Friday, March 23, 2012

C'est la vie, suckers

Poetic interpretation...and cool tattoo idea.

"C'est la vie, say the old goes to show you never can tell."  -Chuck Berry

This is my new default response, sort of like an inner auto-reply. It means "such is life" and I don't think it's an excuse or justification for standing still. Rather, it's an acknowledgement that things are as they are; to rail against any situation is pretty futile. But to examine any thing and decide how to move with it or away from it is the truest way to affect change in your life.

Let's say you hate your job, as many people do. But "at least you have a job," right? Sort of. You can very easily give up and sink in to what you believe is a current you can't change, or you can sink in to find the current OUT. You do the job you hate while finding satisfaction either in an outside interest, or in cultivating as many other possibilities as you can, within the current. 

Let's pretend you're dealing with an illness, either your own or someone else's. This one is really a current out of which there's no real exit. This one really IS what it is. Such is life! But friends and confidantes, professionals and strangers, all appear if you're willing to see them. Every person over a certain age has gone through losing someone they love, and no one out there is in it alone. Moving with and through this crisis knowing that it IS life can ease the agony.

What if you're just not happy? Like, just...not...happy. At all. Anywhere. Ever. Number one, might I recommend a visit to your doctor? And perhaps a magical pill? Number B, might I also suggest that you adopt a "c'est la vie" attitude for a couple of weeks and see what happens? Surrender to the human condition for a bit. Understand that changes happen over time, sometimes almost imperceptibly, and that without much fanfare we can find that we're standing in a place we didn't expect to be.

When you let go of your own egotistical expectations, you can never tell where your path will take you. Such is life...grab opportunities by being open to seeing them! Don't discount what appear at first to be set backs or obstacles, because they may simply be things designed to nudge (or shove) you in a different direction. Very rarely is a situation devoid of hope, of growth opportunity, or positiveness. In the darkest of nights people still find light.

The old folks have always known it.  

Friday, March 16, 2012

Blasting your face

This morning, while wasting time and looking for whatever it is I look for, I found a page written in Dutch. Thanks to Google, I translated it quickly and read a sentence that, in its utter inability to BE translated, made me think.

Whatever the Dutch was, Google decided that the English should read: "...make sure you go blasting of all possibilities." 

I have no clue what the Dutchman wanted to tell his brethren readers with that portion of his sentence, but what he accidentally told me is so great I can't even handle it. Make sure I go blasting of all possibilities. Let's really define this one.

Make sure: this implies that it's important. I have a responsibility MAKE SURE. When you're sure, there's no doubt, and when I make sure, then it's up to me to create the undoubtable nature. 

You go: I mean, this is a directive. YOU GO. Do it. Hey, YOU....GO! 

Blasting: this word, blasting, creates an image of explosive force. One doesn't blast quietly through a door into a room. If I blast my way through a park trail, I am certainly not meandering slowly...I AM BLASTING. You know I'm coming, you know I'm here, you know when I've left. Sometimes, blasting is the only way to live.

All possibilities: holy crap. All of them? Every possibility. All possibilities. Not all options....not all choices presented to you...all POSSIBILITIES...even the ones you don't quite think are real.  Because what's possible isn't usually what's probable, available, or even realistic in any given situation. What's possible is infinite.

Make sure you go blasting of all possibilities!! 

If that's not a call to action, then absolutely nothing is. And now you've read it too, except I'm not Dutch, so I don't know if it'll carry the same weight. That's sort of a cultural bias you have to deal with on your own. However, we're headed into a week end in my hemisphere, and I want to know from my dearly beloved readers: how do you plan to make sure you go blasting of all possibilities? How do you envision your life, even for one day, if you left no room for self-doubt, for negative thinking?

What would happen to you if you just grabbed on to a passion or an idea or a dream...and then made absolutely certain that you destroyed any notions that it couldn't happen? 

It's good advice...who knew the Dutch were so freakin' smart?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Facebook ads that DON'T speak to me.

Thanks to the new medication, I no longer hear advertisements ACTUALLY speaking to me. However, apparently, even the really quiet ones are supposed to be trying to communicate with me. Here are a few that I saw tonight...that don't work. On any level.

