April 26, 2012

Why I Don't Follow Famous People On Social Media Sites

Famous people only want to be heard, they don’t follow you back and have no time to interact with us little folks.

Eventually, everything the big guys have to say and share will make it’s way to your feed via all the other people that follow these guys and you wind up with four or more of an update by Mr. Blank. You can fill in the line with whomever you feel is a guru, SEO expert, celebrity or media giant. I don’t know about you but multiple posts by anyone is overkill for me I don’t care how much I like them.

Their god worthy comments clog up your wall and then you don’t get to read the great things your real friends have to say. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some of what they tell us and I even learn a little once in a while but it gets old really quick with me. I saw it the first time and all the other times there after.

Most social media sites have a friend limit and I’d rather add people who might add me back or whom I can have an actual conversation with. I realize some aren’t online as much. Some people are busy, have kids or work long hours at their jobs. I get that and don’t hold it against anyone if they aren’t able to be as active as others.

I don’t have anything personally against these people and some have great information to share with us but if it’s going to filter down the grape vine anyway why not just wait and hear it second or even third hand?

A few times I’ve gotten a reply from some of them with a condescending remark, which left me not liking them quite so much. If you disagree with them, have suggestions or aren’t interested in their new website they are promoting or product they are selling they can be quite ugly. They are so used to people worshiping the ground they walk on that if someone has an opinion of their own they don’t know how to deal with them.

I’m not mean or rude when I make a comment but sometimes I simply don’t agree. A woman on Google+ recently blocked my comments because I posted a remark about not liking cats. Seriously? I'm not losing sleep over it... but I did cross her off my friends list. If she's not going to let me post a comment I don't need to see her posts. 

Most people don't want our real opinion they just want mindless lemmings who tell them how great and wonderful they are. "Your posts are the best!"

I want the real deal, people. Don't gloss it over or tell me I'm super or the best. I'm okay with your opinion as long as you aren't being rude and crude for shock factor. You are entitled to your opinion and I'm not going to hold it against you. I don't like fake people. 

I don’t blindly follow a person just because they are rich or famous. Sorry to disappoint them but sometimes they are wrong. Nobody is right all of the time.

Fame and fortune doesn’t impress me, they put their pants on the same way the rest of us do and guess what? They have stinky bodily functions like everybody else too.

I’d rather help out a struggling new person than those making millions. They already have their large piece of the pie and a head too big to fit through doors.

If I ever get that famous (in my dreams) and act like an arrogant ass y’all be sure to let me know.

April 19, 2012

Art Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

One man’s fence post is another person’s work of art or so it appears.  

I enjoy visiting art museums and art festivals. Over the years I've been to many of them. Most I have seen is fascinating even if I don’t think it’s beautiful or understand it. Occasionally though, I’ll wonder why something is featured and exactly what makes that piece any more special than a common object in our world.

I’m not saying common things can’t be artistic but I like to think the artist put some effort into a piece especially if they are going to charge thousands of dollars.

I saw an exhibit by a great person who charges outlandish prices for simple things like a fence post that is painted blue.

I called my husband over, “Come look at this one.”

He looks at it with a puzzled look on his face. “It’s a fence post.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought too. We have a gold mine in our backyard.”

I realize that simplicity can be a subject of beauty but I draw the line on some things.

Another piece is paint splattered onto a canvas. If I can do it… it’s not art.

I’m not an artist, at least not the kind that puts things in a museum. I write, which some consider art but if I wrote a single word in blue letters on my website and expected thousands of people to come look and if they wanted to own that particular font and want a copy of it then they must pay me $3500.00.

I would be quite bold to expect it and I couldn’t ask that price with a straight face. I’m not even sure how people come to think so highly of themselves that they are comfortable doing that.

At what point in your career do you decide that anything you make with your hands is very valuable no matter how miniscule or how little effort you put into it?

Perhaps J.K. Rowling or Stephen King could simply put an “X” on a sheet of paper and sell it for thousands. I joke but that is probably true especially if they signed it. Actually, their signature is what would be valuable more so than the “X”.

Maybe those artists created really wonderful things before the fence post and splattered paint pieces and I’m just not hoity toity enough to know about their past wonderful creations. Perhaps that is how they have come to this point in their career where they don’t need to make much of an effort to sell anything.

