Monthly Archives May 2011

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Wonderful Tonight

By M Davies   /     May 24, 2011  /     Events, Into the Void  /     1 Comment

A few weeks ago, local talk show hosts Rocky and Sue from 98.5 KRZ had posted a Facebook status asking their viewers to share their biggest Prom Regrets.  Talk about striking a nerve…

Most people wouldn't believe that I fell asleep at my senior high school prom, but it's true.  I did.  Why did I fall asleep at my senior prom, you may ask.  I can tell you that I was most certainly NOT under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.  I was in fact, under the influence of grief. 

My grandmother died 12 years ago, this month.

She died, in fact, a few days before I was set to go to the prom.  She was sick before that, but no one seemed to know what was going to happen.  The following is what I was able to piece together from what I overheard on phone conversations between my Mom, Aunt and Dad:  My Aunt usually called my Grandmother every morning to check on her and to chat (she lived alone as my Grandfather died 4 years earlier).  I can't remember around what time this call would happen, but it was early in the day, maybe around 8 or 9 in the morning.  One morning my Aunt tried to call and my Grandmother did not answer…(or maybe the phone was busy).  My Aunt didn't think anything of it at first, as she may have been out shopping or taking a walk, etc.  After a few hours, my Aunt became concerned and went over to the house where she found my Grandmother laying there and called for an ambulance.  Something like that.  Again, most of these details were not discussed with me, I learned about them second or third hand.  Anyway, by the time that she was found the stroke to took a severe impact on the functions of her brain.

She was in a nursing home in Nanticoke for a bit after that, but things were not going well.  I think at some point her kidneys failed.  Since my Grandmother had a living will and did not wish to be kept alive by machines, it was only a matter of time until she went. 

I expected that she was going to go.  I did not, however, expect that she would be gone and the funeral would be on the same day of my prom. 

When I learned of her passing, I felt completely empty of emotion.  I'm not sure why.  It was unlike me to not have a reaction.  I guess looking back at the whole chain of events leading up to her death, maybe a part of me was expecting her to pass on.  At the time though, I assumed it was because I was reading "The Stranger" by Albert Camus and felt that it had an existential impact on my emotions.

My first gut reaction was to not go to the prom.  Me and "my date" already had our clothes, transportation and tickets and were all set to go.  I told my Mom that I was considering this and she told me that Gram would not have wanted that.  She would not have wanted to see me upset.  She told me that I should still go and continue on with my plans because that is what she would have wanted.  I am starting to tear up just thinking about it.  That IS what she would have wanted…I can almost hear the words coming out of her mouth.  Deep at heart, I didn't feel right about not attending the funeral. 

My "date", Frog, was actually a good guy friend of mine.  His real name is "Mike"…we all called him "Frog" because, well, his face had frog-like features.  I could have gone with a few different people, but I picked him because we hung out a lot and he was hilarious.  I knew I would have a good time.  At the time, I was most recently dating George, but we were not together in the weeks before the prom. 

Frog and I (in my skeleton-thin like days) Circa May 1999

The professional photo that we had taken at prom was horrible.  I had a look on my face that seemed to say "Yeah, I'm here going through the motions.  I guess I'll fake a smile."  My smile in the above picture looks somewhat believable I think.  All in all, I'd say we had an OK time.  The evening had it's good parts.  Mostly, I felt incredibly guilty for not going to the funeral.  I didn't dance at all.  I probably would have danced more if I didn't feel so depressed and guilty.  At some point, I put my head down on the table to sob after hearing a sad song and then dozed off.  I'm not exactly sure how long I was asleep, but it probably wasn't long.  We left early and went to a Perkins in Dickson City to eat (btw, our prom was at Genetti's in Dickson City) and then he drove me home and I went to bed.  There was no afterparty or wild shennanigans to report afterward.  I was tired and just needed to sleep. 

Back to the original question.  I guess my biggest prom regret was simply going to it.  I should have been able to give a proper final goodbye to my Grandmother.  I don't know that I'll ever be able to forgive myself for that.  There isn't a day that goes by that I do not think about it, and whenever I hear "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton it instantly takes me back to that moment in time….when I selfishly put my life ahead of what was happening to my family.

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Obama takes out Osama

By M Davies   /     May 02, 2011  /     Misc/Crap, Twitter  /     2 Comments

I feel as if I should comment about the announcement of Osama bin Laden being confirmed dead last night.  It seems like the right thing to blog about at the moment.  First of all though, I don't want to get into the he-said, she-said game of Republicans vs. Democrats and which president did the most on their watch to find him.  It's a moot point.

