Monthly Archives: December 2012

Everything you thought is in a box to the left…

Sometimes I read the things people write to others on social media sites and am instantly appalled…I go through a laundry list of things in my head to say…but very rarely do I comment because I don’t want to be a part of the problem…people who find it easy to say/write horrible things are usually fueled by any attempt at rational conversations…I read something today that I can’t get out of my head…and maybe because I’ve read similar posts…and even had similar things said to me…

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I really didn’t know who Chely Wright was until earlier this year…I listen to country music but not consistently…Luckily, I have a person in my life that keeps me current on most things country music related (Thank you Lisa!)…It wasn’t Chely’s music that captivated me though it was her documentary…Her story touched me…her honest and heart wrenching decision to come out struck a chord…I understood where she was coming from…and of course, her music from Lifted Off the Ground turned out to be just as moving…I bought her CD and followed her on Twitter…I wanted to learn more about this interesting lady…

As I read the twitter comment…my first thought was how effing prejudiced, homophobic and cruel can one person be…you get the idea…I’ve had a friend say something with a similar sentiment to me for my change in political views…But if I stop and think before I react…I realize I feel sorry for this person…You cannot put people in a box…it’s impossible to know every nook of a person you know…let alone someone you only know of because of their celebrity status…Chely Wright was always going to be the person she is…she just revealed more parts to the world…This person has Chely Wright in a box that is self-created of what a country singer lady is supposed to be like…there is no room in the box for all of Chely Wright’s parts…It’s interesting that what we perceive as personal growth some people see as losing your path…It continually boggles my mind that people find something to dislike about equality, inclusion and compassion…it’s strange that people fear and loathe an open heart and an expanding mind…

Aren’t we meant to evolve as people…the planet evolves with little hiccup…aren’t we meant to do the same?  And whatever happened to embracing differences and learning from each other?  Maybe some people fear other’s beliefs because they think it puts their own at risk…or makes them vulnerable…I am usually up for a new way of seeing things…I have surrounded myself with people who teach me every day…and I think that’s because my foundation is strong…I know who I am and what I believe…there is no need to demean or dismiss differing views…it may not change my mind but maybe I’ll get a new perspective…

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The worst…

Friday morning our TVs were bombarded with news of a school shooting…Tragedies attract so much attention…even mine.  It was the buzz in my office…Everyone wants to know exactly what happened…I believe it is partly a coping mechanism – to try to understand, to try to process…details were being release rapidly without confirmation…the wrong guy was named…his picture shared on Twitter, Facebook and the news…there were hateful messages left for the wrong guy on Facebook and Twitter…the magnitude of the situation speculated for hours…I saw a reporter walk into another station’s shot to get a statement from a child whose mother was being interviewed…I saw experts opining before the first press conference…it is all too much…Media fighting to release details first with little regard for complete accuracy…Sensationalism, that’s what it is…no need to sugar coat it with words like journalism…

Yesterday, I sat down again to maybe learn a little about the victims but again opinions and speculation were the top billed.  I turned the TV off and looked to the written news to get the basic information…And…the statement…the worst school shooting since…

The worst…Friday was the worst shooting for every mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, cousin, husband, wife, son, daughter, grand-daughter, grandson whose child, brother, sister, nephew, niece, grand-daughter, grandson, husband, wife, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandmother, grandfather was not waiting at that fire station to go home…for Ryan Lanza whose name and face was plastered on the TV and lost his mother and brother…for every child that witnessed this event, every teacher, every faculty member lunch lady, janitor, speech pathologist, bus driver, office assistant, etc…for this community who lost friends, coworkers, relatives…for those people this was the worst school shooting no matter the statistics. 

To compare the loss of life to that of another shooting creates inaccurate comparisons in the real world…Loss of life is loss of life…no matter the number…Outside of a professional setting those statistics don’t matter…to the people affected by a tragedy this school shooting will always be the worst…statistics should be used to create legislation, to further studies on mental health, to further security enhancements, etc…not as a tagline on the 6 o’clock news…

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Challenge Accepted

You know how on How I Met Your Mother – Barney randomly accepts challenges that no one actually gives him…

Well that is where I find myself today…I accepted my own challenge to listen to the unabridged Les Miserables before the film is released on Christmas day…People always want to finish the book before they see the movie…so then I guess they can complain about how the movie is nothing like the book and how the screenwriters, directors and producers screwed up…but that will not be me…I just want to pay the author and this classic the respect it deserves…I’ve tried reading the unabridged text on and off but I’ve never dedicated the time like I should.  It is an incredibly long book…However, the first time I saw the Dream cast perform on PBS I was hooked…

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I wanted to be Eponine on Broadway…So she dies at the barricade and doesn’t get the guy…she has the best songs…plus Lea Salonga has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard…when I saw the trailer for the new film…again I was captivated by the voices and the music of Boublil and Schonberg….