I don't want to teach obese babies. 

No, it's cool. Your stock photo of a white dude with a stethoscope and scrubs is all I need to click through and find out if the crushing chest pain, radiating arm and jaw pain, as well as deep desire to call 911 are any of the four warning signs that I'm currently dying.

All it took all this time was a VOTE?!? On Facebook?!? Okay, A) Mark Zuckerberg is a complete and total genius. What started out as a way to get laid in college is now curing cancer, if only the page could get enough likes. B) When I die of cancer, I blame you, because you probably didn't vote. If you HAD, I wouldn't have gotten cancer. It's simple math.

NICE!!! This interstate is in my town!!  And I only need to drive 374 miles into Florida to get to it!! Naked people 12+ hours away by car is definitely spot-on-targeted advertising in my book. 

So, to sum up, none of this is helpful at all. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Invisible Children, Joseph Kony, and shut the hell up.

I bet you saw this coming. I'm also betting you're going to see how long this is and stop reading right now...and that's certainly a mistake you have the luxury of making if you live in a first world country.

So. Everyone knows I'm a passionate person. I feel passionately about ALMOST everything I think. It's sort of in my genetic make-up that, if I think it, I think it's worthy of passionate feelings. Opinions are nebulous things I hold dear, personally, and that renders me an obnoxious wind-bag very much of the time. For of all of you who don't know me live and in person...just take 2 seconds and thank your lucky stars, because it's kind of a chore to be my friend.

That said, here we are, together...on this page that I own and control. And #Kony2012 is sweeping the nation and the globe, and if you're unclear about what it means or if this is the blog you're coming to for facts, then let me do my level best. There is a lot of misinformation going around right now about #Kony2012 and Invisible Children (IC), which is the parent non-profit, and I'm going to try and dispassionately describe the mission and the financials of what #Kony2012 means. (That right there is a lie...I can't do anything dispassionately...I'm typing this passionately. Sorry.)

I'm going to first pull info DIRECTLY from the website "Kony 2012 is an international campaign by Invisible Children, aiming to bring Joseph Kony to justice." And here is what this means:

Joseph Kony is the leader of a rebel group that MOVES AROUND THE CONTINENT OF AFRICA, from country to country. The group is named the "Lord's Resistance Army" (LRA) and they kidnap boys to force them to fight. They rape and murder the girls or sell them into the sex trade. He is not located directly in Uganda and the video that Invisible Children made does portray events that occurred in the past. This war is very old...and it's current. So the images, while dated, are true to life today.

The #Kony2012 movement has ONE purpose: capture Joseph Kony in front of the world's eyes. They aren't seeking to reform governments or bring democracy to African countries. They seek to CAPTURE one man and put him in an international court for his crimes. THAT IS IT.

There are two goals...only two goals.
1- Make sure the whole planet knows who Kony is. If he's as "famous" as Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein or Momar Qaddafi, then he can't hide. Seriously....this is the first mission. Let me translate it so it's hyper clear: they want you to know his face. They want you to show other people his face. THAT is mission one. And it's FREE and it's simple.

2- Utilize the 100 US advisers that are already there to support the Ugandan army in his capture. THAT'S IT. Invisible Children isn't asking for military intervention, air strikes, ground troops or any other manner of the US war machine. The US military advisers are set to come home this year and the clock is ticking. IC wants the job finished before they come home. 

Is this making sense? It's a simple mission with one directive. It's not complicated, it doesn't involve cultural understanding, it doesn't involve giant governmental commitment or vast resources. They are seeking the arrest of one man. That's the goal. Maybe it's so complicated for people because it's so simple.....

Here's where I get hyper-passionate, because on this issue people seem so myopic I wonder how they function in life at all.

GO TO THIS PAGE where they've released their financial report: 

If that's too time-consuming, let me sum it up. 

-They have a sub-par charity rating (by one organization whom the world is content to trust as being completely outside the realm of influence or motive...weird) because they haven't really been big enough in all their years to require 5 board members. They're hiring one now. WOW...that's pretty crazy, huh? They must be complete thieves. ONLY 4 BOARD MEMBERS?!?! For a charity hardly anyone recognized before 3 days ago?? Preposterous.

