Are your "friends" really your friends?
(hello... my name is twitter follow #178... and I would like to share with you...)
I've been working my tail off recently to make some miracles on code-street happen. Big projects, high reward, high risk. So far the reward has been paying off very nicely.
Because of that I was finally able to get back into a love of mine that I've had since college: photography.
I went and got myself a new baby with some fun accessories
The Canon 60D
She's a beautiful little camera and does everything I've ever wanted in a digital camera without having to pretend like I'm some sort of professional.
With that, I reactivated my Flickr account so that I can share the bazillion images that I will be taking.
I don't like the open nature of the web when it comes to my family, so I have everything locked down for Friends and Family only.
So get yourself a Flickr account and send me a friend request and I'll add you straight away. I just need to have control over who gets to see who my family is.
Today I'm going to be random. Not because I don't have other things to write about, but because my focus sucks right now and I want to distract you as well. Welcome to the life of an ADD child.
Of course, back in the glorious 80s, every child had ADD because they couldn't focus, ran around with lots of energy, and acted like... you know... children. Apparently parents in the 80's wanted mature adults to come crawling out of the uterus. I don't think they thought about those ramifications.
I do have to thank my parents again and again for not putting me on the candy drug that all my friends were on... the good ol' ritalin. They had the foresight to know that I'd be able to handle it myself - and it turns out they were not wrong. So now I just wear small holes in my shoes and feel the need to constantly make noise.
My little boy is growing up faster then you can say, "wow, it looks like he's grown a little bit in the past week". He's an infant... they've been known to do that from time to time.
Of course, my child, just like me, likes to be an overachiever right out of the gate and is blasting some 98 percentile length and head size. He's a lanky mo-fo. I don't even know where he gets it - it's not like Isabella or myself are huge-o-giants.
He also really prefers his fist over his binky. Time for some cute.
(look at those meaty-ass hands)
You know what I suck at? I suck at writing about myself. You think it'd be easy because I'm such an attention whore, but alas writing about myself is almost as bad as jabbing two forks in my eyes. See, I'm not an attention whore in the way that I like asking for it or I need to draw it to myself. I'm an attention whore that only likes it when people give it to me freely.
This poses an interesting connudrum in the fact that without asking for attention, I often times don't get it. So I've learned to manipulate situations, socially engineer people, or just flat out be an overachiever with the sole purpose of garnering an extra glance or a word of praise.
My thoughts stem from the fact that I just had to write a little biography for a client that I'm working with so that they could put it in an RFP. I really wish I would have saved the first draft. It looked like a 6 year old who just learned the word biography met up with a 16 year old's speech patterns:
"I'm... uh... neat. I think I do stuff sometimes that... I mean... it's ok. But... I'm not the greatest I know... ya know... but I... whatever."
It was painful. I think I'm going to save what I wrote and just reuse it everywhere so I never have to do that again.
Finally - my bestest friends in the whole world (yes, I'm 29 and still use "bestest") just recently introduced me to stand-up paddleboarding. It's like surfing for the mid-west. A slightly larger than a surfboard surfboard is placed upon the water. You stand upon the board with a paddle... and... paddle.
So you're standing up... with a paddle... on a board. Thus the ever clever name, stand-up paddleboard.
As funny as I'm failing to be, this sport is quite relaxing and really brings you at peace with yourself and intune with nature as you're gliding across the lake at 7am. Surrounded by nature and silence you find yourself getting lost in your thoughts AND getting a good workout.
We also had a little yoga in there too. I wish I could do that every morning.
(me chillin' and paddlin')
I'm usually not a very "barf my beliefs on you" kind of person. In fact, I want to punchisize people who think it is their mission on Earth to make sure everyone hears and knows about their opinions and how their opinions should be my opinions. Political, religical, vacinical, or dietical... doesn't matter - shut up.
You think the president is a socialist? That's neat. Shut up.
You think through meditation you'll achieve enlightenment? Fantastic. Shut up.
You think that vaccines cause autism? Cool. Shut up.
You think killing animals to eat is wrong? Super. Shut up.
I'm not going to "spray" my opinion on you right now.
I'm going to bitch and it's going to be loud. Loud because I wanted to scream and beat the living shit out of someone for her blatant abuse of a system that's in place to help people who are struggling.
Sometimes people fall on hard times. Times that they didn't plan for and have no control over. When people fall on these hard times they usually aren't very vocal about it because they think it's embarassing. No one wants to call out to their friends and neighbors and say, "I'm financially dead and can't eat... I need your help". Sure, it sounds simple and you know that anyone with a soul would jump at the opportunity to help someone out in that manner.
See, I don't think the "village mentality" is dead. I just think that villages don't exist any longer because no one reaches out to each other, no one relies on each other, and trust among anyone but family is all but dead.
As a society we have decided that instead of individually helping the village out in times of need, we'll let the government create the village to help feed people who simply don't have the financial ability to feed themselves.
I'm talking about welfare.
Oh yeah, I said it and I'm going there. I'm going there because on one hand I'm ok with doing my duty and financially helping out my countrymen in their time of need. Right on the WIC website it says "...who are found to be at nutritional risk." I don't want people to starve in my country. But I will be damned if I keep my mouth shut when that countryman abuses me.
