phone?  Can’t it wait until you go on break?

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People get desperate though without that little device always available to use at their leisure.  As a result, the bathroom is a major hotspot for cell phone use during regular breaks or “emergency” restroom breaks.  Call me crazy, but I never find myself in a situation that requires me to be on the john and on the phone at the same time.  One or the other can wait.  As far as hiding places go, a bathroom stall is a last resort in my book; I don’t want to have a conversation in a place where people do their business.  But here?  People literally multitask, talking in between… well, you get the gist of it.  It’s absolutely disgusting.

The amount of dependence we have on these little electronic devices is staggeringly high.  When people are at the point to where they would rather go hide out in a cobweb infested abandoned part of campus than just wait until their break to text a friend, it’s a problem.  When people are willing to risk their jobs because they absolutely cannot live without Twitter, it’s a problem.  This job forced me to go from having my phone always within reach to having it 100% out of sight and out of mind, and it drove me nuts for about a week until I realized how much better off I was without it.  I let my email pile up, I get behind on tweets, and I’m cool with it.

Being without a phone, and seeing how people around me refuse to go without, has made me realize how much I was missing by having my eyes glued to that tiny screen so often.  What is the point in walking around like a zombie all the time?  Is it really THAT important to see who said what on Facebook?  Do we really have to document every moment with a selfie or some overly filtered fancy Instagram shot?  And please, someone explain to me, what can be so important to make bathroom time become a group activity so you can have a conversation with your mom?  Just chill.  Unplug.  I’m always glad to turn my phone back on when I leave the office for the day, but I’m equally as glad to turn the damn thing off and not deal with it for the eight and a half hours I’m supposed to be working.  It didn’t kill me, and it sure as hell won’t kill you.

Catfish

I confess, I am addicted to MTV’s reality show, Catfish.  I recently read that before hosts Nev Schulman and Max Joseph are able to read a single word from the victim of a potential Catfish, the production staff does extensive homework on all involved parties, which includes verification of the story, obtaining signed releases, and often requesting that the person being Catfished write a letter to Nev and Max asking for their help.  This is done because the majority of the people who contact MTV are the Catfish themselves, likely looking to finally come clean, which explains why their first words are almost always an apology.  Almost always.

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Catfish has gotten quite heavy in its third season.  While Nev has always been the calm voice of reason with Max occasionally losing patience and having to take a breather, we have seen Nev become seriously heated and angry at the people who have been hiding behind a false persona.  On the episode featuring Kidd Cole, who has scammed thousands of dollars out of who knows how many people, Nev became so angry at Cole’s lack of empathy with his latest victim that he threw Cole’s phone into a river.  Producers on-site have had to step in multiple times to calm Nev and Max down because, in their words, they are in danger of sabotaging their own show unless they get their emotions in check.  But honestly, who can blame them?

To my knowledge, I have never been Catfished, but I feel very confident that it has happened to me at least once during my life online.  Like most people nowadays, I’ve formed numerous friendships with people I’ve met online but never been able to see in person or video chat with.  I even met my husband online, although he was thankfully very real and never once hid behind any online falsehood.  I have friendships with people on Twitter that I still have yet to meet in person.  I’ve had brief interactions with people I assume are celebrities on a verified account that could in fact be just a random employee of that public figure.  Every single day, I find myself in some sort of contact with a person that could be someone very different from who I assume they are.

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The idea of Catfishing someone is hardly a new concept though, just one that has only recently been thrown into a spotlight.  Back when I was eleven and my AOL access was limited to an hour of glorious dial-up per week, I can recall spending the majority of that hour in various chat rooms made for my age group.  I quickly noticed that unlike the real world, each chat room would have a huge number of tall blond cheerleaders and ruggedly handsome football players.  The older I got, the bigger the lies became.  A slight exaggeration on physical appearance became outright lies that took hundreds of pounds off of bodies, changed genders and orientations, shaved off decades from a person’s age, and allowed anyone to have whatever career and financial status they wanted.  The joke became that any and all lesbian chat rooms were actually nothing but 30 – 50 year old men talking dirty to one another.