The flip side of that coin are the artists that put hours and days into a temporary piece like sidewalk chalk, snow or ice. It would be difficult for me to work so hard on a project knowing it will deteriorate in a short while. 

To me these creations are much more beautiful and worth a bigger price than the fence post and yet they are only here for a short while. We can enjoy them today and perhaps tomorrow but after the next rain or warm day they will be gone. 

April 13, 2012

My First Stalker

I’ve had a few over the years, mostly on line. It’s a bit creepy in a flattering weird sort of way. That was a mixed up sentence.

I was pretty young at the time and he wasn’t really my type, well almost. The brown eyes fit but the blond hair not so much. Nothing against blonds I just wasn’t into blond men even though I dated a few.

Just to give you a mental picture: back then I was tall (5’6”) and skinny, just like now only I had bleach blond long hair. My wardrobe of choice would fit inside a shoebox: short jean shorts, a tube top and Candies.

We’ll change my stalker’s name just in case he’s still out there somewhere looking for me. Surely not. For this story, we’ll call him Greg. 

Greg was a Scorpio; that probably doesn’t matter to most of you but at the time I was deep into astrology and would date or not date based on that information. I later broadened my horizons and didn’t worry so much about star signs but back then it was a big deal. For those of you who care, I’m a Gemini.

He and another guy that looked like the devil and had a foot fetish (that’s a tale for another time) are the only two Scorpios I remember dating and neither one lasted very long.

Greg was a few years older than me, not going to college, lived with his parents and didn’t have a real job. I say real job, he made money but we won’t go into the particulars of that occupation.

For those of you that remember John Denver, this guy was a spitting image of him as a young man. Same long blond hair and round wire frame glasses. Sadly, I was never a fan of John Denver’s music (I don’t like country music) nor did I think he was all that attractive being a blond headed fella and all.

So anyway, he meets me at some party, I think. It’s been a long time so the details of our first encounter are a bit fuzzy for a few reasons most of which I’d rather not go into. As I recall I had gone with another guy I was sort of having an affair with and when we arrive his fiancé was there, making the situation a bit awkward especially since I had no idea she existed. The feeling was mutual.

Rule number 1: make sure all men are unattached before you get into any sort of serious or even semi-serious relationship even if he is your assistant manager and the guy all the girls at work wants to go out with and he chose you over them. (Talk about a rambling sentence.)

So there I am with no date trying to avoid the guy I came with and his fiancé who is giving me the evil eye. I don’t know what she’s so upset about, she’s short and has big boobs which in my mind was the recipe for the perfect woman because I was neither of those things. She was a brunette but so was I underneath the peroxide.

Just to give you a mental picture, the guy I was dating was pretty tall and looked like a blond headed young Patrick Duffy. For you star sign buff, Patrick was a Leo, supposedly a good match.

For the record, after these two blond fellows I never dated another light-headed guy again. Maybe the stalking or cheating thing left a bad taste in my mouth or perhaps I realized they weren’t really my type but just thought I’d mention it.

No wait; there was another blond guy. Crap, I’m totally messing up this story. Meanwhile back at the farm.

So I go outside and sit on this big deck in the backyard looking at a flowering bush, I think it was azaleas. Most everyone else was paired up, making out or arguing as was the case with blond Patrick and his fiancé. I’m thinking I’ll call someone to come get me here in a bit but for now I’ll sit out here, drink a beer and ponder my predicament. So far it didn’t look like future Mrs. Patrick was going to try to kick my ass so things weren’t going too badly… yet.

Greg sits beside me and starts talking about bees, ants and beetles. Not sure how he got on that subject, why he thought it was a good conversation to have with a girl in my situation but there you go. It was a wonderful relief to talk to a guy who wasn’t obsessed with sports which back then was one of my first rules.

If you talked to me about sports you were out, no baseball pun intended. I dated a couple jocks and found them to be mostly lacking in the intelligence department. No offense to sports fans or those that played sports, I’ve since learned that some of you did in fact have some smarts but back then I didn’t meet any.