There are two types of nutritional risk: 1) not having enough to eat, 2) only eating the bad foods. Keep this in mind, cause we're going to bring it all back full circle in the end.
Why are my panties in such a bundle?
It's story time, so grab yourself some popcorn and get ready for this doosy.
I had just picked up my bestest friend's and their amazing daughter from the airport. They had been relaxing on the beaches of California and had just returned to the great state of Wisconsin. As you all know, when you get back from a longer vacation you're always torn. You don't want to come back to reality but at the same time - there's no place like home.
However, no matter what, the last thing you're thinking about when you get home is "what should I make for dinner". Knowing this, I wanted to make my besties dinner so they wouldn't have to worry about it, but didn't want to pre-cook anything because you never know what their in the mood for and the female side of the bestie is sometimes a vegetarian but not always. After discussing meal plans, I dropped them off and promptly went to the local grocer to pick up what I needed.
I wish I would have been walking around with a video camera that day. It must of been "movie cliche day" and our local Pick n' Save because the people watching was in full effect. They had every flavor of awesome person that I love watching. Here are my top 4:
I love these people. I love watching what they do and how they live. I love eavesdropping on them and trying to create a life story around them from the 5 seconds of conversation that I hear. (Well, except one meth-head screaming "GRANDMA! GRANDMA WHERE ARE YOU?!" I truly did wonder if the grandma was even there.)
So (back to the story now), I'm walking around the store completely baffled by the multitude of varieties of these people, picking up my ground beef and corn and I finally get to the checkout area.
(my amazing photoshop skills strike again)
Holy crap was the line forever and a day long. Live-aid just barfed all over this checkout area and I knew it was going to be about the same wait time as a TSA security checkpoint.
I settled in for the long staring contest I was about to have with Eva Longoria and Brad Pitt on the Star magazine cover (they always win).
As I was silently waiting to purchase my 6 items, I was slowly drawn to the lady in front of me and her son. This was a fascinating creature who's choice of foods was borderline deadly. Multiple bags of Doritos, popcorn, cookies, a giant cookie from the bakery, sodas, sodas, and more sodas. Sunny D (which might as well be soda), frozen pizzas, frozen ice cream, popsicles, processed american cheese, soda (there seriously had to be 96 cans of soda all told), a butt load of candy. Oh, and a package of mystery meat.
Either her and her son eat like titans, or there was a lot of family that was not accounted for.
This lady and her son get up to the checkout line and the cashier, dead to the world from the onslaught of the hoarde, started scanning the items like a factory working robot. Beep, boop, beep... bam. 10 minutes later of solid scanning the enourmous total from the junk food train pops up on the screen. I'm noesy so I look.
Your total will be $214.23
Wow, that is a lot of crappy food. Hey... maybe it's for a party - good on you for graduating... or... something. (I think the cookie said "Happy Birthday", somehow I was doubting it was anyone's birthday and they just wanted a giant ass cookie).
I heard the lady mumble something like "I'd like to buy a bic"... which was weird because last time I checked you don't get carded when buying pens... maybe "bics" are new cigarettes? Thankfully (and by thankfully I mean good that I'll get to hear it again), the cashier didn't hear it right either so she, in the proper way to have someone repeat themselves in Wisconsin, said, "mwh?"
So the lady (she looked like a #4, btw), repeats herself and says, "I'd like to put this on WIC".
Oh. Hell. No.
Sincerely, my dear lady, I must have misheard you. Because I know I did not just hear you say that your welfare check is going to be paying for this.
Sure as shit - that is exactly what I heard. The cashier has given up on life at this point and doesn't even say anything besides a slight jerk of the hand towards the machine in which my new ladyfriend #4 needed to swipe her WIC card. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am and just like that the grand total, after my ass paid for her junk food, came out to (drum roll): $7.12
Let's put some icing on this cake (the one I just paid for)
The remaining $7 will, unfortunately, have to be paid with her check card. Sorry I didn't cover everything. But then...
Now mind you, I'm already in shock because of this. I'm talking myself down from the vocally sacastic ledge of me cocking off and saying something like, "You're welcome" or "Since you helped yourself to my savings account, I'mma go ahead and have myself one of your delicious sodas"... no... bite your tongue, ShankRabbit... ok... so my tongue is bittena and I'm silent.
But then... she swipes her debit card and looks at the cashier and says, "how much over can I take out" - the cashier double takes as if non-verbally saying, "wait what the fu...", but verbally says, "$100".
AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT SHE GOT OUT OVER.
So wait... you can't pay for your food, but apparently you've got enough to just willy-nilly take out $100.
I almost hit her.
Almost. Hit. Her.
The system is broken. We're taking "nutritional risk" from one bucket and allowing people to put their children into the other bucket of "nutrutional risk". It makes me mad. Mad because she probably went home and fed all of her children really shitty food which makes them fat and lethargic, which makes them perform poorly as humans.
And knowing Wisconsin, that $100 probably went to the slots at Potowatami Casino - because if you gamble with your kid's health, you've gotta gamble with their money too.
I know I write jokingly 99% of the time - but this sincerely makes me sad.