Are some holidays and events socially media intertwined more than others?

Watching the big game on two huge screens in K...

Watching the big game on two huge screens in Klaus!!! #superbowl (Photo credit: Eweinhoffer)

I was just sitting here on my bed watching painfully our 9ers play without fire in their bellies and losing badly at the Superbowl.  My computer sits on my lap and i am checking my local blog sites (bernalwood.wordpress.com, CurbedSF.com & the SFist.com).  I decide to go to my blog stats page to see if my theory held up.

My theory was that stats for visits for my posts would be low, just like they were Christmas day.

My Christmas day prediction was wrong and today’s Super Bowl day prediction on visits was also wrong.

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My prediction on Xmas was that there would be a lot of people online viewing blogs and social media sites.  They weren’t.  They in retrospect were of course with family and probably in a food-semi coma.  NOT online.

My prediction for today was similar to what the actual xmas outcome was.  I assumed that people would be at Superbowl parties and at bars across the USA, getting drunk and basically only connecting to the big screen TV and possibly their sattellite that connects to their big screen TV.

 

But i was wrong again.  Views are high on Superbowl Sunday.  Views are low on Christmas.  So, Superbowl Sunday is a social media intertwined event and Christmas is not.  I wonder what the 4th of July will be….

I feel like the end of this year it has been a game of knock down and get back up over and over again.

Woah. It has been quite an eventful and trying end of the year for me this year. From my computer going down for almost 2 months to my dad getting sick and all of the back and forth travel between San Francisco and Las Vegas.

It has been a defeat and then a triumph and then a defeat and then another triumph. It has been such a roller coaster ride!

The reason why i am choosing to bring this up with all of you is because i really thought i was just about to get back into the writing roll here after successfully fixing my computer (finally! and PHEW!!). Things were on the right track. It was only a little bit longer before i had gotten my brain out of its forced writing hiatus. I could feel the blog topics forming in my subconscience.

Then, Christmas night rolled on through with the news that NO ONE saw coming and thus shut my desire and ability to write right back down the rabbit hole again.

I found out that i lost one of my dearest friends….

It has been a long time since i had to actually mourn. In 2007, i lost my kitty of 14 years. It was really rough. It took almost 3 years before i was ready to rescue another one. Then when i was 19, my best friend from 7th grade (and former roommate) committed suicide. I still haven’t gotten over that one. I don’t think i ever will. And finally the last mourning i had done on this scale was when i was in high school, I ran over my dog of 13 years by accident and we had to put him down. (Ironic twist to that story, my mom hits the cat accidentally 2 weeks later, and since we just put the family dog down, my mom decided to plug $2000 into our 13 year old cat that we found hiding on top of my dad’s wheel well in his truck at his job when he was a baby. He was scrappy and had clearly been in a few fights already in his few months of life. We took him home and he and my dog became fast friends and he went on to live to be 16 years old. (funny note: I named him cuddles… i know… i was 6 years old! However, i re-nic-named him night-stalker because he sure was not very cuddly!) However, in retrospect, there was a reason why he had been hit so close to Charley’s death. He lived a miserable life those last years.).

Anyway, since Christmas, i have been nothing but constant tears and disbelief. Usually when someone we know dies, there is a reason for it… they had a weak heart, they were driving in that terrible weather, he has a history of ____ in his family, or he had come down with ____. This time, we dont know the reason for my friend Reid Gilbert’s death. He had some minor surgery on his toes 2 days earlier and they were causing him a lot of pain. The afternoon of the 21st, he laid down for a rest. His partner John went into the living room with Reid’s mom to have some ice cream and talk. John went to check on Reid about an hour later and he was not breathing. He WAS NOT BREATHING??? How can that be?

My friend Reid had more life in him than just about anyone i knew. He was filled with enthusiasm and charisma and so much love. He could talk to anybody. He was so friendly to the point where he almost had no shame in it. He was blissfully unaware how other people often are socially awkward. Reid was somewhat socially awkward, but not when it came to meeting people. He was gifted with words. When his father died, he did a lot of writing but otherwise, those words were expressed through talking. And boy could Reid talk! (maybe that is why we got along so well! lol.)

