Good-bye to Another Friend

Got word today via Facebook (again! Damn you with your double edged sword of keeping me in touch with people/always being the “first” to break bad news.)  I suppose I should just be glad I found out at all, living as far away from most of my high school friends as I do.    We lost another person from our graduating class.  It feels like our class has lost quite a few people these past few years.  We’re only 32-34 years old.  We’ve lost friends to epilepsy, cancer, suicide, even murder.

My friend Scott passed this weekend.  He was one of my homeroom buddies back in high school, and unlike a lot of Facebook “acquaintances,” we actually did still interact with one another on Facebook.  Oddly, in some ways I learned more about him from Facebook than our time back in high school– like, for instance, what a sensitive soul he actually was.  This is so weird because…and I know it sounds so obvious it’s stupid, but…  he was just here not too long ago.  Now he’s not.

It seems most of us (that is, the people in our class, our “mutual friends” on Facebook,) don’t know cause of death; it’s being kept quiet right now…which for me tends to rule out accident, illness, etc.  And I guess it doesn’t really matter how he died.  He is just as gone.  And yet, knowing seems to be a piece in coming to terms with the loss…and in some cases, satisfying a sort of morbid curiosity many of us feel towards the death of someone we know who is not necessarily in our immediate circle of friends.  Along the same vein, I can’t help but be annoyed by the requisite number of busybodies and drama mongers (online), attempting to put themselves in the middle of everything, trying to make the loss somehow more about them.  (You disgust me, but this isn’t the time for me to call you out on it.)

Because of the internet and social networking, we are now highly in tune with the everyday goings-on of people we might not get to otherwise interact with regularly.  We get our news fast (sometimes too fast, and in a less than sensitive manner.)  It makes me wonder, are all these losses just a normal part of “growing up,” aging?  Are the amount of deaths in our age group just the relatively normal “fall off” of people, and we are only so aware of it because of the internet?

It’s also weird to think about it…like I said, he was here, now he’s not.  Chances are, he didn’t know he wouldn’t be here today.  Did he know how many people would miss him?  Tag his name in Facebook statuses and say nice things about him…

 

And (quietly) *to myself*…

One day will I be just a tagged name on Facebook? 

 

In Memory Of Scott (1981-2014)

 

Related:

Rest In Peace, Jer and Ricky

Things Not to Say/Rest in Peace, Greg

Advertisements

“Religious Freedom,” or just plain old Discrimination?

George Takei posted this on his Facebook page today.

1901717_895338403828947_1462043222_n

This is just to reiterate; you can’t pass legislation that is fundamentally against the constitution.

This is bullshit.  Your rights only go as far as until they infringe on someone else’s.  Being gay and patronizing a restaurant, for instance, does not infringe on the owner’s “religious” rights (There is no legal right to discriminate against anyone– it’s unconstitutional.)  However, refusing to serve someone because they are gay is discrimination and is ILLEGAL…

A word on tolerance…

A friend of mine made an eloquent point on Facebook today (how’s that for irony; eloquence on Facebook!)

HE said:

Don’t be intolerant of my conservatism and ask me to be tolerant of your liberalism.

While I do agree with this, especially in light of the whole Phil Robertson debacle, my take on it is this:

I personally do not feel I am intolerant of conservatism, so much as I am intolerant of the almost compulsive need many conservatives  have to try to legislate their beliefs. In other words, it’s not enough for them to live by their own beliefs and rules; they want make their rules apply to everyone. I mean, for instance, if liberal policy allows gays to marry, a conservative does not need to “be gay” and/or get married if they don’t agree with it.  A liberal will not try to pass a law forcing a straight person to get “gay married.”  However, conversely, many conservatives feel the need to actually try to keep OTHERS from getting married and living the life they want…. See what I mean?

Also, as pertains to Phil, I do feel sorta bad he got fired. CQ essentially laid a trap by asking him questions to which they already knew the answer, and A & E then punished him for his honest opinion.  Personally, I think A & E has hitherto cashed in on the brash, unapologetic nature of the Robertson family, only now distancing themselves when it becomes too “controversial.”   That said, Phil should have know better.  The best answers to questions like the one he was asked are usually as short as possible.  Admittedly I do not watch the show; I’ve heard about it and had little desire to see one more reality show where people are rewarded with fame and money for acting like dicks, and Robertson’s remarks just seem to validate my decision to skip this particular show.