He did help get my mind off of worrying for my safety (I was a weenie and never fought anyone). Then we moved on from beetles to The Beatles and we discussed bands and taste in music. We got along pretty well, actually, even though I really wasn’t terribly interested in insects. By the way, I heard he later became an exterminator. lol

He ended up taking me home and then the stalking began. Actually, in the beginning I was dating him so he wasn’t technically stalking me but in hindsight I mostly dated him because he kept showing up. You know the saying, “half of life is showing up” well, he took that seriously.

One day he took me to his house, probably hoping to get lucky but he tells me he needs to change clothes. Okay.

We start kissing and I realize he has this weird split on the top of his tongue. It curves way down on top. He tells me that a girl he was dating bit his tongue when he was making love to her.

That did it. I would have been okay with the messed up tongue, I don’t expect people to be perfect but all I could think about was, “What the hell did he do to that poor girl that made her practically bite his tongue off?”

He takes me home and I start avoiding him or at least I tried to. I would come home from a date and he’d be at my house visiting with my mother. I told her not to let him in and stop encouraging him but she thought he was cute and I was being too hard on the guy. I never told her about the tongue story but I doubt it would have made her any difference.

This went on for several months; he would show up everywhere, when I went out, at my job, just watching me. He would lean against a wall with that far away look in his eyes staring. He would drive by my house. He even knocked on my bedroom window one night just to talk. A few times I woke up in the middle of the night with a creepy feeling someone was watching me. I was too scared to get up and look out the window.

He had even charmed my dog so he never barked to let me know he was in my backyard.

If I went into a 7Eleven and saw him playing a video game (he did this a lot) I’d turn around and leave, quickly.

I told him, “You are not my type you need to stop following me around.”

His reply was, “I just want to be your friend,” or “I was just checking on you.”

I finally moved out and he didn’t find out my address or he finally moved on, not sure which but it was a relief to not have to worry about him showing up all the time. For a long time after that I would look for him. If I saw a blond guy with glasses in a crowd I tensed up and got nervous.

Part of me felt guilty and sorry for him but he seemed to lack legal ambition (I was a bit worried about driving around with him and what was in his trunk).

And then there was that fear of the unknown.

April 10, 2012

Teachers Should Teach Children To Think For Themselves

There are some great teachers in this world that instill a thirst for learning in their students. Kids enjoy going to school and can tell their teacher is passionate about the curriculum and wants them to learn the material.

Unfortunately there are also a few arrogant teachers that want you to memorize what they give you and nothing outside that classroom is important.

Bad teachers do not want to be proven wrong. You do it their way and no other will work.

My second child is a free thinker like myself and doesn’t take anyone’s word for anything. He also doesn’t like it when someone gives him inaccurate information and expects him to believe it.

When he was in kindergarten his teacher passed out work sheets of marigold flowers and told them to color them yellow.

My son quietly colored his red, orange, yellow and variations of those colors. He’s always been very artistic and his coloring skills were above average for his age. I know, coloring isn’t part of the basic three R’s, but still.

She took his paper away and told him he didn’t follow directions properly, marigolds are yellow and he was supposed to color them only yellow.

He told her that marigolds are not just yellow, but also orange, red and some are even variegated. Nothing doing, she gave him an F or more than likely a U because in kindergarten you got Unsatisfactory for failed papers.

The next day he brought her flowers from our garden. At first she thought he was trying to butter her up for the bad grade but soon realized he was proving her wrong. Marigolds were not just yellow but all those other colors he mentioned. I think she would have been happier if he were trying to charm her with a bouquet. 

She wrote a note and pinned it to his shirt. When your child gets off the bus with a note attached to their shirt you know it’s usually not good news; so was the case this day.

Mrs. Cranky wanted a conference to discuss my son’s attitude and uncooperative behavior.

She begins to tell me how he argues with her during class and won’t sit quietly listening.

I can’t remember the other incidents but they were similar to the marigold situation and in those cases he was also right.

I said, “Marigolds aren’t only yellow. He was coloring them the way he sees them at home.”

“Yes, but I told him to color them yellow.”

“I understand but he assumed you didn’t know that marigolds come in many colors and he was trying to teach you.”

“I am the teacher. I am the only one that teaches in this class.”