I have known the boys for almost 18 years, but this last 3 years or so, Reid and i spent a lot of time together. Oh how i did not know what a gift it was back then. We could spend hours talking about EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. He was this amazing loving, giving man that i had the honor of knowing and loving for so long.

We dont know why he died. He was not ill or even shown signs of sickness, let alone death. And unfortunately, we will have to most likely wait for a while because our dear coroner is backlogged (we can spend tens of thousands on MLB parades and Mid-Market revitalization, but can not hire enough coroners to autopsy our dead?! Thanks again Mayor Lee… for doing a shitty job!

Anyway, it doesnt really matter why he died. He is gone. That is the reality that i am left with and it has made it almost imposible to write you all because of it.

So if my blog posts are not back on with the same zeal, know why. I am mourning. I can only heal as fast my heart will allow and i appreciate your patience while i am going through this.

Thank you for your patience and understanding!

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(this is Reid on the left with his partner of 21 years John Fox)

Is being alone a bad thing… my consensus… not usually….

For someone who has a whole lot of great friends and a wonderful family and is very social, I just cant seem to understand why i end up spending so much of my time alone.  I am by myself a LOT of the time.  It is not per say by choice, but it just happens to end up that way.  It always has.

Now compared to some people, i am constantly surrounded by people.  These make up my roommates, my neighbors and friends etc.  But i find that they rarely come here to see me.  They enjoy seeing me when they are here and they make an effort of coming all the way to my house, but once they are here, they always end up spending their time with the others here in the house.  It is everyone else that goes out on excursions.  It is me that goes walking alone.

It has kinda always been this way.  I have been a very social person since i was a toddler.  I crave human interaction and find it fascinating to watch people and their interactions with life.

So, let me recap for myself.  I am a social person, i have a lot of people that care about me

On such a day of thanks, How could it be that one of my dearest friends Reid Gilbert passes away when he is in the prime of his life?

 

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loss 2012

  On Christmas night.  Right after finishing a lovely Christmas dinner with my dad and 3 of his friends, i receive the news.  Reid is dead.  What?!!?  NO!!  How on earth could this happen?

Reid and his boyfriend John Fox have been 2 of my closest and dearest friends for almost 20 years.  They moved to Mexico two years ago after Reid’s brother (who was living in Mexico) went missing and was later found to be murdered.  In the process of looking for his brother, Reid fell in love with the community that his brother had decided to call home for 21 years.  After dealing with a lot of paperwork and legal tangles here in the states, John and Reid ended up moving down to the community that his brother had made his own.  They had been down there for a little over a year.

We dont know what the cause of death is (possibly a blood clot from some small surgery to his toes 2 days prior.  Regardless, he passed in his sleep while staying with John at his mom’s house.

When someone asks you… do you know anyone who has a perfect relationship?  Most of the answers will be no.  However, i did have one.  One perfect pairing that lasted from start to finish for 21 years.  This is John and Reid.   They found each other early on in life and decided to be together then and there.  Since then, they have formed a bond so tightly that they worked almost more as a single unit.  They perfectly complimented each other.  There was never a time where some other person put their relationship at risk.  They loved being a couple.  They were one.

How John will go on with the last half of his life?  It is going to be tough i am sure.  They planned on being together for much MUCH longer than this!  John is strong though.  He was the one that was more of the anchor and i am glad that it is him and not the other way around that has to pick up the pieces because i dont know if Reid could have if the tables were turned.

So on this season of thanks, i have to thank you Reid Gilbert.  You brought this world so much happiness.  You were one of the very best ones one could find.  Even if you did not know Reid, we all have lost a giving loving soul.  He was an amazing person who will be missed so much for so long.

So, for me, although the world did not stop for us all on Dec. 21, 2012, It did stop for Reid, and in turn, our lives (those who knew him) have ended an era as well.

I LOVE YOU REID GILBERT!  I HOPE YOU CAN SEE FROM ABOVE, THE POSITIVE IMPACT YOUR LIFE HAS MADE ON SO MANY AND THAT YOU ARE AT PEACE.  THANK YOU!!  I miss you so!

Seems to be an anomaly to be spending my delayed flight with a bunch of pencils!

