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Motivated by a lack of material.

Archive for the month “January, 2013”

A Big Company That Cares????

Well that statement seems to be an oxymoron in itself. A few months ago I would have written this and happily proclaimed there was one and I personally had found/discovered this truth for myself! Today, that is not the case. Gather around as I tell the tale of my  trip with AT&T.

AT&T has been around for awhile and to call them “big” is quite the understatement. Yet for the sake of argument lets do just that, AT&T is BIG. In November I had a “wonderful” chance encounter with an AT&T representative. This lady was knowledgeable, professional, and (yes the unheard of adjective in customer service) NICE! This lady” single-handedly” convinced me to leave my cell phone carrier of 10 years to come over to AT&T. She showed and promised me I could have two lines for what I was paying for one with my carrier at the time AND the phones I was getting would be the new “i-phones( I was not due for an upgrade for several months). Okay being the frugal individual I am( alright I am down-right cheap) and after a lengthy discussion with a lady who seemingly did what she said (for she had actually helped me with another issue with AT&T in the most masterful fashion) I submitted.  I left the comfort of an old provider for a new shiny one, fully adored and equipped with i-phones.

I was happy. I told my family and friends in California, I told my friends in Georgia, AT&T was the s…”stuff that dreams are made of”. My love affair was short lived; first the phones were back-ordered so a one to two day turn-around turned into 10 days, the bill was not the same as what I had been paying  for one phone it was twice much, and the 100.00 gift card, showing their appreciation for me taking this new service, well it still has NOT arrived to date.  Trust me, the 30 days cut off time has LONG expired.

I have spent more time on the phone with AT&T trying to get what I was promised than I have used the new i-phones(of course this is an exaggeration but used to illustrate a level of frustration that is ENORMOUS) for other purposes. I have e-mailed my wonderful contact time and again. Part of me wants to believe she is/has actually tried to get this straight for me, the other part of me has lost faith, thus this blog piece.

As I look back at this experience and wait watching the clock as the time on my contract with AT&T slowly moves closer to the end(early termination is penalized), I have to admit I fell prey to wanting something for nothing. I did not heed the warnings of a cliche’d truth, “If it seems too good to be true it probably is”. I try to justify what I did by saying, ” I was not looking to change carriers, it just happened. Yet, I know the truth I would NOT be with AT&T this day had I not been a “sheep”. I let the flashy coercion of  my need for the i-phone draw me in. Don’t let it happen to you. AT&T IS a “BIG COMPANY, and AT&T DOESN’T care about you.

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Indirect Affects of Being Unconcerned

Well by now most of us have grown children and a lot of us have grandchildren. Things like schools and parks are secondary in our minds. We are concerned of sorts but  on a part-time basis (i.e. when little Miles comes to visit or Amanda has a birthday skating party to attend). However, remember there was a time not so very long ago that things like where you moved  was directly affected by the rating the local school system.

Now we are toying with and courting our “Golden Years” retirement is close at hand. Now we and our contemporaries are much more concerned with SELF than anything else on this planet. As we have gotten on in age we have lost sight of what is really important. Our compassion is dying more rapidly than we are, and what will be left should be shoved in the grave  before it can pollute and infect others.

I remember seeing a bumper sticker a few years ago it said the following:”If you think education is expensive think about the high cost of the alternative”.

I listen to the pundants of public education and I think, ” are these people actually that stupid or does the evil and personal agendas that exist within them have them completely blind. Look I do not want to pay taxes for schools when I do not have school aged children, BUT I also do not want those same school aged children to roam the streets with nothing to do and no formal education. Why, well it is not right number one and always remember what someone does not have on one level they will manage to more than make up for it on another. You will never suffer a loss of greater magnitude than one that is the result of underestimating  someone. Personally, I would much rather pay the school taxes.

There is a cross-section of this nation that wants to see the middle class  become a thing of the past. This cross-section would love nothing more than to see  the once thriving socio-economic group reduced to  ranks of modern day slavery. I shudder when I see the sons and daughters who reaped the benefits of public education, affirmative action, etc. turn their backs and even try to destroy the same programs that helped elevate them to their current stations in life. Have they forgotten or maybe worse do they not care?

