Monthly Archives: June 2015

Moto, Meet Coco!

I read a story online about a woman who claimed she had been sent hate mail from an anonymous neighbor, telling her she should stop being “relentlessly gay”.  Julie Baker stated this was prompted by a string of colored Mason jars with lights that she strung up on her porch, creating a rainbow of colors that she says made this so-called neighbor think of gay people.

She had a picture of the note, and put it up on her Facebook page.  It was full of that internet faddish writing of randomly capitalized words that for some reason is so popular on Facebook and other websites nowadays.

Her friends then forwarded it to George Takei on Twitter, because Mr. Takei is out of the closet and is a huge supporter of gay rights.  All good so far, right?

No.  Because the purpose of this woman and her friends doing this was so she could “redecorate” and “remodel” her house, supposedly to “make it really gay” with a rainbow roof and so on.  She wants money.  She started a GoFundMe account, and so far has raised over $43,000!!

Turns out, this woman most likely wrote the note herself.  Her Facebook page, before someone corrected it, was full of that random capitalization style of writing, and looked suspiciously similar to the note.  She has never filed a police report and, when one of the local cops went to check it out, she wouldn’t show him the note – claiming she no longer had it.

Uh huh, ok then.

Long before this, her Facebook page also chronicled her troubles with owning an old house that needs repairs.  Oh, such First World problems!

Neighbors, who wrote in to the comments sections on various articles that covered this story, stated that the woman lives across the street from an openly gay-friendly church.  They also stated the woman has so much debris strewn across her yard that she has amassed fines. Fines which she can’t pay.

Friends – or, former friends now, I guess – also stated that the woman owes property taxes.  And that she and the people who are promoting this are planning a big party.

The article I linked to here states that she was originally going to donate everything over $5000, but a friend of hers who also runs a website that sells t-shirts for Julie “arrogantly proclaimed: ‘…that would be, pardon my french, an epic fucking waste, regardless of the charity, because Nixy is more generous than twenty average people put together.’ ” (“Relentlessly Gay Fundraiser by Julie Baker: Suspicions Abound”, Matt’s Repository website, 6/22/15)

I think this is going to signal the end soon of GoFundMe, because people do stuff like this.

Yes, she didn’t lie about wanting money for personal reasons.  But she did apparently make up this whole persecuted thing, for her own personal gain.  And that’s shameful.

Plus, what she gets in donations could have been spent on someone who really does need legitimate help on that site.  So she’s actually harming others.  She is also harming the gay community – of which she’s not even a part – by making their cause sound frivolous, when it’s anything but.

I thought about all this, as I was pondering ways to get around more effectively – specifically, so I could volunteer and also maybe, just maybe, take an aerobics class or two so I can get healthy and get off disability.

Stay with me – it all ties in together.

I have written about how I take the Blair Senior Services van to go to doctor’s appointments and also to go grocery shopping, because I don’t have a car and I am not able to walk to and from bus stops (yet).

It costs nothing to go to/from medical places.  Anywhere else, like grocery stores, it costs $6 round trip.  And getting a month’s worth of groceries on and off a passenger van is difficult.  If I could go 2 or 3 times a month, it would be a lot easier.

But that’s $18/month.  Add in trips to other places I might need to go – Petco, or to buy clothing, cleaning products and so on, and that’s even more money.

So I thought of GoFundMe.  No, I don’t think it’s my right to have a car.   But it would help me get back into life if I had one – and even with gas and insurance, it would still be a bargain for me because I could do so much more with my life.

I could volunteer.  I have tried to do that at numerous places, but it’s a no-go, because if you don’t have transportation….too bad.  No one carpools.  No one wants to help out another volunteer, even one who would contribute gas money.  I have applied at 5 places, and none contacted me back as soon as I asked them about transportation.

I could take reduced-priced aerobics classes.  I could…apply for jobs.  I could even drive down to Memphis and visit my son and his wife, or to Atlanta and visit my other son.  i haven’t seen either of them in 2 years.  And I really, really miss them.

If one of my cats got sick, I could take them to the vet (a worry, because if one got sick now…I can’t call a taxi, and they won’t take cats on the van…).

When I get suddenly sick, and I have been doing that a lot lately since the “mystery illness” has come back, I could actually go to the doctor – the van requires 24 hour notice, and no way am I calling an ambulance for fever, vertigo, and nausea.

Then I read about Julie Baker, and her stupid, selfish fundraising efforts.  And I felt guilty even thinking about using GoFundMe after that.

My Life, Decluttered. And New-Age Crap.

Since this blog has a few purposes – healthcare/other news, health info for my family and descendants, a place for me to rant and rave, and a commentary on social norms with a plea at the end to “be kind” – it’s sometimes hard to choose what to write about.