You would think that the more we see liars and cheats exposed online, and the more we see how easily one person can become someone else entirely via the internet, the more cautious we would all become.  Nev and Max’s investigations on Catfish are reduced from hours into minutes, but their work gives us more than a few tricks that can easily be used to verify someone’s identity.  The last episode of Catfish featured a tech-savvy guy who didn’t do his homework out of respect for the girl he thought he was talking to, but surely our own safety is more important that an imagined slight against a stranger.  I just popped my photo into a Google image search and scared myself a bit at how accurate the results were.  Lying is easy, but exposing those lies is easier.

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In addition to being cautious, we need to be smart.  Giving some random stranger online your full trust is beyond stupid.  People who wouldn’t trust some of their own family will put all of their faith into a person from Facebook that they’ve never met.  It’s mind-boggling.  Stopping for a moment and being rational rather than emotional could work to save a lot of people from a lot of heartache.  In the case of recent Catfish, Kidd Cole, it could have saved people a lot of money had they not taken the word of someone simply because he had a shiny cover story and amazing empty promises.  Every single person who puts themselves on the internet immediately makes themselves vulnerable to some extent.  How vulnerable you allow yourself to be, however, is something every one of us can closely control.

Farewell

My husband bought me a pin that says “I get too attached to fictional characters” and it couldn’t be more perfect for someone like me.  Too often, I get immersed in a television series and develop almost a bond with characters that touch my heart, engage my mind, or who are so easy to relate to that I wish they were my friends in the real world.  I cried when 24 ended and Jack Bauer vanished for what seemed to be forever (lucky for me, he and the series will be back for a 12 episode run).  I even got a tattoo on my arm to pay homage to the series and to Kiefer Sutherland.  Prison Break was another hard one for me to say farewell too, and that one was also honored with ink on my skin.  I bawled when House reached the end, but that is understandable considering how emotional the final episode was.  I love a great series finale.

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Right now, two big shows for me are quickly coming to a close; Dexter and Breaking Bad.  I had a late start on both, catching up via Netflix and DVD to get to the point where my husband and I are watching the episodes the minute they air.  [SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THESE SHOWS AND OTHERS PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED]  I’m hopeful that both of these series can wrap up in such a way that honors the characters but also appeases the audience.  Right now, Dexter has one episode left and we’ve already seen his character falter.  Rather than have Dexter (Michael C. Hall) murder his current adversary, he left Oliver Saxon/Daniel Vogel (Darri Ingolfsson) in the hands of his sister, Debra (Jennifer Carpenter), so she could arrest him and he could have a fair trial.  This goes against everything we know about Dexter; he has lost his need to kill and he has become irresponsible; his decision resulted in Saxon/Vogel escaping and his sister getting shot.  Dexter’s dark passenger seems to be gone, but unfortunately that isn’t a good thing for the few people in his life that he truly cares for.

My big worry with Dexter is that the series finale will have him abandon a huge part of himself in order to be with the woman he loves, Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski).  Yes, having a sweet and romantic ending is always nice, but that isn’t Dexter.  With Hannah, Dexter does not have to hide who he is, as Hannah has done her fair share of killing herself and accepts Dexter for everything he has to offer.  With his late wife Rita (Julie Benz), Dexter had to keep his dark passenger a secret to protect her.  This is unnecessary with Hannah so it doesn’t make sense to me for Dexter to abandon his code and suddenly decide that what he does is no longer important.  Not to advocate murder, but Dexter has done a great service to many people by ridding the world of serial killers who have evaded the law.  Saxon/Vogel has shown that he is a master at evasion, yet Dexter let him go in a totally irresponsible way because he didn’t need to kill him.  He’s losing what makes him Dexter.

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The whole fleeing to Argentina plan to start anew with Hannah and his son, Harrison, seems so ridiculous.  I was genuinely surprised when this plan came to light and even moreso when Dexter put in his notice at work, emptied out his apartment, and agreed to have the flights booked.  For such a logical person to jump on this plan felt unrealistic and silly.  Dexter always has a solid plan and always protects his family.  This plan doesn’t fit.  With one episode left, Dexter has a big choice to make.  He can stay in Miami and take care of Saxon/Vogel, but possibly sacrifice his relationship with Hannah in the process, as she is inches away from capture.  Or he can flee to Argentina with his love and son, but leave his sister and friends vulnerable to attack by Saxon/Vogel who surely now will not stop until everyone Dexter loves is dead.  I hope we see an ending we deserve, but I’m very worried that we won’t be given a proper ending to this epic story.