Every Sunday night, my ritual is to watch the Celebrity Apprentice.  I know that it's a stupid show, but I don't care.  Everyone has their own type of fix and this is mine.  I was using my phone to live Tweet some of the stuff going on during the show that I found funny.  Again, another stupid ritual that I have.  As I was tweeting about the cat fight between Star Jones and NeNe Leakes (more on that here) I noticed that the Twitter account for the CNN Breaking alerts had posted a Tweet that stated that "The President will be addressing the Nation at approximately 10:30 PM, subject unknown."  I think at this point I read the message out loud to my husband who was sitting across from me and said "Oh sure, Trump had to go and piss off the President about the birth certificate bit, now he's interrupting my show to get revenge!"  I kind of forgot about it and continued to watch/tweet about the Apprentice.  Then all of the sudden NBC came up with a scrolling message at the bottom of the screen with the three bells … DING DING DING …. "The president to address nation at 10:30 on an very important matter." or something to that effect.

This is when I started freaking out.  My heart started racing and I couldn't sit still.  I started breathing in and out heavily to the point of having a panic attack.  What does it mean?  Are we going to war?  Did somebody die?  Ailens?  Zombies?  Mutant alien zombies that will wage a war with us causing us all to die?  My god the combination of paranoid thoughts and scenarios my brain was conjuring up could have easily written a couple two tree of Twilight Zone episodes.

10:30 came and went, and there was no announcement.  To which point I tweeted:  "The big presidential announcement was:  PSYCH!  There wasn't one!"  As an aside, if you couldn't already tell from reading my tweets, blog and/or Facebook…I rely on humor and sarcasm a lot to get me through awkward situations (…and I also do it to be a smart ass…)  The Celebrity Apprentice was at the boardroom part of the episode which usually happens for about the last half hour of the show.  Just when Star Jones was going to explain who she wanted on her team for the final 3, NBC News cut in for the special announcement. This was at approximately 10:45.

At this point Twitter was … well… a twitter … with what the announcement could be about.  I have a few friends on my Twitter and Facebook who are journalists and have access to the AP wire.  One by one they all started letting it slip that it was in fact regarding Osama bin Laden.  And that the USA had captured and killed him.  Street creds go out to Bob Kalinowski of the CV and Phil Yacuboski formerly of WYOU for being the first on my feeds to know what was going on and thusly calming me the hell down.  I was ready to crawl out of my skin. 

It wasn't until sometime after 11 when we got to hear the words uttered from the President's mouth that we did in fact get bin Laden.  NBC's journalists and analysts kept speculating about what the message was going to be about, what it would mean to the victims' families of the 9/11 attacks, and how it could all backfire in our faces.  It was rather annoying that we basically knew the entire scenario of what happened long before the President was on camera.  NBC is a bunch of surprise spoilers! 

I guess my take away from this whole situation is 3-4 points.

1.  Holy shit.  News travels faster on Twitter than any Network / Newspaper affiliate could ever dream of.  I've never seen something go from "We have no clue what this is about" to "This is what it most definitely is" in a blink of an eye like that before.  I guess you could say the news went viral, but in this circumstance, I'd have to say it went SUPERviral.

2.  Regarding the actual "death".  It is great to see this scum go down finally after all of these years, but I don't think that terrorism will just magically stop happening.  My fear was always with capturing bin Laden that he would be raised to martyr status among the extremists and al Quieda members that built him up to be the leader that he was.  I just hope that the intelligence agencies and armed forces keep up the excellent work that they have been doing to keep any sleeper cells at bay. 

3.  I don't think that the victim's families will be totally relieved with this outcome.  I can't imagine the grief and suffering these folks have gone through since 9/11.  Losing a loved one is never easy, regardless of the circumstance.  The way that the people died on 9/11 was tragic and irreversable.  I'm sure that bin Laden being captured has to help find closure somewhat, but the fact of the matter is the loved ones who were murdered on 9/11 can never be brought back.  It's not as if suddenly they will wake up one morning and say, "Everything is all better now"

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi  

I do hope that the victims families are able to find peace somehow.  Whether or not "justice has been served" remains to be seen in their eyes, I suppose.

