Thursday, October 22, 2015

5 Problems with Social Media

   I feel that sometimes I need to close down, shut off and drop out of social media. While it’s a good way to market yourself and opinions it seems that everyone has an opinion and it’s usually negative. 

1.   For whatever reason we seem to have shifted to living in a singular society. We seem to think that our opinion (whether right or wrong) is the only opinion, without any regard to the hurt it may cause others. All of a sudden women who are fully pregnant are being fat shamedNews Flash: Pregnant isn’t fat! People claiming their cultures and lives matter more than the lives and cultures of others. News Flash: The United States was built on the ideology of being a diverse melting pot. No one’s life matters more than anyone else’s here. If you don’t like that, then move some place like South Korea where you can be killed for giving an opinion.  Social media seems to be the place where you can’t give YOUR OWN opinion on YOUR OWN page without someone claiming you’re a racist, a bigot, a shamer, a sexist. News Flash: As long as you’re not doing anything illegal, you should be able to say you eat boogers without someone saying you’re a pig. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. Pretty simple.

2.  Why has everyone become such a pussy?  Bullying should NEVER be allowed however it does happen. My folks taught us to stick up for ourselves and let us fight it out; fairly if someone picked a fight with us. So yes, I was bullied-a lot. However if anyone touched me in anger or in an inappropriate way, they got their face smashed in. Violent? Perhaps.  I won’t play the victim in my own life and I don’t think others should either. So instead of whining about someone picking on your kids, teach your kid to be smart and verbally take them out and walk away. If it comes down to brass tax, they should know how to protect themselves in a fight. I also notice that people like to bully others while sitting behind a laptop. I think it funny how brave these people are while on the net but get them in person and they whistle a different tune. 

3.  It’s seems as if social media has become the platform for shock and narcissism.  Is it so important to share everything? I originally agreed to be on social media because I have family all over the U.S. and Europe. I wanted to update them on what we were doing out here in Minnesota. It seems lately it’s more important to flaunt your achievements to several million strangers than the people who actually care. There are settings that allow you to share with only certain groups or people-use them!

4.   Social Media makes something out of nothing. The Kardashians are a great example of this. What has this family done? Nothing. I actually found myself getting angry at a statement quoted from Kim Kardashian noting that people were ignorant if they didn’t know what she did for a living. You’re a store owner, that’s it. Nothing else happening here. This is a person who’s used social media to promote herself, not her business. She takes more selfies than anyone else. It’s crazy! What does the rest of family do? The younger two are models? Khloe does? Kourtney does? Exactly... Guess I’m ignorant too and I’m feeling ok about that.

   I digress, the point I’m attempting to make is that social media makes celebrities out of people who aren’t and aren’t usually productive members of society. I can’t say I understand it.

5.    I think (again only my opinion here) that people would like to see more people share music, art, books and movies. Did you see the HUGE clamor about the new Star Wars film coming out in Dec? Yeah, people got excited and it’s happy and good news!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Making Plans... to Wed

For those who read me on Facebook this entry is probably a re-run of what you already know, for those who don’t well, I’m getting married!  My fiancĂ©, Colin and I (we’ve been together just over 3 years) got engaged last August on a trip to Duluth. He proposed at a scenic overlook overlooking Lake Superior. I have to say it was absolutely perfect and worth waiting 44 years for. Shit, what am I saying? HE is worth waiting 42 years for. THERE’S something I thought I would never say in this lifetime!
After the excitement of the engagement, (my bestie Kelly was the first person to respond to the news, then my folks) I started to get a bit scared. This is a REAL thing; getting married. According to the CDC, in Minnesota alone 5.6 thousand people on the average get married per year and 2.8 get divorced.  2,131,000 got married in the U.S. alone and 851,000 divorced.  Those are some scary stats. I can’t imagine divorcing Colin, of course people don’t get married with the plan of divorcing (unless your Liz Taylor or Pam Anderson).  Then why the hesitation you ask? Well, there was an article I read recently that eloquently explained it. My parents divorced. Many of my friends have gotten married, had kids, and then divorced. So getting married with the possibility of divorce scares me.  Granted if we lived together and decided to split it would still be painful. It wouldn’t be less messy or financially devastating with a piece a paper or without. Then there’s that whole name thing I still struggle with.  I’ve just always been the single girl who’s done her own thing and had a boyfriend every once in a while. Having this big commitment is very scary and I basically don’t want to fail.. Fail him, or myself or the institution of marriage where getting married for 15 hours or a couple of months is becoming the norm. Ugh!
Fear aside, I’m getting married to wonderful man who adores me despite all my shit and weirdness! We don’t have any “red flag” issues, we rarely fight, we like to have fun, and our life together is fulfilling and makes me want to do better/be better. We love each other very much; actually I worship how wonderful he is. For the record I also think he’s super-hot and sexy! (snort!)  I’m not completely sold on the fact he has kids but being with him means being a step-mom to his 17 year old daughter, 14 year old son and 7 year old daughter. Being a parent or step-parent isn’t a role that I remotely want to step into or am interested in. I think step parents need to be commended, for it’s the shittiest job on the planet. You’re that “in between” parent/adult that gets shit on for NOT actually BEING a parent.  So by default you’re pushing a rock uphill. In our case I basically hang back and let him and his Ex parent. As long as the kids are respectful and behave in my home, they hear nothing from me. They ARE super great kids, so I really have nothing to complain about.
So in that vein I have been slowly planning our wedding, set for May 4th, 2016. I figured if I was going to do it, I wanted it to be alone with my man, on a beach, some place tropical. Now, when Colin and I discussed what we wanted to do I explained it just like that. So (my brain moves constantly) when I mentioned staying in a cabana above the water and spending a week in Bora Bora or the Maldives it was a surprise since he figured we’d just go someplace; like Mexico. I don’t do things simply, nope, not this girl! We really can’t afford to fly to Bora Bora or the Maldives but I found that Belize has cabanas above the water, and it’s affordable! So we booked our flight and our all-inclusive stay in Belize PLUS the wedding for under $5,000. The reception will take place in Minnesota about 6 weeks later. It’ll be more of a beach party than a formal wedding reception. We want good, simple food (burgers, hot dogs and all the fixings), plenty of good drinks, and lots of music! We want people to feel free to come anytime they want, so food will be available up until 10:30p and it’s below a bar so if people want fries and a drink at midnight, they can go upstairs and bring them down! Music is going to span 70’s, 80’s 90’s and 2000’s. We will be sharing photos of our trip and wedding on 3 flat screen TV’s plus playing videos along with the music. We think it’ll be a blast! I’m getting excited planning it!
I have already bought and paid for my dress, which I paid a cool $1,000 for. I bought my bouquet for $26.00 online and got the idea for my basic centerpieces on Pinterest; which Colin’s oldest daughter will help me put together. We’ve bought our wedding bands and the trip to Belize (flight etc.) is paid for, as well the down payment for the reception.  What is left at this point is buying our reception cards, finish buying items for the centerpieces, paying our DJ, and getting our passports. The passports and paperwork will be a bit of work since my birth certificate was stolen out of our house in September (I’ll talk about that at another time) and Colin needs to make copies of his divorce papers AND
we both need to get new licenses since we haven’t had them updated with our new address since we plan on moving (I’ll talk about that at a later date too) next year sometime.
So we have the wedding plus Colin’s oldest daughter is graduating next year, senior photos will be happening in the next month, and perhaps a dance or two in there. His other two kids will have soccer games, and dance recitals and I am looking for a new job and then there are the holidays to contend with so we will be busy until wedding time. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Thanks Lena Dunham