Moving on to Breaking Bad.  I was initially not excited about watching this show because it was hard for me to picture the dad from Malcolm in the Middle being anything but silly.  I have to say, I was so glad to be wrong.  Bryan Cranston is brilliant as Walter White and brings so much to this complex character.  With two episodes remaining, the audience is definitely on the edge of their seats and totally clueless as to what will happen next.  Last Sunday’s episode, Oxymandias, was one of the greatest hours of television that I have ever watched.  Hank Schrader (Dean Norris), Walter’s brother-in-law is dead.  Most of Walt’s drug fortune has been taken from him.  Skyler (Anna Gunn) and Junior (RJ Mitte) know the full truth about Walt.  The police know that Walt is a criminal. Walt kidnaps his infant daughter briefly, breaking the hearts of his family even more.  Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) has been beaten, broken, and is now a slave to the new meth empire.  And we are left with Walt using one of his lawyer’s contacts to gain a new identity and leave his family behind.

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I am stunned.  Even knowing that Hank was going to die (thanks, Twitter spoilers), I was enthralled by this last episode and shocked with every passing minute and new development.  This series has done wonders with its characters and plot lines and created something that is close to perfect.  Walt’s transformation from a timid teacher into the feared and respected Heisenberg has been fascinating to watch.  Jesse’s descent from a common druggie into the broken shell of a man he currently is has been nothing short of heartbreaking.  Skyler is the woman we love to hate, but now it’s hard not to feel sympathy for her and hard not to recognize what a strong woman she truly is (although I still can’t stand her).  Hank went from being sort of a comic relief to being one of the strongest people on the show and a worthy adversary to Walt.  Characters like Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), and even small roles like Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) are so perfectly cast and written that you almost forget you are watching a work of fiction.

The death of Gus is by far my favorite.  His relationship with Walt was complicated and consisted of many layers.  Honestly, Walt had it made in Gus’s lab; it was perfectly hidden and completely state of the art.  The money was fantastic and most of the risk was out of Walt’s hands.  Gus was powerful, calm, rational, and very business minded.  Using his restaurants, Los Pollos Hermanos, as a cover to transport the drugs was brilliant.  But Walt’s life is far from easy and when fearing for the safety of his family due to his tumultuous relationship with Gus, he had to become (in his words) “the one who knocks.”  Ridding himself of Gus was the only way to guarantee his safety and he did so via a bomb strapped to Hector’s wheelchair.  Seeing the bomb go off and then watching Gus leave Hector’s room, straighten his tie, and then turn to reveal half a blown off face was such an outstanding way for the man to go.  It honored the character while also showing Walt’s ruthlessness and power.

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With Breaking Bad, I have no doubt that all the characters will be honored in the series finale due to the way they have treated their characters thus far.  Gus received an honorable discharge, Oxymandias allowed Hank and his partner to die in the line of fire and with their heads held high while Jesse’s beating was mercifully kept off camera.  Hank’s wife Marie has grown as a person and become much more than a supporting character.  Mike’s death was untimely but his character was such a strong loyal person and great family man, so his request to die in peace came off as one of strength and not as him giving up.  Skyler, as I said, has become more than just a person we love to hate.  And Walt has evolved so much and come so far that it’s ridiculous to think that anything could happen that would shake him or not do honor to the person he is when we say goodbye.

Writing the finale to a series has got to be incredibly challenging.  How to decide where to go and still hold true to the characters without ticking off your viewers is a task I would not want to take on.  It doesn’t always go well, like when Prison Break decided to kill off Michael Scofield rather than give him the ending he deserved with Sarah and their child.  But too often, we see various TV series end without any resolution at all due to cancellations.  I’ll never really know where the Breakout Kings have gone, what happens to The Borgias, what the next step for No Ordinary Family would have been, or where the team from Chase is now.  These days, being able to pen a series finale is a huge deal.  I hope my favorites can do it right.  I’ll be finding out soon enough.

Trust

I’ve been thinking lately about cheating.  NO, not like that.  Cheaters is one of my favorite shows, even though I barely catch it on TV anymore.  It’s somewhat fascinating to me to see people who trust each other so fully to fall apart because someone can’t keep their pants on.  I don’t mean that in a cruel way; it’s never a pleasant thing to see hearts break and relationships fail.  We all want love to conquer all and it simply sucks when that cannot happen.  But the thing that grabs my attention even more is the trust that the cheater is putting with their new partner.