It is easy to be insensitive if you think it does not involve, concern, or affect you, but remember the “high cost” reference. If our society is reduced to the very wealth and the very poor only, well it will not be as wonderful as one(i.e. ultra conservatives and tea-partiers) may think. Imagine that you have a growing population of individuals who do NOT have the things the need, let alone the things they want, and you have handicapped them. They cannot escape their circumstances through good-ole-hard-work or “pulling themselves up by their bootstraps” as the opposing forces would have you believe “they” did. You leave them in a helpless, hapless condition with no choice but to resort to the little bit they do have available and if what is available is bad or criminal so-be-it. However, let me”rattle your chain” a bit more; you do not have a frightened individual separated from all he knows, you are dealing with an angry group. A group that has the ability to plan, organize, and take matters into their own hands. Is that what you really want?Is your selfishness and greed going to lead to YOUR very destruction and possibly a society?? Really??Are you really from the same era that I came from?

This very thought, though it may seem absurd, is a real possibility. I have watched factions in this nation rally behind individuals for the sake of being right/ being in control and the cost of our great nation is of little or no consequence to them. If they cannot have this country on THEIR terms the way they want it, they would rather see America fail. John Boehner was born in 1949, Eric Cantor 1963, Allen West 1961, Michael Steele 1958, Michelle Bachman 1956, and I cannot leave out a personal favorite Sara Palin 1964(this is PURE sarcasm in case you missed it). Now although these individuals do NOT always demonstrate it they were all  privy to education, books and some forms of modern technology.T hey sit back with their wealth and feel insulated. Well I will remind you of the Roman Empire or the story of Troy. These big, wonderful,  sprawling societies fell; and arrogance and greed had a hand in each case. As you sit sipping cocktails behind your walls in your gated communities  rest easy with the thought “it doesn’t concern you”.

Does Our Mortality Connect Our Humanity

I was once characterized as having a “Republican” way of viewing things. When this was said of me I was neither insulted or impressed. Since, this was not my political affiliation, the undertones and implications were clear to me. I happily can say, I am still friends with the individual who made that assessment.  I can also tell you LIFE has taught me that the stances I took on numerous things are subject to review, things are not just “black and white”.

More and more of our contemporaries are moving on to the next phase of life. Some touch us more than others, but we are touched just the same. When you find yourself attending more funerals than house parties it has to affect you in some way. If you knew today was your last day on Earth what would you do? How would you treat those around you? Life as you know it would be changed forever. What would be most important and how would you want it conveyed.

I will submit to you something not as final as death, but a major life altering event, a disease discovery. I will leave it to you to determine if it is terminal or not. However, you must take the position it is serious enough that simply ignoring it or going about as though it is not happening, is NOT an option. I want you to think as I relay this writer’s vantage point.

We are dealing with an individual who could never really be touched, not physically and not mentally. Life was a series of conquests and obstacles. No one could be trusted even a close confidant or a family member. To keep that protective shell intact all had to be dealt with as strangers and kept at “arms-length”.

For years of loyalty, dedication, and love the ones who were considered close were rewarded with distance and cold interaction. Then the discovery is made. Now we are afraid; we are hurting, we are confused and we expect compassion, understanding, and love.  However, as much love and affection there is your people have been beaten down. They are numb. They care but wonder how much worse will it be, for if they had you in good condition what will happen as things go bad? A frightening thought for them, a grounding point for you.

Years ago I watched George Wallace, the former governor of Alabama in an interview proclaiming a black man was “his best friend in the world”. I remember seeing  a George Wallace standing on the steps of the University of Alabama some years earlier blocking the entrance to the admissions office. I recall hearing a speech,” Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever…”  I watched this now feeble man robbed of the vitality of his youth; his angry hot blood was now meek lukewarm plasma, and his sharp vicious tongue now slowly being silenced by age. I asked myself, after feeling a bit of consolation in seeing him in his condition, does he remember the evil that he spewed from his person. I wondered if he was really sorry for what he had done or did he fear the after-life. I asked myself why I felt good that he was in such bad shape?