-Only about one third of the money goes to a ground cause. READ ON MY LITTLE SHEEP!! Here's why...they only ever seek to dedicate 1/3 to ground support. Why, you ask...(no you don't, you just want to demonize them for the 30% without asking why, but WHY is the reason I'm writing keep reading.) Invisible Children has a three-prong attack in their make-up. Now I know that (strangely) three prongs is more than we can handle in our brains, even though the ONE mission of #Kony2012 is equally befuddling. 

The three prongs are: Awareness (1/3 of money) Documentation (1/3 of money) and Ground Cause (1/3 of money). That's three thirds. It equals all the money they get and a complete breakdown of where every single dollar went is on the link I gave before. 

THEREFORE, if only 30% (or 37% according to their 2011 financial disclosure) is spent on ground work...then they aren't shady or suspect. They're doing exactly what they say they're going to do. What is the point of ground work if no one knows what's happening? And travelling to remote areas of Africa, as blond American white boys, isn't necessarily the safest thing to do ever in all of life. It's dangerous and expensive. And they're FILMING it. And then bringing that back to the first world and giving it away for free. 

They DO pay the state of California, the three founders pay themselves $80,000-$90,000 a year. Which is just a bit above the median household income for the state, if we can believe the US Census, and accounts for less than 3% of their total revenue (that's less than 1% for each of them). For reference: The founder of the Susan G. Komen Foundation pays herself over $417,000 a year, which is also less than 1% of total revenue.

Ah, now we're down to the nitty gritty. What DO you HAVE to do? Nothing. 

You don't have to do one teeny tiny thing.

You can block all #Kony2012 messages from Twitter, or Facebook. You can stop reading people's tumblr's for a while (or people's blogs...whatever...) until our global 20 minutes of attention wanes. You don't have to do anything. 

And if you're not doing anything, then maybe you want to politely excuse yourself from the international conversation.

Because some people are feeling really passionately about this, and they might WANT to donate their time and effort (even *gasp* their money!) to this cause. And people who want to nit pick it to death aren't really doing anything positive. If you don't support them, don't support them. It seems relatively simple to me...but please don't criticize them as way to criticize ME for doing some homework and deciding that I think they're okay. 

No one is coming to your house and stealing your money or your kids (that's something they're doing in Africa...and there's this movement taking place you might have heard of...) so everyone can take a BIG DEEP BREATH and carry on with their lives just like normal. Donate or don't. Make a flier or don't. Post Kony's picture or don't. But for those people who read a few incendiary blogs, spouting lies and (not even veiled) misrepresentations and then criticize the effort based on that? My passion for YOU spilleth over....

Why not look around, count your blessings, make a quiet pledge to do something useful...and then get on with it? 

How novel.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A rose by any other name.... a different flower, duh.

Thanks, Roald Dahl!

With all due respect, I have to (pretend) disagree. I'm pretty sure if I ever see someone who has a wonky nose, stick-out teeth, a double chin, crooked mouth, AND sunbeams shooting out that wreck of a's not lovely.

Here are some other things that aren't lovely no matter how you dress them up:

-Colonoscopies. They save your life and you HAVE to have one...but you also have to crap your brains out (literally) for 24 hours prior and then, let's face it...someone putting a camera 3 feet up your back door isn't lovely. Necessary? Sure. Lovely? Not on your just saved life, pal.

- A rotted roadkill carcass. You can take a dead raccoon and put it in a pink tu-tu, but it's still just a dead raccoon that you found on the side of the road.

- Nickelback. They kill llamas and they suck. You can speed 'em up, slow 'em down...but in the end they're just colonoscopy fodder.

- A rogue hair. That hair may belong to a stunning woman...but once it's on the floor, or table, or in your oatmeal, it's nastiness exemplified. Why is that, do you suppose?

- People who can turn their eyelids inside out. These people should be sent to live on a island somewhere...but they should have colonoscopies first....while listening to Nickelback. 

So that's five, a nice odd number. It's Super Tuesday in my hemisphere so Imma go tune in and see who my Republican counterparts have chosen. 

Lovely?  NO.