The unabridged audiobook is 57 hours…I’m probably only a quarter of the way through…with only ten days left until Christmas there are those with doubts (Patty)…but it will be done…

Let’s pause for a moment to enjoy another clip from the movie….

The fact that everyone sang live and that there will be no songs dubbed in…well that is just amazing…there have been film adaptations of Les Miserables before but I am confident that this will be the best yet.  I’ll update on my progress and on anything French I decided to do to prepare!

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December Remembers….

Today (12/10)…it has been 7 years…the tears have dried and the sadness waned…but there is an empty space in memories, in pictures, in chairs, at occasions and even conversation…in trips down memory lane the space is filled…but the memories have a cut off date…they stopped for me on Thanksgiving day 2005…some people got a few more days but not much more…It’s amazing how one adjusts to that space…for it can never be filled and it is always there…It has to be…because you’ve lost a person that can never be replaced by another…My brother passed away 7 years ago from a drug overdose…I’ve long compartmentalized parts of my life so I don’t offend people, bring up painful memories, shock and amaze…but I’ve reached a crossroads where I don’t see the point…I’m not saying that I’ll put it all on the table any time soon…However, I wanted to find a way to tie in my other blog with my new blog…so this feels like the perfect segue…I started a blog a few years back dedicated to addiction, grief and all the gunk that comes a long with being related to an addict…but it came to feel like it either would become wallowing or soap boxy…I didn’t think either would be helpful…Below are excerpts from an old entry about the day I found out my brother was gone…

…I hung up the phone…relived the conversation with C…then began speculating the reason for the impromptu jaunt to Columbia…it’s only an hour drive and popular Saturday activity for my mom to shop with me…but I went to far sinister places quickly…Uncle G was with mom – my first thought was that Grandaddy was dead…but then why would Uncle G have driven with mom…someone would need to be with Granny…so then I guessed you were dead…but brushed it off…maybe someone was in the hospital…or these guys just wanted to head down to Yesterday’s in Five Points for dinner…

Mom was sitting on the steps of the apartment building when I arrived…Uncle G was silent except for saying to me…that it was really bad or that it wasn’t good…I knew already anyway…I was just waiting for the words…

“He’s dead,” said matter-of-factly…but really what other way is there to say it…I think I yelled, “no, no, no” or something similar…I remember C’s hand flying to her mouth then immediately backing out of the room…at a loss for words…I hate she was there…not b/c I didn’t want her there but…come on, that’s awkward…

I’m not sure if I lost my vision, my ability to hear (as a result of a mild panic attack and shock), or just immediately tuned out…which apparently is my initial reaction to most things…I immediately wanted to be alone but I couldn’t…they were there and wanted to comfort me…but I needed a minute to breathe…It didn’t come….mom was feverishly packing my clothes…I wanted to do it myself…I know I just needed to control the situation…but I felt like I was watching it happen in slow motion…I was grasping at anything to give myself a sense of control and balance in this chaotic moment…I had to ride with them leaving my car behind and the hope of a desperately needed hour alone to check in with myself…calm myself, make a plan for dealing with two grieving parents and the rest of the family…Mom put her head in my lap and cried most of the way home…we had to make a few calls on that drive some I remember, some I still don’t…

There is a lot that I don’t remember about those initial hours…but I knew our lives would never be the same again…our worst fears had come true…the years of jumping at phone calls that came at odd hours…the wait to see how many days you would go missing hoping that you weren’t in an alley…preparing mentally for the time that the phone or doorbell rang to deliver the news…preparing to help cope…but hoping that the news would never really come…

Years have passed since that day and I look now to celebrating in some small way the life that ended…My brother would have turned 30 this year…and even though he will be perpetually 23…I wanted to mark the milestone with a gift…something fun to remember…so I got a tattoo…I feel that at 33 I have reached an age to finally make lifelong decisions…Music makes me happy…it enters my mind constantly and I can tie a song to most events in my life…so I chose music notes but not just music notes…notes to Green Day’s song Good Riddance…

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Hope you had the time of your life…

There isn’t much you can do about a person sized hole in your life…it’s kind of like the phrase…pink elephant in the middle of the room…there is no way to look around it or ignore it…sometimes it makes other people uncomfortable…even though you’re past the shock of it…but if you’re the person on the path to leave the person sized hole in someone’s life…you can do something about it…If you’re reading this, you still have time…If you think no one cares, you’re wrong…If you think the people you get high with care, they don’t (well not in the way they should)…If you think recovery is hard, you’re right…but it’s possible…being sober won’t solve all of your problems but it could save your life…

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