In this day of technology, we don’t do many manual things to pass time besides reading & sleeping & eating. After not having my computer for so long, the first thing I did was pull it open. That worked until I just got another delay notice. Time to find my gate & visit the loo. After changing out of my wet (from getting caught in the rain earlier) clothes and freshening up, I found my gate… And it was packed! I found this table kinda in the middle but at the same time out of the way. For this stretch, I wanted to DO something! (Anything to alleviate the urge to want to smoke!). So, I pulled out a drawing l started a couple days ago. Our dear reader Katykins suggested that I take a picture of some of the stuff I have been working on. So, I give u a 2 in 1. My drawing (unfinished!) AND the airport! Hope u all have a fantastic. Holiday!!

Xoxo.
Blue.

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It has been like over a month but I AM BACK and with only maybe a couple hours before the end of the world!

 

 

 

 

The past month plus has been a very surreal experience for me.  Two months ago, i had 2 perfectly working computers.  Within 2 weeks I had zero.  The last month and a half i have gotten to learn the jump in with both feet kind of learning curve, just how much my life and my anchoring to my life is based through my computer.

I have just been sort of drifting this last month and a half.  I have been scattered, disconnected, out of touch and just kinda unhinged through this time.  I have also had to do a lot of traveling back and forth to see my dad which really throws off my whole life schedule… but with no computer, no blog, no writing, no photos uploaded, no local news & no easy typing (the reading on my iphone was not ideal at this age either!)… I had nothing to anchor me down and so i just kinda spun.

The first section home between the first and second trip i partied my ass off.  Staying up till dawn and just basically partying like i did in my early 20′s.  It was fun, but boy oh boy did my room get messed up.  I still have not fully recovered from it!  All of the packing and unpacking and present wrapping and computer parts and machines in various states of repair has not helped the mess get fixed either though.

The next time i came home, i knew i was not going to party like i had the weeks before.  That second period i was home, i tried to get up motivation so i restarted more seriously my exercise plan.  Hiking longer and more regularly.  It feels a lot better living life with exercise but it did not bring back my motivation.  However, i did pick back up… and thanks to my friend Kenny, broke through my block & started drawing again, the first time in many months.  It felt good.

The other thing i got back in with was cooking.  It is the holidays so i made cookies and fudge and soup and cupcakes.  It has been fun and, surprisingly, i have not had an unquenching urge to eat all that i have just cooked.  It has been more fun feeding those around me which sure helps my waist line!

I am absolutely rusty and in all honesty, am totally surprised that i did not fuck my macbook up completely.  I thought i had.  I will go into detail the perils we survived to get us back online in a future post, but,  It is late and it may be the end of the world tomorrow and if it is, i dont want to spend it in silly details of the luckiest girl with the toughest laptop in the world and instead tell you all just how much i have missed my place here with you.  I have missed the conversations and the points of view.  I have missed the friendship and the fantastic attitudes of you all.  I am SO glad to be back to writing for you all!  Like i said, i was not really thinking that i would have a working laptop tonight, so i have sorta had to wedge my brain back into the thinking and typing mode which has been on hiatus now for a while, but i am ready to start sweeping the cobwebs and getting back to the grind.

On one last note, i leave again Sunday evening for my dads for Christmas.  This is awesome and at the same time sad for me because on Christmas eve of this year, it is going to be my little baby kitty Arthur and my one year anniversary.  Unfortunately for us both, he will be home alone with my roommates on this day.  I think i will be way more saddened on this day than he.  But it does make me a little sad that we will not be spending our one year marker together, so for that reason, i am dedicating this posting to him.  Here is to another year and as much progress as we have made this for next!

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I love you Arthur!

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Holiday gift giving just isnt what it used to be. Mostly because they have our cash hijacked once we spend it… Even if it is a gift!

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itunes gift card (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

 

I was having a conversation tonight with a couple of friends about gifts and gift cards as well as exchanges and returns.  After about 5 minutes of discussing the gift card industry and things associated with it (Specifically a gift card i received for christmas early this year.  This was a gift card that came with a gift receipt.)   We started to realize that there was Zero, 0, Zilch. Non, Nada reason for one to be included with the card.