Open mouth, insert duck call....

Open mouth, insert duck call…

Grammar Police: Acceptable vs. Non-acceptable Ignorance

If I posted a status on Facebook claiming that there were 52 states in the US or that 2+2=7, people would in all likelihood not only correct me, but also lambaste the shit out of me for being so ignorant.

And yet, it’s considered passe, annoying, and even rude to correct improper grammar.  People like myself are often referred to as “grammar nazis,” as if preferring people use correct English, which we were supposed to have learned in school, is something about which to be embarrassed.

images

Aside from wanting to grind my teeth into dust when I see people who should know better mix up “your” and “you’re,”  the educational and social double standard that this is somehow acceptable annoys the piss out of me.  These same people who complain about grammar nazis are likely also complaining about the “state of education” in the country.  I’m just sayin’…

grammar-memeIt’s not like these rules are arbitrary.  To me, the fact that “you” and “are” can combine to make “you’re” and that word’s meaning is completely different from “your” does not seem to be an impossible or nonsensical concept.  I’m really not even trying to rag on people who make this mistake (I even do it sometimes if my brain is moving faster than my fingers can type.)  It just annoys me that there seems to be some sort of double standard where, once out of high school, English is regarded as Math/Geography/[fill in blank with subject]’s bastard red-headed stepchild.  I’m not even talking about people needing to know every obscure rule of grammar there is;  I’m talking very basic grammar here.

No one loves a grammar nazi...except another grammar nazi...

No one loves a grammar nazi…except maybe another grammar nazi…

Well, I know all this bitching won’t do anything to change anything.  We grammar nazis are routinely ignored.  But I figured that at the very least, I could get a blog post out of it, and we could all enjoy some grammar memes.   Oh noes.  I’m a… “grammar nerd!”

I was actually THINKING this last night....

I was actually THINKING this last night….

No one is feeling MY nuts!

No one is feeling MY nuts!

You all just better watch your step! Liam is serious.

You all just better watch your step! Liam is serious.

Happy (belated) Birthday, “Ex” Friend

Dear longtime friend,

Since you “divorced” me a few months back, I’ll have to admit, I sort of forgot about the whole issue.  At least on a daily basis.  You see, since we live so far apart now, and social media was really our only contact, you erased yourself from my life, and me from yours, quite effectively with that “block” button on Facebook…although I still can’t exactly figure out why you felt that was necessary, as if “de-friending” me was not enough…like you thought I would just continue to send you messages even though we clearly had nothing else to talk about.

I went about my life, and , like I said, after the shock and upset over our initial argument wore off, I sort of forgot about it all.  Except for when one of our mutual friends would mention you in conversation, or in a Facebook comment I couldn’t see because, after 20 years of friendship, you decided my existence pissed you off so much, you didn’t want to see my name…or whatever.  Then I would get kinda mad.

But eventually I’d forget about it…

Until I went through all my old greeting cards, some from as far back as middle school, and found the ones from you.  On more than one, you proclaimed how we would be friends forever and you’d always be here for me.  It made me a bit sad, but it also made me mad.  I didn’t know if I should keep the cards or get rid of them.  After all, if you could throw me out like an old card, why should I keep these mementos of our friendship?  But I decided to…just in case.  

And then I forgot about it.  After all, I am a mom, a wife.  I am (once again) a student, a writer, an artist, and a volunteer.  I’m a daughter and a friend… SO I had a lot to occupy my mind… and I forgot about it again.

Except for whenever feminism came up in conversation.  It seems a stupid thing to lose a friend over.  It’s not an elitist club.  It’s not about being obligated to feel or act a certain way, but rather having the option to decide for oneself…  And that’s what I would tell whoever I happened to be in discussion with.  But then I would forget about it again.

And every once in a while, something random would make me think of you.  How you were at my wedding.  How you are one of few of my friends from my homestate who have gotten to meet my daughter, who was not born until after we left the state.  It’s always with a mixture of sadness and anger that I think of you.  It makes me sad that you feel you no longer want to share in my life, especially my life’s greatest joy, getting to know my daughter.  She is super-cool!