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Sure, there are people out there who cheat in the dumbest possible ways, seemingly asking to get caught in the act.  But for every one of them, there exists a person who is shamefully good at being unfaithful.  They lead a double life effortlessly and mostly free of guilt.  At least one, if not both (or more) of the people they are with are being duped into thinking that they are the only one receiving love, sex and affection.  They play this game of balancing their lovers, never revealing their true colors and intentions.  They cover their tracks beautifully and leave nothing in question.  Even though it’s wrong, you can’t help but be slightly impressed at the way they keep blinders on everyone around them.

What I never thought about until recently is how much trust goes into these affairs.  When Mike is unfaithful to his wife with Stacy, he needs to trust Stacy to keep her mouth shut, to keep her distance from his family, and to not grow too attached and do something stupid to reveal the entire ruse.  (fictional people, obviously)  Mike has to have faith in Stacy to either accept that he has a life away from her that he wants to keep, or that she won’t find him on Facebook or elsewhere and flip out when she discovers his wife and children.  There must be an enormous amount of trust put into Stacy upon beginning the affair, and it’s incredibly hard to trust a person with so much of your life and happiness.

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With social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and others, it’s near impossible to keep your personal life 100% personal.  If Mike begins his affair with the intent to keep Stacy fully ignorant of his wife and family, Facebook can ruin that plan in a heartbeat.  Even without a Facebook friend acceptance, Stacy would be able to see the minimal details that would show Mike to be a family man with a woman he is committed to.  Photos on Instagram and Twitter can do the same.  More digging from Stacy could put her in direct contact with Mike’s wife, blowing his cover and making his poor spouse very unhappy.  It’s made even worse if Stacy is armed with text messages, voicemails, emails, or any other type of concrete evidence of Mike’s infidelity.

This type of trust confuses me.  If you’re married (or committed to someone in the same respect without the certificate) you obviously trust that person implicitly.  Trust is a hard thing to earn and to give, so it makes sense that it would go hand in hand with marriage (or similar commitment).  It’s not something you give to everyone, yet the cheater gives it to their new lover almost effortlessly.  They get flirtatious and cross the line, surely knowing full well that their new lover could tear their world down in a second.  Yet they trust this person not to do so.  They trust that this person will understand and respect the boundaries and rules put into place, even though they have no reason to respect anything.

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I imagine that while cheating, the trust does begin to bend a bit.  The cheater generally begins to lose trust for their spouse or primary partner, thinking that they are the one lying and sneaking around.  They project their activities onto this person, analyzing their every move and every word.  I suspect that they may even do this with the person they are cheating with, assuming that they are doing their own share of sneaking around.  The trust wavers, not because of the other parties, but because the cheater subconsciously acknowledges that they are betraying the trust of someone important to them.  But even then, the motivation to stop simply isn’t there.

Mike could have been called out by his wife on his activities that don’t match up to his stories, he could be called out by Stacy after she discovers that his background isn’t what he has presented it to be, but that still isn’t always enough for Mike to cut ties with Stacy (or his wife) and decide to live and love honestly.  Even in the face of failure, the cheater maintains the trust and faith that things will work out and run smoothly.  It makes no sense to put faith in something so broken, but people are out there doing it every single day.

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Trust is an important thing and it’s sad that these strange perversion of trust exists out there and gives cheaters validation to do what they do.  But it may also be their ultimate downfall.  When you’re doing something shady, any trust you give to your accomplice is tainted and destined to shatter.  You can’t play with someone’s emotions and then expect nothing negative to come of it.  You can’t assume that your penis pictures won’t see the light of day eventually after you tick off your new lover due to your inability to commit to just him/her.  If you’re going to trust in anything while cheating, trust in this:  It will fall apart and it will fall hard.  Secrets aren’t well kept when everything we do can be put online or emailed in a screenshot.  Everyone has their limits and eventually your “other” will get tired of that status and your secrets will be revealed.  Unless your trust also comes with total and complete honesty, it is destined to crumble and take you down with it.

No Love Lost

I’ve been married for slightly over five years now, about as long as my two previous longest and most serious relationships combined.  I’ve gone from being a paranoid nutcase to a happy nutcase, settling into married life and becoming part of something I never thought I would have.  I’d be lying if I said it was an easy journey; my husband and I butted heads quite often in the beginning and we still do so now in a much gentler fashion.  We threw ourselves headfirst into a relationship after spending less than two days in each others company, relying solely on the emotions we felt through our digital relationship and the confidence that we had found our other half.  It was a big risk but one I’m so glad we took.