Then we started to realize that with the implementation of Gift Receipts, even if paid for with cash, one can ever only get store credit or an exchange.  With the gift receipt we can never prove that cash was spent on the item because they so graciously leave off form of payment so they can force you to contain the money within their company or store.

Once a gift card is purchased, the money has to go to the store.  You can not change your mind and get any kind of refund anymore.  People used to pay with checks and if you wanted to return something, and you paid by check, they would return to you cash.  Since checks are practically antiquated, the only way to get your money back is to have the original receipt and within that first 7 days, you can free your money in what ever form that you chose to pay with.

Then we started to think about how many BILLION$ and BILLION$ of dollar$ that are floating out there in our wallets, our pockets, the dumpster, the sidewalk, the cushions of the couch etc.  with a small remainder of credit on that very gift card that will NEVER be used.  Just think about the amount of money that is generated on that odd remainder!  That is technically our money still.  But it is already with the company so they really are making a double double double profit.  Profit from the initial gift card purchase and then the mark ups when spent on the items and then the unspent remainder.  All benefiting the company and the company alone.

I remember years back when we didnt like something that we got, we could go back with the tags in place within the seven days and we could get some money.  Nordstrom did this for MANY MANY years to many returners (and scammers) appreciation.

Now i think about how much money is going one way never to be able to come back if it is something we dont want these days.

Now I  can definitely see the benefit of these gift card trading (buy and sell) sites as well as places like ebay and amazon to be able to resell your brand new perfectly unused unwanted item to retrieve some cash said item.

All in all, they are fleecing us dry by the looks of it in a lot of ways, that are less obvious than higher interest rates and inflation.  There are the fees and the 1 way money flow… out of our pockets & into theirs.  It is pretty scandalous and we dont even see it or realize it happening or at least the bigger impact of what these policies truly mean for them stealing our money.

So on this year of gift giving… Do your loved ones a favor… Just give them CASH for godsake!  It is a different time than it used to be.  It is no longer seen as lazy or tacky to give cash.  It is only what we work our whole lives for!  Cash=freedom so you are actually giving them the feeling of freedom when cash is given!

People are not judged by how much they spend, but on what they spend. Give your loved one the right to chose where that hard earned money should be spent.  That way, A. the change stays with them and B. they will have a receipt showing that they paid cash incase they change their mind when they get home.  The bottom line is you are at least giving the windfall to the one you are giving to and not some financial corporation for them to take over the free world with!

Plus.. Cash is pretty!

Its Holiday Season again… Does it make you warm and mushy or give you the icky feelings of dread?

 

 

Xmas Tree

Xmas Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is also not a time in my life that i can falter at all.  This is what all that hard work and preparedness was getting me ready for.  The massive travel back and forth week at a time to get to my dads with bittersweet feelings…  thankful that i CAN be there,  that i have the time and that he is not all the way across or out of the country.  I remember when my dad was in this mode with his aunt (like a mom).  He had to drive up at least every other day from the south bay to San francisco to see her.  Even thought my parents were separated, we (or just my brother and i or just me)  would go up every or every other week.  It was exhausting.  It was stressful.  It was emotional.  It was wonderful to have been given that last bit of extra time!

 

When her time finally came, the feeling was different than i thought it would be for me.  I dont know about how my dad felt, but I had felt this really big empty spot.  A lot more empty and lonely than i would have thought in sort of a different way than i had thought.

 

We had this 2 bdrm apt. to completely go through, get appraisers out, call insurances etc as well as meeting with the lawyers and accountants.  I kept feeling like one did when they were at camp for a week and it is finally time to go home.  You are the last one to be picked up and the place feels SO empty to you.  You feel more alone in that several hours  than i think we feel most of our lives.  Leaving camp was ALWAYS a tough thing for me.  Kind of like leaving my little cat Arthur when i have to leave every time now.  Separation anxiety!  Panic.  Pure panic.

 

This year with the holidays here, its needless to say that they were very important to me.   That since my dad’s real failing health this last month i really just wanted to be with family.  It is probably going to be the last year that my whole family will be here on earth so (aside from the potential apocalypse) this year holdays are especially poignant to me and somewhat surreal.