It makes me sad that I used to describe you as the nicest, most open-minded person I knew, and you took those words and bit me in the ass with them.  I understand activism is important to you, but you seem more angry now then empowered.

Today* was your birthday.   I thought about asking a mutual friend to wish you a happy birthday…then I started questioning myself.  Did I really care?  Did I want you to know I was thinking of you, or was I just being passive aggressive, letting you know that despite your snub, I was still around?  I don’t even really know why I am writing this now.  You likely have “unfollowed” my blog as well and will never see this message.  And I guess that’s fine.  Maybe it’s better even, since it would probably just piss you off.

But, Happy Birthday anyway.  And Happy Holidays too, for good measure.  In a day or so, I will forget about this again for a while.  But I will be here, as ever.

Love me.

(edited cuz I thought today was yesterday*)

Eff you, and your righteous indignation…

Man…there are so many hateful people in this world.  I am really starting to hate Facebook for making me so aware of it.  People like to blame all sorts of groups for “the state of the country…”  The Republicans, the Democrats, (Libs and Conservatives), the poor, the blacks, the whites, the illegals…  There is very little left of sympathy or empathy or the milk of human kindness.  SO many people only care about themselves and how things affect them.

The government just cut food stamps…again.  And the house endorsed and extra $500 million in aid to Israel…for missile systems!!!

Could someone tell me why so many people in this country hate our own poor, disdain giving them any help or money because they think it’s just the poor being “lazy” and the gov’t “enabling” them…?

But we can send a shit ton of money to other countries?  Oh, I bet I can…  Because somehow the House sees the money sent to Israel for weapons as a better “investment” than money spent on their own people.

Are we all so busy hating each other, blaming each other (damn lazy poor people,) that we can’t see the gov’t is the one sucking up all our money, screwing up our lives?

Facebook and the internet is really making me start to hate people…worse than I already did.   By all means, let’s cut SNAP aid and welfare money to the US poor….by, dear GOD, don’t let the Panda Cam go offline!!!

"Fuck you, poor person.  We wanna see Pandas."

“Fuck you, poor person. We wanna see Pandas.”

poor-people

No. Just…No.

This is one of the gems making the rounds on Facebook right now… (and by “gems,” I really mean ignorant, entitled bullshit…)

310095_591798744168035_530634446_n

I find it amusing that hundreds of thousands of federal employees just got an unrequested “vacation” without pay because Congress couldn’t get their shit together, and STILL, everyone, including other middle class Americans, are still focusing on blaming the poor people in America.

(I’ve written about this before, and anyone interested in actual facts can check out that link…)

Or, if facts don’t really matter much, I’ll leave you with this little ode to misrepresentation and straight up lies. (I’ll reprint the caption that’s tagging along with this particular incarnation of an old pic, but please, don’t hold me responsible for the dumbassery…)

"What the hell is this... A picture is worth a thousand words. SOMEONE WAS AT THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME WITH A CAMERA. IT WAS REPORTED THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS FURIOUS THAT HE WAS CAUGHT ON CAMERA AND IT WAS PUBLISHED AND TRIED TO BLOCK IT. The name of the book Obama is holding is called: The Post-American World, and it was written by a fellow Muslim.(Fareed Zakaria) "Post" America means: The World "After" America !" If each person sends this to a minimum of twenty people on their address list, In three days, all people in The United States of America would have the message. I believe this is one photo that really should be passed around."

“What the hell is this… A picture is worth a thousand words. SOMEONE WAS AT THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME WITH A CAMERA. IT WAS REPORTED THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS FURIOUS THAT HE WAS CAUGHT ON CAMERA AND IT WAS PUBLISHED AND TRIED TO BLOCK IT. The name of the book Obama is holding is called: The Post-American World, and it was written by a fellow Muslim.(Fareed Zakaria) “Post” America means: The World “After” America !” If each person sends this to a minimum of twenty people on their address list, In three days, all people in The United States of America would have the message. I believe this is one photo that really should be passed around.”

‘Kay, guys…  I hope no one ever post pix of the stuff I read for entertainment!

Also…Obama is Christian…

Also…ah fuck it…  http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/postamerican.asp