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Every happy ending is prefaced by heartbreak, and I definitely experienced my share before finding happiness.  It taught me a lot and has made me sensitive to others who are unlucky in love, turned off to relationships for personal reasons, or stuck in bad situations.  Too often, I see friends on Twitter venting about failed relationships or feeling as if they are not meant for love and destined to be single forever.  I’m always glad to see the handful that are comfortable with their single status and immune to the pressures of finding someone and settling down, but they are sadly outnumbered by the miserable crowd who wants nothing more than to find true love.  Dating can be rough and it’s quite the challenge to find someone who fits your needs to a T.

The desperation to find love can make even the most intelligent person turn into a lovesick teenager, reaching out for anyone who will give them a chance.  I’ve seen strong-willed men and women crumble at the feet of a person they want to love but who is all kinds of wrong for them, sacrificing parts of themselves in order to appease the other person in their search for happiness.  I was that person once, always anxious to hear those three little words and willing to do whatever it took in order to hear them.  It was never something I admitted, not even to myself, but that need grabbed hold of my life for far too long and kept me prisoner.

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Desperation is what kills you.  Half the time, you’re blissfully unaware that you have become desperate, but it’s clear as day through actions and words.  Maybe you’re unable to enjoy a girls night out because your pretty friend is getting attention from men while you go ignored.  Perhaps you cling to flirty words on Facebook, regardless of who they come from, because you want to feel pretty and wanted.  Maybe you feel pangs of jealousy whenever you see a couple holding hands or a post on Twitter talking about love.  Acknowledging the signs and adjusting your behavior is key, but it rarely happens.  It isn’t fair that everyone else is happy while you’re lonely and stuck on the outskirts, and it’s natural to have a strong desire to change that.

When the emotions cloud common sense, people make mistakes.  Some will settle for a person who isn’t good enough for them just so they can have someone to cuddle up next to at night.  Some are looking to fill a gap left by a previous love and show a lack of care for who they choose to fill that gap.  Some are quick to sacrifice friends in order to maintain their relationship, siding with their new love without question or thought.  They blame others for any hiccups in their relationship but never blame themselves or the person they are with.  They shut themselves off from the world, creating their own little universe around this “perfect” person.  It’s a dangerous path to take, but countless people are walking it right now.

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I hate that I’ve lost friends because of their relationships.  It stings a bit to know that I can be cast aside so easily in favor of some girl or guy, but it saddens me more to know what a big mistake they are making.  True love does not require one to break friendships and become someone different.  Love does not give ultimatums, spoken or otherwise, that cause a person to compromise parts of themselves in order to keep the relationship going.  Love does not say “your friends aren’t worth it, take my friends instead.”  It shouldn’t be selfish, closed off, take it or leave it, or hurtful in any way.  Love shouldn’t make you choose between that person and the rest of your world.

I lost a lot of friends when I was with my most serious ex because I chose him over everything else, casting everyone aside and immersing myself in an unhealthy relationship.  I know too well when someone else is doing the same and it pains me to see it happen.  Just as I ignored warning signs that flashed in front of me, I see people turning a blind eye to all kinds horrible actions from their love.  And there is nothing I can do about it.  I didn’t allow anyone to help me and let advice slide right off my back, so why should I expect anyone else to do any different?  I can only hope they come to their senses before wasting any more of their life on a person who isn’t good enough for them.

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Good things come to those to wait, right?  Annoying saying, but it’s true.  As I’m typing this, I’m listening to a coworker on the phone with a friend, talking to her about her failed marriage.  In regards to her own marriage, after listing complaints about her husband, she said “well, I guess I could do worse.”  It’s a perfect example of someone who failed to wait for a good thing and decided to settle for what was available, leaving her needs unsatisfied and her heart desiring something more.  At nearly 60 years old, she is venting her regret for not having a better husband.  That shouldn’t be anyone’s reality.  Take a deep breath and take an honest look at your life.  If you want better, go out and get it.  Just be patient and be smart about it.  No one should be forced to settle for anything less than what they truly deserve.