We never know when our respective numbers will come up. Questions arise in a simplified form; in order for us to relate, we must have something at stake.  For example; Tobacco Magnate-“How much money would you make off that cigarette, if your ONLY child should partake and then proceed to get TB or Cancer? I’d like to know the answer.”-William “Smokey” Robinson 

You see, we do not know how really sympathetic or humble we can be if we are never challenged or our existence put on the line. Then when we are put to the test, when we have something to loose we have to ask ourselves are we making our decisions based on doing the right thing, seeing the light- our Humanity shining through or is it simple fear of retribution from sources unknown- our Mortality being exposed.

All I Wanna Do Is Write

That is so very true. All I want to do is write. However, there are only so many hours in a day. My day consists of having to do another job in order for me to continue living, in hopes my dream job will come into fruition. Not a unique story but this is a glimpse of what I have to do in the meantime.

If I start my day in accordance with my workload schedule, I would probably get out of bed at 8:00 A.M. each weekday. Then I could travel to the designated job-site and begin my tasks. That is the simple  outline. The fact that there is something burning in me, and each waking hour makes me so much more aware that I not only want to write I need to write, makes this journey a difficult one.

Instead of 8:00 A.M. I wake at 6:30 A.M.  and as I roll out of bed I realize I do not have enough time to write. I should have gotten up earlier, but I didn’t go to bed until 2:30 A.M., I must sleep at some point in time. The words are pressing against me, I have to get started. Oh but I need to say my daily prayer and read at least one verse in the Bible. I need to reset for the day. Then there is my exercise regime. I cannot let myself get fat AGAIN, this takes a good 45 minutes to an hour.

When I have the time, when I am not pressed, I turn on a soft instrumental let my mind wander and the words, my words flow. That does not happen often. The human condition, the state of our society plagues me. I cannot ignore how I feel and I am compelled to write about those things.

However, today I do have the time. The time to talk about what writing means to me. I am able to feel good, revisit places and people through my writing. I am made aware of life through my writing by connecting with other writers and readers. I get to see another side of myself, that I don’t often have time for. It is an escape and a vehicle for which part of my life’s journey is made possible through. Although I question why I want to turn this feeling, this experience into a career at times. As I explore that  very question I am able to see that I equate career with a job, and as with most folks who work a job is a necessity rather than a choice. I realize how much I love to write and how wonderful it would be to do what I love, because I love it, and it make a way for me.

Recently, I was told by a fellow writer “Do what you love and the money will come”. I think about what was said and think of amazing artists I admire in the music industry. I imagine their fabulous voices as the sound resonates from what seems and feels like it is coming from deep in their very souls. I imagine the musicians who play their respective instruments with the care and patience of a considerate, passionate lover. I realize they have a relationship with their “gifts from God” and while the mere sound of what they do is so very amazing to others, they are appreciative of that very same gift. They would do what they do for free, because they do love it. I smile and I hope what I do, comes across and feels that very same way to others as well.

Elated Moon

This  is a title that will mean nothing to anyone but me. I liked the sound of it and decide to let my imagination run free…

In an artsy kind of way I want Elated Moon to feel like something special and expose something surprising about me. Who was to be surprised though? I looked at this title and came back to it for several weeks, before I was able to do what I felt was justice to it.

Transported back in time I watched each frame in magical excitement. I hadn’t felt this way in years. Anticipating the next scene, but saddened as I knew I was being drawn closer to the end. Still this was all good.

My Disney Years had returned to me; and happily I must admit, I welcomed them. In spite of being the mother of two relatively disinterested boys, I was still a serious Disney Classics Collector during their childhoods. For years the videos sat in boxes or cabinets, hidden from sight. Only on occasions, that met with my husband’s look of ” Yeah it is time to have you committed ”  did they get viewed.

My granddaughter allows me an excuse to browse the stores and watch the old videos, under the guise it isfor her. Addison, however, is a Doc McStuffins and Sophia The First fan. I have a different kind of princess for a granddaughter, but she is a princess just the same.

As I ushered in all of these good feelings soundtracks included, I could not help noticing there was a cosmic reaction all around; the weather was better, the scenery was more beautiful, all of my surroundings were just vastly improved. Once again is it “All in your mind”? It felt/feels like springtime. “Almost Like Being In Love”, this is not simply a reference to a song.

Ending Elated Moon I was faced with another challenge;  Do I continue to a climactic crescendo or fade it away softly? I did build it up kind of big. I realized this, so a soft fade wins. I hope a smile was translated here though.