I want to add that my son did not yell at the teacher, call names or in anyway become belligerent. He simply did what we do here at home all the time and that is communicating our views and opinions. My children were not raised to simply obey and not question. If my husband or I are wrong we admit it.

The problem with complaining to the principal about this particular teacher is that he was her husband so it did no good. It was common knowledge that she ran the school from the kindergarten classroom. In fact, she needed an aid so she could leave the room to attend any important meetings because she was the Hilary Clinton of the school if you know what I mean.

Too many schools want lemmings; they do not want children that think for themselves or question their teaching. You sit down; be quiet and listen. Those sleeping in the back are fine because they aren’t making any sound, aren’t defying the teacher’s claims or making them look inept. Having the appearance of inadequacy is a very bad thing to this type of teacher.

Bad teachers would prefer children that aren’t learning anything to ones who have an opinion.

Again, I want to add that not all teachers are like that. Over the years my kids have had some wonderful teachers. My daughter has a history teacher right now she loves.

She actually has two history teachers; one is a coach and isn’t really teaching. He spends all hour, or block in this case which is longer than an hour, talking to the guys about sports. Try reading a textbook and working on an assignment when a bunch of bulked up jocks are hooting and hollering about balls. Can you tell I hate sports? This is partly why.

Coaches should never be teachers. I have yet to see one that even wants to be a teacher. They got a degree in whatever subject they thought would be the easiest to get through so they could spend the rest of their lives playing ball, talking about sports and watching sports. That’s it. They really don’t care if your kids learn anything in their class but if your son is a ball player you can bet he’ll get a good grade because otherwise he can’t remain on the team and we all know sports is more important than academics at least in the southern states.

Teachers that really want to teach history, math, psychology or whatever, often have a hard time getting a job because some ball tosser was needed to coach their team. So our kids suffer, aren’t learning anything that hour, hour and a half because some moron warms a chair talking about sports instead of the history of our country.

I’ll step down off my soapbox now.

April 2, 2012

So Much To Do Where Do I Begin?

I am having one of those days. Where do I begin?

You can make a list and I have done that before. It saves me from getting sidetracked because when there are a lot of things to do I find myself wander cleaning, I'm sure you've done it too.

Going into the dining room I see a book that goes in the office, then in the office I write for a little bit and get sidetracked on FaceBook or some other social media site, then I go to the bathroom, then start cleaning the bathroom, taking the towels to the hamper I decide to vacuum the hall, then I pick up an earring back that belongs in my bedroom and I decide to straighten the nightstand.

Days like that I have worked all day but none of the rooms are completely clean because I've spent the day wandering from room to room, thats' what I call wander cleaning.

I bought two large shelves to go in my office/sewing room to hold some of my collection of books. That will take a few hours. I have no idea how many books I have but I know it's more than the average American.

Articles and ideas for writing were swimming through my head at wee hours this morning, I got cold so I got up at six. For those of you that work at a "real job" that probably doesn't sound that early but I normally don't get up until seven or seven thirty. There is no commute time so I can sleep longer. When your office is across the hall there are advantages.

Walking at the park has been crossed off my list so I have that out of the way but then there is laundry and a few other chores as well as writing.

There's an old saying, "A woman's work is never done." Some of you women's lib folks probably don't like that saying but I've seen my husband's cleaning and I'd rather do it myself even if he is willing, able and I work too. Some things just need a woman's touch, I don't care what y'all say.

Even when I worked outside the home I did most of the cleaning and laundry. We've had pink man panties and shrunk blouses---it wasn't pretty.

He does a lot around here so it's not like he's lazy. I don't mow, change the oil in our cars, clean the air filters or a few other chores so it evens out. I'm not into women's lib so I don't worry about the chores I do defining me. I am a woman, I do women's work. So what?

This is why my husband prefers me working from home because I can set my own schedule which does get hectic sometimes when I have multiple writing jobs lined up with a deadline. Blogging and HubPages isn't my only gig.

I also have time for cooking which I am much better at than he. We don't squabble over housework and everything gets done; that's all that matters.

Which brings me back to today where I have to clean, wash and organize. Chores aren't fun but a necessary part of life. Unless I pay someone else to pick up after everyone, I have to do it.

I guess I better get started instead of writing about it. :o)