4.  The incessant celebration.  It has been a long while since the Nation has all been on the same playing field with their beliefs.  It's sad to say that the most tragic times seems to bring out the best in people.  9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the recent Tornado's in Alabama.  These events make people stop what they are doing, regardless of race, denomination, age or political party and band together to help any way they can for the good of the country.  Why can't it be like this more often?  I agree that it is a good day/week/month/year to be an American, but I think some of these parties that they showed on TV last night did go a bit overboard.  We killed a man.  He was a bad man, yes, but still.  It just seems "off" to me.  I read online somewhere that when an American was killed over in the middle east that the extremists would party in the streets in similar fashion – and I know I've seen it on TV.  But we condemn that behavior.  Now we are essentially doing the same thing.  I'm confused on what to think of this. 

For what it's worth, there are my .02 cents on last night. 

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Hold Your Head Up

By M Davies   /     May 01, 2011  /     Annoyances, Events, Rejection, Youtube  /     0 Comment

Today's blog post title comes from the song of the same name by "Argent".  Whenever I'm feeling down, I find this song on my iPod and sing along with it loudly (this usually happens in my car, which invokes curious stares from other drivers). 

Here's the Youtube Vid of it, in case you have never heard it before:

This song was playing on repeat in my car today.

So, why am I bringing any of this up?  That's a great question.  Allow me to explain . . .

As you know from my previous post, BlogFest 2011 / Spring Edition was Friday evening.  For the last week or two, I've been working in my spare time (which these days, I have a lot of) to bring more traffic to NEPA Blogs by the way of Twitter and adding new blogs to the Blog Roll on that site.  I've also been working the few contacts that I have in the local media to get coverage for the Blog Fest so that more people are interested in attending. Ever since participating in Leadership Wilkes-Barre last year, I have a strong desire to help plan events or make events "work".  It's in my blood.  Maybe I should change my career path and become an event planner or something to that extent.  I've thought about it on more than one occasion.  The problem is, when I plan an event, I need to have some control over it. I had little to no control over Blog Fest…which is completely fine, as it was not 100% my event.  I did, however, expect a nod for trying to gather people together.  I left feeling snubbed, which became more apparent the next day when my identity was mistaken for fellow NEPA Blogger Jennifer Wade who was not even in attendance that night.

In the past, these Blogger "get-togethers" were a great networking event.  I got the opportunity to meet people I would not normally socialize with or have contact with in day-to-day life.  This year had a different feel to it.  To be brutally honest, I felt like a complete outcast.  Don't get me wrong, I did have chats with several of the politicians and bloggers.  I chatted with Gort and his wife, Yonki, Joe Valenti, Harold (obviously), Vito DeLuca (running for judge), Wil Toole (running for County Council), David Baloga, Joyce Gebhart, etc etc etc – I'm sure there are some that I missed.  The air of a lot of the bloggers and politicians Friday night was one of "Oh, you aren't a political blogger.  Then I really don't need to talk to you."  Which, in my humble opinion, is the wrong message to send to potential future constituents.  Everyone that night should have been greeted as equals.  If you politicians think that only the political bloggers matter to get you elected then you have a VERY MYOPIC viewpoint. 

I hate to say this guys, but the reason that most non-political bloggers do not come to these "get-togethers" is because they are intimidated by the political nature of the event.  And here's an even bigger shock for you:  NOT ALL BLOGS ARE ABOUT POLITICS.  If we really want NEPA Blogs to be a fun and successful group to be a part of, why can't we have events that DO NOT INVOLVE POLITICS?  I feel that these events tend to alienate those of us who blog about other topics.  I've been invited to several of the NEPA Twitter meet-ups, but because of timing of the events and location, etc. I haven't been able to attend one.  From what I've heard with those events, is that people from all walks of life (young and old alike) get together to have a great time out and there is no discussion of politics.  Let's call BlogFest what it really was "Luzerne County Political Fest". 

I rarely try to discuss politics on this blog.  Opinions are like assholes and everyone's got one.  Discussing beliefs on politics tend to get heated and hateful.  But if you need to know, I am a Libertarian masquerading as a Democrat.  I had to change my party to vote in the last presidential election, but never bothered to change it back. 

At any rate, I'm pretty upset over this, and will probably not ever attend or plug another BlogFest going forward.  It's sad to say that last night I was actually considered deleting this blog and moving on, but then I thought to myself, why should I change when everyone else sucks.  I've had this domain name since 2001 and have been blogging since 2002ish.  If you don't like my blog, don't read it, but DON'T TREAT ME LIKE A PIECE OF SHIT BECAUSE I DON'T BLOG ABOUT POLITICS.

I'm stepping off of the soapbox now.

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