If You Can’t Be Honest With Me, Then

This is a matter of trust and feelings. Have you ever asked someone for an opinion and then when you did get it you got mad? Sure you have, we all have.  Now ask yourself what the reason was behind the anger; was it having someone give you an answer or some information you did not really want, or was it having to face something you already knew the answer to but had not/could not/would not act on.

At this point in our lives there are few things we encounter that we do not have some type of answer to. There are not a lot of surprises left. Not saying we have ALL the answers, far from it; simply the new, the strange, the out-of-the-ordinary does not occur as often as it used to. Therefore, when we talk or communicate with one another we are for-the-most-part, seeking a sounding board rather than a prophet.

This is where the reliability of the communication comes in. Can you count on your counterpart(s) to be honest, truthful, and up front? Well why would that be a problem? I will tell you why because often times lies SEEM to be the easy way out. I am not talking vicious  ones either; there are the “kind for-the-sake-of-sparing-your-feelings”, there are the “little white lies”, there are the omission. Lets get text-book and even antiseptic here, they are all deceptions are they not? Don’t get me wrong because placed under oath about this subject, I would sweat and even invoke my 5th Amendment Rights. I am just being real.

You may know one or two truly vicious or mean liars, folks that actually intend on hurting someone with their untruths. However most of us are opportunist and/or cowards; we are looking for the easy less abrasive way of saying something. Our lies give us a chance to regroup or bide time. Then there are the folk who are simply delusional, they would tell you,” I never lie”. I know some very honest people… NEVER is a very long time.

Understand I am not condoning this, I do not have adequate time or space to explain it. This is simply a short examination of it, prompted by personal experience. I am not suggesting everyone you know or speak to is lying to you, nor am I saying they are perfectly honest. Simply there are questions and tasks placed upon us that we all must realize challenge our perimeters and abilities. Expect only as much of others as you are able or willing to do and then take note an exception is always a possibility.

Seconds Anyone?

The words just grabbed me. They made me feel imaginative and excited. Out of the blue my inspiration  revealed itself. The 2nd Inauguration of President Barack H. Obama.

Can I tell you that I sat glued to television all day long. When I wasn’t smiling from ear to ear, tears streamed down my face. I cannot tell you each independent thought. There was a flood of emotion. From the outfits his daughters wore and how much they have grown in four years, to the obvious security as the First Couple walked down the street of the parade route. There was happiness and hope abound. You could see the and feel the “love” the citizens of these United States of America  have for this President.

So what memorabilia do I collect this time? I have the invitation. At a time when my finances are not near where I want them to be I am looking at a 50.00 commemorative frame! Really? However, this is history and it is near and dear to my heart. I will skip lunch at my favorite Thai restaurant, I will delay my next visit to the spa. He is phenomenal.

I look to his images for inspiration. He is the  most incredibly human  and seemingly accessible leader.  A friend of mine said, “The Huxtibles are in the White House”.Watching him in moments of tragedy, crisis, joy, and triumph has given me a sense that it will be alright. It will not be great because his opponents would rather see our country fail than to have him, a black man lead us into a successful future. Yet I maintain faith and believe he will continue do great things in spite of what and who he is up against.

Whether you like him or not his accomplishments are amazing. It is undeniable that the cards were NOT stacked in his favor, yet he came out on top. History will remember him for the obvious, at the very least he was first.  A little thing like race is a determining factor in history being honest. The fact that  this is questionable is truly sad.

Oversimplified liken him to a meal shared with friends(I don’t eat with people I don’t like). There were a couple of choices and your choice either was not selected. However, you aren’t going to stop being friends because you did not get your way are you? That is just juvenile and besides maybe next time you may get your pick. There has to be something on the menu you like; there is a common thread because you all are “friends”, so find something you like or get a glass of water, shut up and wait your turn. Personally, I am going to enjoy seconds.

I Love You So Much, That I Would Die For YOU

In this era, it is sad that this title is about an inanimate object a gun. “They can pry it from my cold dead hands”- Charlton Heston. What an image, what a thought, what a speech from the man who PLAYED “Moses”.

