Friday, August 29, 2014

#100DaysOfHopper Day 95

Day 95: We've all been crushed under the tidal wave of the ice bucket challenge, treated like psychological chew toys by our furry friend loving champions and had our news feeds riddled with the quick spreading cancer plugs. Every single day, I can count on being hit up or "forced" to watch or read something about these funds. I read almost every one and I wonder.

I wonder why the biggest problem in our country isn't being faced. I wonder why when I have in the past asked people to donate, as little as whatever they would have spent at the deli on lunch, I get not even a single comment or like. I wonder why we donate to a disease we don't know anything about, because the challenge is fun. I wonder how and when a shelter dog became more important than a family living in a similar situation.

One in 11,000 Americans have ALS - there is no cure
One in 50 Americans have a cancer - the survival rate grows
One of every three shelter animals will be adopted

One in six Americans  (50+ million) will go to bed hungry - this rate increases every year. The amount of food thrown out in this country each and every year could more than adequately feed one half of these people (26 million).

The contents of your garbage can is probably enough to sustain a human life. Think about that. #100DaysOfHopper

Facebook! It's Always F***ing Facebook!

How the hell does that website do it? How is it possible, that people I once thought had above average intelligence and common sense, are reduced to slobbering idiots?

Seriously folks, it's about time you think before you post. How the hell do you not know the one thing your home town is famous for? How do you not know that there is no pumpkin in a Starbucks pumpkin latte? How do you not know if you have your settings on public, that everyone on the planet can see you're an idiot?

How do you not realize that your shirt was see thru before you went out? How do you not know that your significant other is interested in the person whose page they comment on sixteen times a day? How do you not know you're a fucking idiot, when you complain about how hard life is, but three hours later you're sitting by a fucking pool, drink in hand and bragging about how you have nothing to do for a week? Do you realize most people who complain one tenth the amount of time you do, don't get vacations and further more, you don't work, you cook once a week and spend more time posting about it than it takes to make and you complain about laundry. Laundry! You put it in and push a fucking button. Then you feed your fat face with bon bons while you wait to hear the buzzer, but you miss it, because you have your computer on Pandora, the TV onto The View and your phone surgically attached to your hand. Then you complain your husband or ex-husband is a deadbeat.

Sorry, this sounds sexist. There are just as many men who sit on their asses waiting for Junior to get off the bus and somehow manage to post 500 times on Facebook how lazy black or Spanish people are.  Yes those lazy fuckers got fired and unlike you, they didn't get a severance package, because it's not offered. Their Cobra is nonexistent and they can't collect unemployment, because their old boss is screwing them. Yes, so criticize how they collect food stamps to feed their five kids, while you search Expedia for deals on your disgusting Sea World extravaganza.

Remember that scene in Good Will Hunting? You know the one, the best one in the movie. No of course you don't fucking know it, Mr. Facebooker, because you're programmed to say "them apples" and "about a girl" and all the other awful fucking scenes in that pretentious, sentimental horseshit of a movie, but maybe just maybe you at least remember it. It's when Chuckie is talking to Will and he utters this masterpiece...."Every day I come by your house and I pick you up. And we go out. We have a few drinks, and a few laughs, and it's great. But you know what the best part of my day is? For about ten seconds, from when I pull up to the curb and when I get to your door, 'cause I think, maybe I'll get up there and I'll knock on the door and you won't be there. No goodbye. No see you later. No nothing. You just left. I don't know much, but I know that." That is me with Facebook. Just once. Just fucking once!!! Just once, I would like to sign on and not see four pictures of dogs beaten or cars shivering. Just once, I'd like to not see fourteen memes of Jesus posted by people who fuck their best friend's husbands. Just once, I'd like to not see some grifter trying to scam money out of people. Just once, I'd like to hear that the fuckers who complain about their jobs 24/7 finally upped and quit, because their mental health is more important than making "the man" happy. Just once, I'd like someone to publicly say what others say privately, good or bad. Just once, I'd like someone to not hit like and say "Hey so and so, I like you as a friend, but you know what? We all know you're rich and you know what else? You didn't work for that shit, so quit rubbing it in the faces of those of us who have slaved away trying to make ends meet. Stop telling us about your vacations, your cars, your jewelry and tell us about the conversation you had with your kid about life and how they want to be a scientist, because they cry when they read the paper at all the disease in the world. Then and only then will I spend a second of my life giving you the satisfaction of a like or a comment."

