Urban (mis)Advantures

Why I’m Not on Facebook… — January 28, 2011

Why I’m Not on Facebook…

Yeah, you read it right.  I don’t use the most popular social networking site ever-Facebook.  I still get surprised looks from people when they find out.   I’m quite behind the times and left out of The Loop by not using the site, as people say things like “You didn’t know? It’s on my Facebook page.”  Well, excuse me.  There are many reasons why yours truly is not on Facebook.

*As a social scientist, I know what lurks out there.  There are many strange and potentially harmful people in cyberland I prefer not reading about my vacation or favorite shampoo.  Certain people do not need to be in my business.  And I’m not talking about those considered “mentally ill.”

*Do I really need to be on Facebook to truthfully be “friends” with someone nowadays?

*There are many other ways to communicate with me and not include the entire world.  Email, text messages, IM’s, or old fashioned phone calls and even older fashioned hand written letters.  Calls, texts, and emails are particularly good for when you prefer a one-to-one conversation, and should be the ideal way of contacting me if you are drunk. 

*Websites like WordPress and Tumblr have much prettier and interesting backgrounds to personalize your thoughts.  Facebook looks just plain boring and doesn’t offer much to individualize yourself.

*I have much going on in my life and don’t have the energy to worry about poking people, updating my status, befriending people I barely know, or simply checking the site a dozen times a day to keep up with everyone else.  There are other things to do each day, like writing. 

*And lastly, does anyone truthfully care what I had for breakfast this morning?

Those touching emails… — January 22, 2011

Those touching emails…

You ever get those email letters that are supposed to be uplifting or inspiring?  You know, those poems or touching stories of grace, humility, or mercy, usually accompanied by peaceful images.  Oftentimes, they are spiritual, saying that God loves you and will get you through any hardships.

Then, these emails end with directions to send it to ten or more people, and you will get good news anywhere within the time limits of 5 minutes or the following day.  Then it implies that if you do not send this email to everyone in your contact list, you may be denied your passage to heaven or be cursed.

I remember these types of letters from junior high school, back in the day when we wrote notes on lined paper about a topic or person and passed it along to a friend or classmate.  They then signed it or added to it, and passed it on for others to do the same. The letters ended in a warning or threat of some impending omen if it was not continued, or some blessing if it kept going. They were called Chain Letters, and were banned from my schools, as they often led to fear, anger, hate, and someone being hurt.

So my conclusion is this…I see no difference in these “inspirational” emails than I do the harmful chain letters of my childhood. My Heavenly Father does not base the quantity or timeliness of his blessings based on how many uplifting emails I send that may or may not contain a virus or way that the original sender can hack into my stuff.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the occasional message reminding me of His love.  Just don’t taint it with a curse or belittling statement that if I don’t send it to others, I don’t believe in Him. 


Snowmagedon continues — January 21, 2011

Snowmagedon continues

Upon rising from bed around 7:30 this morning, another three inch blanket of snow greeted me.  And it’s predicted to snow until late morning or early afternoon, with accumulations from 4 to 7 inches or 6 to 12 inches, depending on what report you read or hear.   National weather service reported that by 4 am today, most highways were already covered.  This storm was originally predicted to only be a “bother” to the morning commute, as it is supposed to clear up this afternoon. 

The amount of storms Massachusetts and neighboring states have encountered this new year have caused some local newstations to call it Snowmagedon.

Kids are enjoying their third or more snow day of the year, as many of our educational establishments are closed again. Unfortunately, the newness of the Christmas gift video games are wearing off due to so many days off from school.   But I am wondering if many adults are groaning.   Businesses have to make the tough decisions of whether or not to open and how to handle employees paychecks if they choose to close.  Fortunately, I am already off today 🙂    And then there’s the digging out of the cars, driveways, and walkways.  And then we have to deal with the people who forget how to drive in such conditions, even though we get snow EVERY YEAR.   

Once again, Mother Nature is impeding on my plans, as I have important business west of here in Lancaster, and usually the western portion of Mass gets absolutely slammed with snow.  And we have plans for Boston this weekend, which I am more concerned about the plowing and parking conditions. 

Would love to hear from friends and relatives in nearby states to see how everyone holds out!

What’s my sign? — January 14, 2011

What’s my sign?

An announcement yesterday by astronomer Parke Kunkle may have some stargazers worried.  The study of astrology began around 3,000 years ago, and the Babylonians assigned the 12 Zodiac signs to the different times of the year.  Since that time, the earth has been steadily wobbling on its axis, and is now reportedly in a different position to the sun and constellations and whatever.  This has supposedly resulted in the Zodiac signs being off by a month.

So, some that used to be Libras are now Virgos.  Some Geminis are now Tauruses (Taurusi?).  This may be a big deal to astrologers and those that religiously read horoscopes each day.  Some may be worried about what predictions to follow. 

Yet, as a social scientist, I encourage everyone to understand that personalities are not predetermined by the stars.  They are carved out by life experiences, how we are raised, and possibly genetics. 

I do see a benefit of this change.  I can now tell my son he is a Gemini instead of watching his horror struck face when telling him he’s a Cancer.

What Boys Are Made Of…(second draft) — January 12, 2011

What Boys Are Made Of…(second draft)

Like I commented earlier, some people may come after me for using their trademarked name if I attempt to publish this piece.  So here’s another draft. 

What Boys Are Made Of…
I’ve heard it said that
Boys are made of things like
Snails and puppy-dog tails,
But you, my boy, are made of
The twinkle of little stars,
Fluffy, powdery snowflakes,
Rays of sunshine and rumbles of thunder,
Tickles, giggles, and grouches,
A favored baby blanket cuddled to shreds,
Clues from a blue dog,
And a pair of square pants.
You , my son, are full of ABC’s and 1,2,3’s
Masterpieces of watercolors and crayons,
Construction paper and dull scissors,
Thread from a friendly barn spider’s web,
Wood from a magic treehouse,
Stones from the sidewalk’s end,
And pages from a wimpy kid’s diary,
Tales of talking, singing vegetables,
Glowing swords and mysterious mind tricks,
The one ring that ruled them all,
A sail from a coveted black pearl,
And a useful sonic screwdriver,
My boy is made of cracked and dented drumsticks,
Punk rock, alternative and hip hop music lyrics,
Tiny scattered blocks of many colors,
Action figures on display, tucked away with care
Or waiting patiently under your bed to be found,
Digital adventures with Persia’s prince,
A ratchet, a clank, a halo and a covenant,
And hearts born in many magical kingdoms.
You, my son, are made from a scraped up skateboard,
Worn out sneakers and rugged jeans,
Smelly or mismatched gym socks,
Silly booger and flatulence jokes,
Musical armpit farts and untimely loud belches,
Yet perfectly executed hugs and kisses.
All these things mixed with tender care
And seasoned by lessons of your short life experience,
Influences of longer life experiences,
And all of God’s mercy, grace and love.