Groovy Movie Time

Kevin Smith is one of my all time favorite storytellers.  I was hooked with Clerks and proceeded to devour everything he put out, from the movies to the books to the films he’s featured in solely as an actor to the podcasts to Comic Book Men, and so on.  Sadly for me, it has been quite some time since I’ve been able to see one of his films in the theater; when Clerks II came out, I was too broke to even consider it, and Red State wasn’t mass released in theaters and sold out before I could snag tickets.  Luckily for me, Jay Mewes happened to pop on the radio while my husband and I were driving to work, talking about the release of Smith’s latest movie, Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie.

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Naturally, I went into OMG-mode and immediately hopped on the computer to find out if they were showing the movie anywhere near me.  As luck would have it, a stop was planned at The Vic Theater in Chicago, Illinois on May 19th!  This was perfect; it’s close to my birthday and it’s in my new favorite city at a venue that my husband and I have been to and enjoyed.  I was even more thrilled when I found out about the Meet and Greet packages that were for sale as well.  After a frantic back and forth with my husband through emails, I began the process of purchasing my VIP packages…..

…..only to discover at checkout that they were all sold out.  As is my nature, I took to Twitter to vent my frustrations:  “Officially the shittiest day ever.  Dunkin didn’t toast my english muffin and the VIP packages for @ThatKevinSmith in Chicago are sold out.”  “I’m off to go play in traffic now… 😦 WHY CAN’T I MEET @ThatKevinSmith & @JayMewes for my birthday, damn it?!???!?”  “@ThatKevinSmith Chicago VIP packages are sold out. Birthday fail for me :(”  “I think I should tweet @ThatKevinSmith until he takes pity on me & throws me a Chicago VIP package that I can buy #SoldOutSucks”

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There was a method to my madness.  When Comic Book Men premiered, I mentioned something about it on Twitter and Kevin Smith ended up favoriting that tweet.  I figured that if I got him to unintentionally notice me once, surely I could purposely get him to take notice again.  Plus it wasn’t as though I was begging for something free.  I’ll pay, I just need the chance.  I kept trying, with:  “@ThatKevinSmith sell me a VIP package for Chicago! My birthday is 11 days afterward. Present for a fan? #SoldOutSucks #BeggingFTW.”  My efforts were proving fruitless, and my day was brightened only by my mom-in-law taking a lunch run to Quiznos to grab us some delicious toasty subs.

As I’m lunching and complaining, out of nowhere, Mewes speaks!  He tells me there are 2 VIP tickets left in Chicago.  After I get over the initial shock of Mewes actually noticing my Twitter nonsense, I hop back on the site and try once again to get the VIP packages.  Now, instead of having the option to purchase, they are stamped with the SOLD OUT symbol and I can’t even click on it to proceed.  Disheartened, I return to Twitter to tell Jay thank you, but sadly no go.  He not only answers again, but we proceed to have a freaking conversation as I silently fan-girl out.


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I would love to tell you that I was able to get those VIP passes that day, but I wasn’t.  The site wouldn’t cooperate and it all just seemed like a random cool experience that would be a nice memory but wouldn’t get me those passes.   I let it go and ended up having a nice surprise waiting for me at home:

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Fast forward a bit; I get contacted from Topspin Media who handles the SmodCo ticketing for the show.  I’m informed that because of the Twitter exchange, Jay has contacted them and they were able to release two more VIP packages that they are holding FOR ME!  The amazing customer service rep walks me through the online finalization process to get the order completed while acting amazed that I was able to pull this off.  I’m holding my breath until that moment when I get the confirmation email and I know for sure that I will meet Kevin Smith and Jay Mewes!!!  And of course, I must brag:

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And what are the chances, Smith takes notice yet again!  I’m absolutely stoked to be able to meet these two in Chicago while on a mini-vacation with my husband.  Chances are, I will forget how to talk and babble something like a moron as I get my photo taken, but it’ll be worth it.  Meeting Kevin Smith was a bucket list item for me and I’m so happy to be able to cross it off next month.  I can’t ask for a better birthday present.

It just goes to show you the true power of Twitter.  What began as just another one of my morning rants turned into a conversation with Mewes that scored me two sold out VIP passes in a city I’ve been dying to get back to.  I’m still a bit awed that it worked, as I’m not big on harassing people on Twitter or elsewhere for personal gain.  But it worked, and I can’t be happier.  Now, someone please help me figure out what in the holy hell I’m supposed to say when I meet them!