Just once, I'd like to wake up and find the angry worker had their comments read by the friend who needs someone in that field at their job and can offer her solace. Just once, I'd like to read that the person who spend six months a year in the ER, realized that mental health might have been a bigger issue than physical. Just once I'd like the two people who are always sad they are alone, to post "in a relationship with..." Just once, I'd like to wake up and go on and have someone say, "Thanks and it not really be about what they did."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

#100DaysOfHopper Day 94

Day 94: Rosacea (although I don't think that's what it is), torn rotator cuff, severe elbow tendinitis, carpal tunnel and arthritis due to breaking each finger at least twice, some as many as four or five times, a degenerative hip, a weak back caused by hip and knee problems (and the weight gained from them), torn anterior cruciate ligaments in both knees, severe cartilage tears in both knees, almost no mobility in one and occasional goat flare ups, gall stones, diverticulitis (once) and chronic insomnia.

Above are just the physical things I deal with on a day-to-day basis. So sorry, if I don't like or comment my sympathies for each time you have to wait in line at the DMV or someone cut the line at Starbucks. Sorry, if your flight was delayed or the person at the gym smells funny. Sorry if your kid had a sniffle and you can't "afford" to get sick, because you have a dinner party this weekend.

I'm also sorry that you didn't have time, like me, to research a topic, yet you feel free to continue posting after you've been proven wrong. I'm sorry that weather is such a big deal in your life, but me talking about racism annoys you. I'm sorry, you posted that Jesus will take care of us all, but I bothered you with my post about the millions who go hungry at night. Sorry, that your 70th beaten puppy pic was interrupted by my day 94 status blog. Part 2 will be the positive (promise) side...coming later or tomorrow. #100DaysOfHopper

 Day 94 Part 2: The Good stuff. Despite physical ailments I've acquired over the years and the fact I don't "look the part," I'm actually quite healthy. Perfect heart rate, perfect blood pressure, perfect cholesterol levels, all my last blood work proved me to be fit as a fiddle....well, internally. I almost never get sick. Not even the common cold. I've usually get really sick for two or three days in November or December and that's it. I never, ever take medicine, aside from the occasional Advil. Other than diverticulitis, I've not had more than a 24 "bug" in over three years. Not bad.

I have very few close family left. I have my brother, my father and my sister in law. They are the best people in the world. They keep me sane, they challenge my perspectives and I theirs and we have more laughs than most. I have great memories of all my grandparents and especially my mother. People say that this one was this or that, but despite personal faults, they were good people. They would give almost anyone they saw in need, the shirt off their back and did so without any expectation of reciprocation. They were the glue of their families and it's something I have failed in carrying on. I may seem like it, due to Facebook or my ability to run into people I know, but I have very few true friends. I don't think I'd have it any other way. Sure there are some I simply haven't known that long who are great people, but my inner circle is minute and in fact, made up almost entirely of people I never hang out with. It's much better that way, trust me.

I have my faculties. I'm starting to notice my eyes get tired more quickly and at times, I do question seeing things (at night), but my senses all seem to be very acute. I also, despite what a handful of people might tell you, have my intelligence, which has actually been more of a hindrance than benefit in today's society, but I'll stick with it. I have common sense, but believe me, I don't confuse that for decision making. I've made many poor decisions in my life. In retrospect, more poor than wise, but I've also learned from them. I'm quick to judge, but I'm also quick to apologize, quicker to acknowledge my mistakes and even quicker to give credit where credit is due.

I'm flat broke and romantically alone in this world right now and I wouldn't have it any other way. Sure there are times I'd love to join one or two of you in Aruba or London, but it's not to be. If I was to come into money tomorrow, I'd probably blow half of it sharing with those who are in need. I'm alone socially too and have been for two months and aside from seven or eight people, nobody has been concerned. It's Facebook's fault, but believe me, I'm OK. I appreciate the simple things in life, like a comfortable chair, a good article and some fresh picked blueberries. A cold drink, a good conversation and a hot meal. This is what life is to me. I've been without a car for three years and now I have one. I have no desire to drive all over and see the sights. I want to enjoy the tranquility and embrace the solitude. Time will come again where I'm surrounded by people, arguing, debating, hugging and kissing, but I'll long for this, so why fight it? Life is about creating happiness out of the happiness you bring others. If I bring that to one person each day, they bring it to me. #100DaysOfHopper

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

#100DaysOfHopper Day 92-93

Day 92: Gifts, money, cars, houses, tons of friends. Nope. Not for me. People love to say they appreciate life, but frankly, they are full of it. Anyone ever says, all they need is for you to care about them, try it. See how long they stay around. I know it sounds cynical, but I've been pretty much alone to my thoughts a lot lately and in the last two weeks, one e-mail, one message and one person who has continuously made me laugh, has gotten me through a mental rough patch.