 

I know (as i have done many many times) that this will be one of those times that i will remember when looking back form the future.  I can see history happening right before my own eyes can see it.  I can sense it.   I can feel the page starting to turn and the chapter is about to change.  I think it is one of those things that mark a major growth and changing of eras.

 

Usually music, which may have not been integrated into my life hardly at all over the last so many months, now comes on full time (not even any news or chanel 9!  No tv!  I would rather use the Roku box to play Pandora than watch tv.  And just a couple months ago, tv was my way of relaxing at the end of the day.  Now i just cant stay focused on just one thing for that much time. Music you can hear while typing or packing or eating or drying ones hair.

 

Not only that, but a whole new grouping of music is starting to mark this period of time like a big memory timestamp.  They (the songs) (wether i want them to or not!) are becoming the soundtrack for this new period of time.

 

The things i do and the way i feel and the things i see right now are going into a more permanent place in my brain banks because it is so filled with upcoming change and surrounded by such thick emotion.  I can feel myself change.  I know that pretty soon, i will never be the person i used to be.

 

For all of you “grown ups” out there, you are probably thinking to yourself… “that is called growing up”…. I know this, it still feels just a bit strange when you feel it starting to happen but you are still the same person.  It is like the forces of change are moving into your soul to make that change in accordance.

 

Some of these changes include the obvious ones like my dad and his delicate health scenario as well as all of the travel associated with it.  There is also some cracks within my family that have been revealed recently that could be game changers for the closeness we have (possibly falsely) believed we had.  It will be interesting thing to see what happens.  It may be one of those times a child must define themselves as a full grown adult to others around them even if they will always be younger or the child or whatever.  At 38, one is a full grown adult and i believe old enough for others to be able to have decided wether or not they are a quality and competent as a person or not.  The role of the parent or older sibling is the job with all of the power and control who usually desperately tries to hold onto that same level of power and control even with fully grown kids/sisters or brothers.  Who would want to give up something they have taken a lifetime building?

 

But everyone deserves to feel like a grown up when they are deeply into their grown ups!  If they do not, it is simply because either A. the family has enabled them or B. because the family undermines their self esteem making them question themselves throughout their whole lives.  If the people that raised you dont believe in you and you have a lot of respect for them, then it usually ends up not so well for the child.  That undermining self-esteem can sit in the back of your head haunting all of your wishes in life.  It is hard.  Even when you believe in you, when the ones you love do not, it is a heavy blow that never seems to be able to be shaken off the back.

 

Self esteem can make or break a perfectly great person.  And usually it is the soul crushing that comes from within the family or those that we look up to.  They have a lot of lasting damaging power over us that they often like to turn back around and blame back on us.

 

These are some of the things that happen to adjust the power structure when children become adults.  The adults sometimes forget that they only get so long to do their raising and then, it is time to stand back and see if they were a good teacher or not.  If they (the child) starts making poor choices, you as a parent do not get the option to jump back in and continue to raise them some more.  If the child fails at making good decisions, that could possibly mean that YOU failed as a parent in your raising.  That is your own work that you are seeing them using to survive.  Most of the time though, the family only sees a part of what the whole story is.  They have no idea how we are to really use our time and solve problems and set goals.  Jeez… they dont even usually bother to ask us if we even have any goals or plans to improve our futures.  Do they just assume that we just sit around whining and picking our noses?

 

I just know that the holidays are wonderful and yet so stressful and can be so depressing at the same time.  They are wonderful if you have a great loving family or family of friends to surround yourself with, but can be easily as equally depressing if you do not have anyone, just lost someone or are not getting along well with the people you care about at the time.

 

For you all, i truly hope that you have a low stress winter holiday season and are surrounded by the love that every human being deserves.  I hope you take the time to appreciate that this moment is here… because it WILL change.  That is guaranteed.  The thing is that we just dont expect to change soon.  What i have found is that change can happen in the blink of an eye.  So now is the time to live in the moment and appreciate that the hands of change have not moved any of the ones you love out of your lives yet.  Enjoy each other.  After all, we may not even make it to Christmas if the end of the world comes on Dec 21, 2012!

 

 

 

:)