Why Don’t You Have A Seat Over Here

I’ve been following the Steubenville rape case in the news for weeks now, and we now have a guilty verdict that will send two boys to a juvenile correction facility where they could possibly remain incarcerated until they are 21.  Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond have received sentences of a minimum of two years and one year respectfully, but must also register as sex offenders for the rape; the act of penetration to the victim with their hands constitutes rape under Ohio law.  The event was fueled by drugs and alcohol and teenagers behaving like teenagers; living in the moment, having fun, and not giving a thought to the consequences of their actions.

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What the two boys did was horrible.  What the teenagers who witnessed the event did by covering things up is equally as bad, as is the actions of a few on social media sites by threatening the victim with bodily harm.  It’s an all around terrible situation.  No one deserves to be violated in this way and to be shamed by their community.  No one deserves the trauma and the backlash or to be told that it’s their fault that they were sexually assaulted.  The victim did make a poor choice in becoming so inebriated that she had no control over her actions and couldn’t even manage to stay conscious, but that doesn’t mean she deserved what happened to her and what continues to happen as people angry over the sentencing place the blame on her shoulders.

Mays and Richmond definitely deserve to serve time for what they did to this female.  They chose to treat her like a piece of trash, to laugh as they violated her, and to act like it was all a joke.  That said, the pair are still only children.  They screwed up and no doubt, this ordeal and all the time in court and in the spotlight has hit them both hard and taught them a serious lesson.  The time in the juvenile facility will help to strongly drive home that what they did was all kinds of wrong.  But do they really deserve to become sex offenders?  Do these teenager boys deserve to have to register as offenders and have that thrown on top of what is already a very heavy load of grief, regret, shame and anguish?

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I’m not saying I sympathize with rapists because that is simply ridiculous.  But I do sympathize with two young lives who are going to be ruined even further if they must register as sex offenders.  Mays and Richmond are already paying for their crime dearly with all the negative attention that is coming their way, the effect this has had on their families and community, and the time they must serve in the juvenile facility.  Their mistake is likely not one that these boys will ever repeat in their lives.  In addition to registering as sex offenders, they are ordered to undergo treatment, which I feel is absolutely necessary and will further assist the two in fully understanding what they did, why it was wrong, and why it should never happen again.  The punishment and rehabilitation are enough without putting the sex offender registry on top of it.

I understand why this is a sexual offense, but I don’t know if their mistake and poor choices justify carrying the extra stigma of being a registered sex offender.  This is something that will affect where they can live and who they can live with.  It will affect where they can work and the ease of getting employment.  It will affect their livelihood well after they have served their time and undergone their rehabilitation, well after we have all forgotten about their crime, and well after their victim is recovered and has moved on.  I can’t help but be very bothered by the fact that these two boys are going to have their entire lives ruined over one dumb night of partying.

Defense attorney Madison comforts Richmond as Richmond reacts to the verdict during his trial at the juvenile court in Steubenville, Ohio.

Mays and Richmond are both minors, 17 and 16 respectfully, and still very obviously not thinking as a rational adult would.  I’m not suggesting that their age and lack of maturity is enough to excuse their poor actions, but I do believe it is enough to save them from becoming registered sex offenders.  Richmond’s attorney, Walter Madison, is planning to appeal this decision in order to save his client from becoming a registered offender and I do hope that he is successful.  Having the boys register will not teach them or save them from repeating this act again later in life.  They need to be punished, they need to learn, and they must make amends.  Perhaps they also need to spend time doing volunteer work with battered and abused women in order to imprint it into their brains.  They simply need to be saved.

When we are dealing with people as young as Mays and Richmond, the goal should be on rehabilitation and on saving these two lives, not simply on piling punishment on top of punishment.  Force the two to apologize directly to their victim and to their community.  Ensure they understand the severity of their crime and make them learn proper boundaries.  Make them see the damage they have done and make them understand how rape affects a person.  Show them what will happen if they continue along a path of wrongdoing by putting them face to face with people who have made the same or worse mistakes.  Ensure they serve enough time in the juvenile facility to where they have no desire to ever break a law again.  But don’t lump them in with pedophiles, serial rapists, and other adults who simply can’t or won’t learn their lesson.  Give them a chance.