The clueless stay clueless. The self centered stay centered. The fakes, stay false to nobody, but themselves. The new fad of the week crew is pushing their product. The woe is me crowd is woeful. The angry to be angry, as long as at least one comment of concern is made public; always public! The I'm better than you, because I have money crowd stays better than all of us Po' Folk. The Jesus loves us, even though our lives aren't any better since before we started posting those memes, keep praying. The innocent bystanders, stand by ever so innocently, waiting to spread their news and gossip of those tiny things said and done by others. The followers keep following, like sheep to the shepherd.

For all those of you who stay true to who you are and true to me, among others. God Bless you if that's your thing. Or if you're like me....fist bump...or FU. What ever you like! Just keep doing what you're doing and never take any shit from nobody...except me. You must take it from me, haha #100DaysOfHopper

Day 93: Yesterday was an emotional day. Someone reminded me of what an odd path this has been. Another reminded me of how fragile life can be. Another made sense of it all with his kind and eye opening e-mail. Simple and to the point. And then someone else, with their message to their departed father, reminded me of how few truly special people there are in the world. This man was one of them.

Very rarely do I get emotional over the thought of life and death. As so many have said, death is an integral part of life. It in many ways allows for our lives to be defined. We hesitate to do so as we live, as do others, because the chapters have not been finished. We need a conclusion. It's not always wrapped nicely, with a pretty bow one top, but it does end; for all of us.

I thought about this man and shed a tear. Then enjoyed a couple of laughs. Then I thought about how, I can only hope for that. I don't mean the manufactured distress that some spouted over the recent death of Robin Williams, but the true sadness that is felt from the loss of someone whose mere being in your life made it better. If there is one thing I long for it would be to have someone feel that way about me. Not to tell me, but to feel that way. So that as I pass, maybe just maybe I can feel like it was all made worthwhile, because someone's life was better, simply for knowing me. Wow, that's a feat! #100DaysOfHopper

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Eight Weeks

I have been away from "home" for eight weeks. If you noticed, I have the word home in parenthesis. Eastchester stopped feeling like home a long time ago. Somewhere around 1985, when I first moved there. I've never tried very hard to leave, because it's always been easier to stay. Easier, because I know what it's like to say goodbye and not realize it's for good. It's been easier to stay, because I had nowhere else to go. Every single chance I've had, I've taken to leave that place and every time I return, there is a little piece of me that is truly ripped from inside. It's an exhausting process.

Sure, I have people I consider good friends, but as I've found out, for the better part of a decade, they are a busy crew. I'm not one to beg someone for friendship, because to me, it's a two-way street that must be met 50/50. It is based on honesty, trust and the ability to always be open. Even with some of my closest friends, I've lost that. I wish I could stare into the mirror and yell at myself for this, but I can't. Things come up, people change and for good or for worse, I've stayed the same person. I refuse to be someone I'm not for someone else's benefit. I feel, even when I try, it truly depresses me.

So for eight weeks, I've lounged around Ithaca. Leaving the house, less than four times. I'm content sitting on the porch, the deck or laying in bed. Sitting at the table for long meals and longer talks. This is something I miss out on at home. Conversations surround me about some show I don't want, some song I don't know and biased references to teams I can't stand. Even at home, aside from three places, I am home almost always.

For eight weeks, I've wondered maybe twice what I'm missing out on. I miss a handful of people and even that is being generous. I genuinely miss three people and one doesn't even live near me, but often comes down to visit. Despite my confrontational personality, I doubt I'll even post this to Facebook. The off chance, someones vanity is hurt, when they believe I am speaking of them, when I am not. Here's the best about this silly blog. I used to have about 30-40 people who told me they read it all the time. How funny is it the reasons I've heard as to why they stopped. All reasons that friends would normally come to your side, are the reasons they stopped paying attention, reading, listening.

Eight weeks away. Who will notice when it's nine, ten or forever?

Monday, August 25, 2014

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Sleepers

OK, I don't play Fantasy Football anymore and this is exactly why I have become good at it. The last two years I posted my picks for sleepers, overachievers and underachievers and I've been approximately 90% on the money.

So I'll keep it simple this year. With my top choice (1 pick at each position), my solid pick (3-5 rounder), my sleeper (6+ who will be a stud) and my bust (anyone in top five who will have a bad year or get hurt).

TC: Peyton Manning is definitely the top choice. There is no reason to think he will not be the best player in the game once again.
Solid: Andrew Luck could go top two if the league is pass friendly.
Sleeper: Tom Brady is not your regular sleeper, but with an average running game and a strong defense, the Pats should get a lot of short drives, which means increased touchdowns.
Bust: Tony Romo is a fantasy superstar and this year he has the OL Cowboys forget he had a few years ago. Won't matter, he's on the decline and with an awful defense, he'll be playing catch-up, which he's statistically (unless you're a Cowboy fan), not very good at.