I don’t want this blog to be overly negative.  But sometimes, when I get to thinking about my life in relation to the rest of the world, and I come to the conclusion that I need to make changes, I guess I can sometimes be seen as a “Negative Nelly” (hey, I found that in an urban dictionary, so it’s not as old an expression as it seems).  I hope this isn’t one of those times.

I read a lot of articles and blogs.  I comment on a few in their comments sections.  I do it to make a point about something, not to argue or berate someone.  I usually never even look back to see if anyone responded to my comment, because I am not going to be suckered into an internet “war” – that, to me, is unproductive and a waste of time.

But I do read others’ comments from those who posted before I did, to see what they’re thinking in reaction to the initial article.  And all I can think is…

…how hateful they all are.  Mean, and angry.  And if you call them on it, they scream. “It’s only the internet. Lighten up!”  And then they call you names or swear at you.

I find that puzzling, because what they posted before that was a personal attack on someone – another poster, or a person in the news, or an actor, etc.  Personal as in, “He’s ugly.  He has no talent.   She’s stupid.  She’s a fool.”  Or even, “Why doesn’t he/she just kill him/herself?”

Considering how much some people – especially young people – are hurt by cyber-bullying, to say things like that and then claim it’s harmless or has no effect is false.  Otherwise, why did the person post it?  They clearly posted it to make the other person feel bad.  And that alarms me.

It also made me think of that old saw, “You are treated only as badly or as well as you allow.” And I think that is the biggest bunch of new-age crap, ever.

It should be stated as, “If someone is treating you badly, don’t allow further contact.”   Because no one is responsible for bullying or treating others badly except for the person who is doing it.   

See, this is what drives me ’round the bend about new-age adages: They make everything personal responsibility except how others act.  

If you’re poor, it’s because you don’t want money badly enough.

If you’re ill, it’s because you don’t eat right or you can’t visualize your body as “well”.

If you’re born disabled, you chose that in another life.

If you’re battered, you did something to provoke it (ok that isn’t a new-age thing, but I threw that in to show how the other statements are just as ignorant).

Or, as someone tried to point out to me recently, if you are hurt by daily/monthly/yearly microaggression, it’s because you ‘let it get to you’.  Completely missing the “water on stone” metaphor I wrote. And not addressing the problem, which is people’s treatment of the poor, in general.

I’m not sure what this kind of thinking does for anyone, except for well-off, healthy, insensitive people.

Aside #1: It also helps some sell their “cures” for poverty, illness, disability, sadness.   Cha-ching!

It gets them off the hook because, hey, they can be sure they didn’t have a hand in any of it (even if they did), and they don’t need to help because it’s all karma anyway and who are they to interfere with the universe?

Well, aside from teaching/selling the secret of the week to a better life, they also have the side benefit of being smug about their own entitled life.  They can give their less fortunate/wrongheaded/clearly unenlightened friends unsolicited advice that, because the new-age thinkers are so grossly insensitive, just serves to make their friend feel worse for talking to them.

This brings me (finally) to the subject of today’s post: The sometimes painful act of eliminating certain people from one’s life, because they consistently bring you down and hurt your feelings.

I have a friend I reconnected with awhile back, who is one of the best friends ever.  He is supportive, he gives great advice/feedback not only about this blog but other things I ask him about, he and I can discuss things without arguing, we have a lot of fun emailing back and forth, and I know I can count on him when I really need him.  I am sure he feels the same about me. We are good friends, and I am so glad for that.

He represents the standard by which I began to look at other people I considered “friends”.  Not acquaintances, but actual friends with whom you share personal stuff and so on.

He is one of the very few of my “friends” who actually reads this blog.  I put that in bold because, how hard of a requirement of friendship is it to read something once a week that takes just a few minutes? The time it takes for the usual “bathroom reading”?  Even after I appeal for feedback in order to make this blog more interesting, they can’t even drop me a line or two to tell me why they don’t like it?

That is such a minimal test of friendship that I don’t even pause a second when I cut contact with them.  Some probably don’t even notice or care – proving they weren’t friends to begin with.

Aside #2: Some actually have the gall to tell me they are “too busy to read it”.  Yet they routinely post on Facebook, all day every day.  And ask me what I think of their writing/artwork.  I used to go to their links and give them encouragement, to show them I care about what they do, because that’s what friends do.

 

Back, with Uncle Bob

Well, I don’t actually have an Uncle Bob, not that I know of, anyway.  I was just coming up blank when trying to think of a title for this post, so this just sort of rolled out.

I didn’t think I would be back online this soon.  But thanks to my 2 sons, I was able to get back online very quickly.

My PC just shut off.  It would turn on for, say, 10 seconds, then shut off.  Not long enough for me to drag anything into the little storage thing that hangs on my keychain.  But, initially, saving data was not my first worry – I was just worried (ok, panicked, kinda) that I wouldn’t be able to get back online until I bought a new computer.