Our Own Worst Enemy

While screwing around on Twitter this morning, I saw a few random comical comments from a female that I could once call a friend but who I’m now unsure of where she fits into my life, if she even fits at all.  We have not spoken since the day I finally became fed up with her friend’s boyfriend and told him that I want nothing to do with him.  This was after he had acted very inappropriately and disrespectfully to me and to his girlfriend (indirectly), but I kept the trash talk out of it and just ended the friendship I had with him.  His girlfriend slowly cut me out of her life, but this one female has kept me around on her Twitter feed for some reason even though we no longer speak.  She’s favorited things I’ve said after the incident, yet uninvited me to two things we had previously planned.  And I don’t understand it at all.

I suspect the reasoning behind it, other than her loyalty to her friend, is that she sees me as wrong and ill-informed when it comes to the guy I cut out of my life.  She was drinking and distracted the first time he acted like a royal ass, not around the second time he acted inappropriately, and not present on Twitter enough to see the rest of it.  To her, this guy is amazing and a perfect match for her friend.  To her, I am jealous, bitter, bitchy or a combination of all three.  Since I have not defended my actions and not explained why I cut the guy out of my life, I am probably also seen as cowardly.  Truth is, there is no way in hell she or her friend would listen to anything I have to say.  It’s like that too often with women.  We get blinded by love and ignore everything else while treating other females like garbage if we feel threatened in any way.

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This is one of the main reasons I have a very small group of female friends.  This nonsense was a daily issue in middle and high school as we fought over boys and battled with our self-esteem.  I expected and accepted it as a teenager, but I’ll be 32 this year and I’m not okay with dealing with it any longer.  If I slip up and make a mistake, I will own up to it and make efforts to repair the damage, but if I am justified in my behavior and it just so happens to upset you, I don’t feel that I am in the wrong.  If I am hitting on your boyfriend, that is my mistake and I owe you an apology and must right the situation.  If your boyfriend hits on me and I tell him where to stick it, I have nothing to apologize for.  So why is it that I am seen as in the wrong and given the silent treatment in those situations where boyfriend was bad?  Why is he absolved of all wrongdoing while I am slowly pushed away?

Part of me thinks that certain females see me as a threat.  I don’t say that in an egotistical way and I’m not trying to claim that I’m so gorgeous, guys can’t resist me.  But I am confident and confidence can be sexy.  I’m married and I don’t care what any other man thinks of me outside of my husband.  The lack of worry about having to impress the masses has boosted my confidence, plus my husband makes me feel gorgeous, so I suspect that lends to females thinking that I could pose a threat to their relationships.  I was once that same shy little girl who was threatened by any woman who was pretty or that came across as sure of themselves.  But then I grew up.

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Another reason I feel that I’ve been pushed away by this female is the fact that I have chosen to remain absolutely quiet about why I became angry at the boyfriend, as I do not want to be the one who messes up the relationship.  If I could put her in my place and show her what I’ve seen, this would likely be a very different situation right now.  Sadly, I can’t do this and I won’t waste time trying to convince her of what I know.  I didn’t listen when people told me that my ex was a liar and a cheat, I just felt very silly when I found out the hard way.  If I had let loose with details, there is a small chance that I would have been heard, but it was too small of a chance for me to bother.  So I remain silent and look like the bad guy.  All anyone has to do is ask, but it’s easier to stick to the strange girl code of shunning females who threaten us.

Whatever the reasoning, the bottom line is that the female who has yet to delete me from her Twitter and the female who has already done so are both reminding me way too much of my high school days.  I tried hanging on, as we have a mutual friend in the mix, but I no longer see the point.  To be so irate at me that you uninvite my kid to your own kid’s birthday party is just silly and I want no part of it.  I don’t want to associate with someone who thinks so little of me and I don’t want to associate with anyone who doesn’t have the guts to express what they are feeling and express why they are angry.  It’s cowardly and it shows that you know deep down that you’re angry for a stupid reason.

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Ladies, every female out there isn’t secretly plotting and planning, her mind set on tearing your life apart so she can steal your man, take your job, and laugh as you are left with nothing.  Not every chick who doesn’t like your boyfriend is acting that way because they are secretly crushing on them; often they see something you don’t and shouldn’t be ignored.  It is pointless and petty to treat each other as if we are all waiting to stab the other in the back.  I’m exhausted by it all.  I’ve taken the few seconds today to delete the female in question from my following feed and I’ve blocked both of these ladies in order to further distance myself.  If they want to talk things out, they both have my phone number.  In the meantime, I’m content in sticking them both in the past until we can all act like adults.

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