Running Back
TC: Eddie Lacy is a surprise pick, but I'd pick him #1 overall in run heavy leagues. Three of the top six guys are injury risks and two are old. Lacy is a young stud and will flourish with an entire season playing with Rodgers.
Solid: Andre Ellington might be the next big thing. He only had 118 carries last year and if he doubled all his stats from last year, he'd have been 14th in carries....and 3rd in yards. I predict a 1000+ yard, 8 td season.
Sleeper: Marki Ingram isn't going to win you your league, but as a fourth RB, he might be able to help quite a bit.
Bust: Ray Rice. This is me partially hoping the piece of shit is a bust and me also thinking the pressure of away games, will be too much for him. He's a weak-minded person and it will take it's toll, especially if Pierce performs.

Wide Receiver:
TC: There is Calvin Johnson and there is everyone else and it isn't even close.
Solid: Jordy Nelson is probably a top round guy, but with the injuries to other Packers, he's suffered. This year, he should be good for 100 catches and 10 touchdowns.
Sleeper: Cordarelle Patterson isn't a sleeper on most drafts anymore, but he's not going to be a top five round guy. He may even be one of the guys taken in the last 5-6 rounds in 10 team leagues.
Bust: Tavon Austin and it's not his fault. He was all set to have a breakout year and those who drafted already probably took him higher than 7th or 8th, but Bradford's injury spells doom for his season.

Tight End:
TC: Jimmy Graham is a WR. We all know it and he knows it.
Solid: Romo panics more than any quarterback in the league, so Witten is always a safe pick.
Sleeper: Martellus Bennett will be one of the three or four best TE in the game this year. 80 catches, 1000 yards and 10 TDs.
Bust: Jordan Reed isn't expected to blow the doors off the season, but a nagging thumb injury could spell doom. That coupled with QB problems in Washington, makes this a bad pick.

#100DaysOfHopper Day 91 - The Final Ten

Day 91: Yes Cooney, Yes Smyth, there are only ten more days (well maybe).

Do you know that Facebook, in many ways, is a time capsule? It is an ever present record of your thoughts, feelings and events that you have chosen to record and allow the world to see. Do you also realize that every racist or sexist comment, every misspelled or misused word and every time you couldn't handle the simplest of life's obstacles is here forever? Do you also know that whether you like it or not, whether it is warranted or not and whether or not it is fair, your kid are judged by your actions and what you've decided to post.

I've seen a lot of posts featuring memes about being the best mom, the best dad, the best person that someone can be, but I question it all. How can you not handle a day without coffee and curse people you love, but then claim to be the best person you can be. Think about all the pictures of you on the Internet. Would you want the same pictures of your child posted? I sure as hell know I would have shut this down years ago, had I the pleasure, the luck and the honor of having a child. While we all love your pics of the little ones sleeping or laughing, remember, they are also tied to your other pictures, posts and whatever else you share.

I'm not trying to sound self righteous, but I've met some of your children. Some of them are actually spitting images of you and your husbands and their personalities are identical to you. Virtual mini mes they are, no doubt. But don't we all want better for our kids. Do we want our children making the same mistakes we made and learning all of our bad habits. Do we really want a picture of us in an embarrassing situation with forty comments saying "best night ever?" How do we teach our youth not to do as we do, when it seems so great. Do we want our kids growing up to further the racial divide? Do we want them to hate someone for who they lay down next to, because that's how we were taught? Do we want exactly what our parents gave us or do we want more.

Like I said, I do not have kids. I have worked with kids and while people who know me from here, might have a hard time believing this, I never curse, I never slur, I never judge, I never bully and I never push my thoughts on others, when working with kids. I ask only that they use their minds to make decisions and constantly ask them to think how they would feel in another's shoes. I've heard many stories about them "finding out" things about their parents on Facebook, such as "my father smokes when he gets drunk," "my uncle has a tattoo, which is strictly forbidden in our religion," and "I think mommy has a boyfriend who isn't my daddy." I kid you not, all of those were said to me by kids, between the ages of 5 and 9, this year. This was all because of Facebook.

Listen, I happen to know, thanks to the mouths of people in Eastchester, that my political posts on Facebook have cost me at least one job, if not more. They've cost me friends (although, one has to redefine a friend who ends a friendship over a post on someone else's page). They've also made relationships very stressful. I'm not judging in the sense that I am better. I'm judging in that, I'm standing next to you in line for the abuse.

If we woke up in jail and you could only say three words to me, what would you say? "No Facebook Posts!" #100DaysOfHopper