Which – if you either know me or have been reading this blog long enough – you know that’s something that would take several months to a year for me to buy.   Saving up that kind of dosh would take ages.

Fortunately, several months ago my older son sent me a Mac for which he no longer had any use, so with desperation trumping my fear of all things electronic I took it down from the shelf and attempted to use it…

…and couldn’t locate the “on” button.

I’m serious.  I could not find it.  I even looked online via Moto to see if there was a drawing showing just where on the keyboard it was located, and I still couldn’t find it.  I punched a couple of buttons that looked as if they might be an “on” button, but nothing happened.

Then I saw it – this tiny thing on the upper right corner of the Mac that looks like a decal.  It is actually a teeny tiny button that turns it on.  So, yay!

It had Safari on it but I can deal with different browsers, so I tried to pull up the Google page and…

…it wouldn’t connect to the internet.  Aaarrgggghhhhh!!

I took it downstairs to my friend and neighbor Nancy, because she is tech savvy (well, more tech savvy than I am), and she tried to get it to connect to the WiFi router.   Nothing worked.

Aside #1: Just like when I tried to connect Moto to the router – it wouldn’t, no matter what I tried. Eventually I resigned myself to not ever being able to solve the mystery of the maddening malfunctioning Moto, and have been using up all my data by the end of each month (instead of using my WiFi at home).

So Nancy very kindly lent me her computer so I could pay bills and the ever-important rent. Then I went upstairs again with a roaring headache, and took a nap.  Because, you know, frustration and all the tears that go along with it (I don’t get angry when I am frustrated, I cry).

That afternoon I texted my younger son and asked for help.  After going through everything and double-checking the password, he finally told me to go get an Ethernet cable and connect the Mac directly to the router and, if that didn’t work, connect it directly to the modem.

So, $25 poorer and 24 hours later, I was back with an Ethernet cable.  Which, of course, took me 2 hours to get because I had to take the shared-ride van.  It’s never just as simple as “running to the store”.

I hooked the Mac up to the router, put in the password, and…

…nothing.   Aaaaiiiiieeeee!!

I hooked the Mac up to the modem, and…

…nothing.  Aaaaiiiiieeeee!!

I texted both my sons and pled for help.  After sending my older son pictures of the screens I was looking at, he walked me through setting up the network connection again, just in case I missed something.

And it still didn’t work!  I was beside myself!  I was in a pit of despair!  I was wringing my hands in distress!  I was…well, you get the picture.

Finally, my son asked me if I had the right password.

Aside #2: That probably should have been his very first question but I think he didn’t want to hurt my feelings by asking something so basic.

“Yes, I have the password and the key numbers, but it never asks for the key, so I don’t know where that goes,” I replied.

“Hmm,” he said, “the password usually is the key.”

So I undid everything, went back in to set-up, and entered the key this time, and…Bob’s your uncle!

It worked!

Yes, I had been entering the wrong information as far back as September when I tried to connect Moto to the router.  Because to me, a password is a password and a key is something that opens physical locks (or provides answers to a test).

I didn’t need the Ethernet cable.  I didn’t need to use up all my smartphone data each month.  I didn’t need to resign myself to a Luddite-like life of shame.

All I needed was that little inadvertent hint from my older son.  And now my world is a little less stressful today.

I have some information on my other PC that I would like to have, but fortunately I did some backing up in September, so most of what I want is available to me.  The stuff that isn’t – like 2 Excel files I would like to have – I will just have to redo in whatever database program is on this Mac, if I can find it (hey, it took me 10 minutes just to find the calculator, because it doesn’t have that left-hand search menu that Windows PCs have).

A big reminder to BACK THINGS UP a bit more often than once a year.  Lesson learned.

On Wednesday I will publish what I was going to this past Wednesday – maybe.  It’s kind of a cranky essay on people who fall into the category of frenemies.  Well, maybe “frenemies” is a bit harsh to describe 2 women I have felt the need to completely stop communicating with lately, due to them both being, well, downright mean to me.  Consistently and without provocation.

It’s painful to have to do that to people you have cared about and trusted for many years, but I have a tendency to cut people close to me way too much slack when it comes to how they treat me, and that has to stop.  Sigh.

So, until Wednesday…

Gone Indefinitely

I am typing this from my friend’s computer.

My laptop shut off, and will not turn on again.  I don’t know why but I suspect it’s an internal power issue.  At any rate, I cannot afford to fix it.

My son sent me a MacBook Pro several months ago, but I can’t get it to connect to the internet.  I don’t think it’s the router, and I may call DSL Extreme for help, but since they do not really do anything usually but tell me to turn off my router and reboot it, I am not hopeful.

So…

Unless I can work out how to get back online somehow, this blog is done for now.  Maybe I can use Moto, but I certainly cannot afford another pc.

I have no idea what to do.

Later.