I do not own a gun. I do not like guns so one might say,” who are you to discuss this subject?” My answer is… who am I not to. This could easily be turned into a statistic filled graph. I do not want that. You are free to search and read those on your own. I am reaching for a human contact. Yes I will give up a little data because it is necessary for you to sample the journey my words will take you on. Yet, there is no proclamation of expertise here, it is opinionated and heartfelt. I direct you ask.com or “google” the question “how many people have lost their lives to firearms?”..hint stay away from the NRA sponsored sites. You can find all the data you want and more.

We seem to be travelling back in time to an era when “tea parties” and militia were the norm, the problem is these “time travelers” want the benefits of the future with the fallback of the past at their fingertips and all for “their” convenience. Maybe the mere name “tea party” instantly  tele-ports them back in time. A time when our nation was a mere colony being controlled by a monarchy. Why, why, why do we hang onto the past? The right to bear arms, this so-called loss will make the proponents think romantically of that time not-so-long-ago… wait it was a time that is  long-since past! They cannot have memories for they were not even in existence when the events occurred. That is what is called history and it is documented. You can attempt to re-write it, but you stand a very strong chance that you are not qualified due to the simple fact that you were NOT there.  This is a case of being practical and no proponent of these gun issues wants to be practical. They will fan the flames of hatred, ignorance, and fear to get THEIR point across. Here is a tidbit.

Consider the licensing  requirement process for a start. Gun owners would have to be tested regularly in writing and have their skills(competence at the very least) demonstrated in controlled setting, identified by registration, held accountable and made to be insured. Owning a gun is a deliberate act, therefore one should be willing to  abide by these rules and regulations. I don’t want the rhetoric of “the criminals will not do these things”,  for my answer is simple, “that is what makes them criminals and their actions are and will be punishable by LAW”. Good upstanding citizen should NOT have a problem here. When you load that firearm are you doing it properly, by the book? Is it okay for you to take your firearm outside the confines of the designated area. If you do this what is the fine or consequence? It should not be as simple as going to the store or a gun show and slapping down the funds for the purchase, there is more to it. Just as the responsibilities of being a parent; physiologically you may be capable, but we all know directly or indirectly everyone should not have a child. I turn from behavior that is characteristic of a child, wanting their way, to the horrible loss of children. Forever etched in my mind will be the faces of beautiful little “babies” slaughtered by a man that should not have been walking the streets, let alone have in his possession a gun. I will always remember the guns he had were NOT illegally obtained but licensed and purchased the proper way. I cannot help but wonder had this particular situation had a few more rules and regulations these 26 people who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School may be alive today. Those weapons used would not have been “laying around”; if there had to liability insurance issued, or if in order to have a license proof of passing a written and performed test had to be produced, or before purchase an application had to be submitted and the rest was contingent upon meeting the guidelines which mirror the stipulations of a driver’s license .

Therefore, in closing I submit the following; more paperwork, more long lines, possibly a creation of some more jobs to get these things done and produce a safer environment for all. Still want to die for the right to have that gun, like the LATE Charlton Heston?It is not necessary, just a few more forms and a little more time is all that is required.  Now, faced with the possibility of a few more challenges how much is it really worth to you?

The Tyranny Of Age (Aging)

As the Roller-Coaster reached the peak of the ride, the excitement inside me was overwhelming. I wanted to close my eyes but could not. The descent began, and I screamed with everything inside of me. For what felt like an eternity I had more fun than I thought imaginable, then an abrupt end. Fast forward on the ground with my grandbaby, I hold her hand as we watch for her parents to appear from the very same ride. She smiles and squeals when she sees them. I am thankful for a nice warm day because my arthritis is acting up.

“Who is this person in the mirror”, you ask as you examine the graying hair and the posture not exactly straight. In your mind you can still scale a wall, but your body is held captive by this unknown being. Suddenly you realize the unknown being is age, and the person you are looking at is you!

Of course you must accept and recognize your limitations; does that mean you must stop having fun, stop enjoying things, stop living. We become prisoners to the limits; some of these limits are outside of our reach, but others are set up/formulated by US.

The real things that have captured me are certain aspects of my body. When I wake in the morning extra time must be taken and therefore consideration must be given to this. No longer do I hop straight up, the dizzying effects would linger the day through if I did. Instead I sit up, swing my legs around and proceed to get out of the bed. I cannot take for granted that I will remember everything, I cannot be assured I will remember anything I have to do in a single day. I enlist the aid of my journal and the list feature of my smart-phone.  These are great tools, if I remember where they are. I stretch for more mobility and less pain. The news is filled with negative and bad, I cannot turn it off. In turn my attitude is bad as well.  When this happens realize every-so-often you need to watch a comedy, if it is an old stand-up routine, a cartoon, or a “Three Stooges” type short. LAUGH,LAUGH, LAUGH!

Sometimes you will feel like, “the tyrant is trying to get a hold on my mind now as well.” You feel lonely and wonder why no one comes around to see you or visit.  The truth is when you feel this way you have already been captured and are under the control of the unyielding tyrant. He makes NO concessions. His wills are forced on every aspect of your person, and he intends on controlling every part of your being including your mind. Once he takes it over, YOU will be lost forever. “What do I do”, you ask. He is very powerful. You have never encountered such a force before, but then he has never encountered you. I say, fight .  Resist on every front. You can do this quietly at first; once you gain confidence, once you know you do not have to be the victim of this controller, you can be bolder. Maybe it will be a beginner’s yoga class or walking slowly around the block, but gradually it advances to volunteering at the local elementary school and maybe a trip to the indoor trampoline park. To break free you have to remember what it was like to be free. The memory of that freedom will release you from the paralyzing fear that you have made your home. Then when you mount your “Coup D’etat “, remember don’t look back for the enemy/ your captor/ the tyrant senses fear.

XIII-hafasmanyquestionsasiwouldlikeanswersto

Their number is 13… and in this year in particular 13 feels like a great place to start.

1.What do you do when there is someone in your life that needs help, that wants help but does not only NOT know how to ask for it, they do not know how to accept it?= 2.5

2. How do you force a situation without demonstrating force?=1

3. When do you find time for you, when there seemingly is no time?=1

4. Do you know when it is time to go or let go?=2

Riddled with questions and rather annoyed, you have watched your weekend end. You were tired but could not rest. You were sleepy but could not sleep. The apprehension was pretty close to intolerable. Those close to you, in proximity and relation, were draining you and you were allowing them to do just that. WHAT DO THEY WANT?!  However, you were not allowed to say or feel that because you have always taken up the slack. What do they think, what do they feel or are you just an after-thought? There is an expectation for you to fulfill everyone else and then when the needs exist in you, well you are not allowed or even expected to want anything. Yet to get beyond your feelings and you must do this/ complete this task with little or no disruption to those around you.  I am not a swimmer but I imagine what is going on, what you are going through is similar to drowning.

Therefore as you gasp for air lets see if we can answer these questions and rescue you from …yourself.

Starting with #1.- the question I gave credit for being 2 and a half questions simply HELP. Do what you KNOW they need if you can;volunteer, but don’t interfere; expect nothing for your deed and walk away with that expectation.

Number 2.- subconscious takes over in a lot of cases but if you are asking this question you have gone waaaay beyond the subconscious, you are painfully aware. You actions and reactions will tell a story. If you do not want to appear to be a certain way(i.e. forceful) then you must demonstrate a strong presence but with gentler words.

The answer to 3.- Make time. Cut that grocery shopping trip, turn the television off, cancel or postpone an appointment and utilize the time for you. If it is sitting in the car listening to an old favorite CD, walking in the park during your lunch, sometimes you do have to give something up to get something back.

Finally 4.- yes of course you know the answer to this/these question(s). While the first part of this question need only have you apply the”wear-out-your-welcome”theorem. Having an obvious feeling of being uncomfortable from an outside source…. if that is what you are experiencing at any given time, it is time to go.  The second part is more to do with being in tune with self. We get caught up in what is familiar and we hang onto that because it feels so safe. We oftentimes give this feeling the benefit of being correct. Even though it can be guilt driven. The fear of taking action too soon can leave you stagnating for years. Therefore if you are contemplating letting go it is because something inside of YOU is saying it is time. Trust yourself.

Note if these suggestions do NOT help you , they do not yield the desired results, then you are going to have to stop trying to be P.C. and go back to the grassroots technique “say what you mean and mean what you say”. Now we can prepare for the next half.

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