            I've been reading a lot about the Cosby situation and quite a few articles about rape; what it is, what defines it, what can be done to protect and inform..
I've rarely spoken about my situation(s) because I didn't handle it properly and now at 45 it’s just been accepted as a part of my life.  People seem to have an over inflated, exaggerated idea of what it is and I can say that I, myself have what I consider a clear idea of what it is. 

My first sexual experience wasn't memorable, I do remember pain, what I was wearing (a red and white striped dress), where I started out, where it happened and where I ended up.  If I hadn't been drinking, it would have made all the difference. I would have gone home at midnight none the wiser. I chose to drink, and drink too much. I felt tired so I crawled downstairs, into a chair with a blanket and passed out-alone.  Next thing I know I’m under a stairwell and some guy (who I didn't even know) was on top of me. I tried to get him off of me and even told him no. I even tried to get up and he put his hand over my face and pushed me down.  When he was finished he noticed I was bleeding quite a bit. He went and grabbed a friend to help him. They put my clothes on (because they thought they “killed” me) and tried to stuff my 100lb frame into a clothes dryer and left me there. I woke up several hours later, feeling dark and cramped.. Managed to get myself out and realized my dress was completely covered in blood. My best friend helped me wash up and get home.  I bled for several days after, too afraid to tell my folks what happened because I wasn't supposed to be drinking; I even didn't know who did it. Once I figured out who it was I confronted him and he barely acknowledged he did anything wrong.

 It happened again while in college except this time it was a person I considered a friend. We’d both had been drinking and instead of him taking me home he parked his SUV on an ice covered lake, and tossed me in the back. I put up a fight; screaming, scratching and punching. I managed to get the door open and was horrified to find I was on ice. He threw me back in, finished, and took me home. When speaking to mutual friends of ours I mentioned what he did to me. The response was that he” just wasn't that kind of guy”, that “he could any girl he wanted”. Someone even mentioned all the scratches, bruises etc. this guy had on him but didn't put two and two together. I immediately dropped the topic clearly knowing that I wouldn't get any support. Now I yes, I was drinking and I shouldn't have been in either case. Perhaps I needed to be more knowledgeable at age 15 and at 22. I DO know I never did anything to provoke them. I didn't dress provocatively or make suggestive comments. I know it wasn't my fault and I didn't report either one because getting the school and cops involved would have made it worse; my parents would have made it worse. It would have been this huge hassle and draw attention to myself which I didn't want.

I've mentioned these instances in forums and a couple of men told me that I should have been educated at age 15. Quite frankly it pissed me off. While they might be right, it struck me as being apathetic, and made me question how I would have been educated? Would it have been appropriate for my parents to tell me to watch out for boys for they may try to rape me? Not to be friends with the neighborhood boys because they can’t control themselves? That I have to be guarded around my male friends for they might jump me when I’m at my weakest or incapacitated? I have two step-daughters, what do I tell them? I don’t want to have to tell a 16 year old that going to parties with boys or going into a room with a boy may mean he might lose control and rape her. I think this is ridiculous. I think it starts out with parenting. My parents raised my brothers and I to never take advantage of or be mean to others. My brothers were raised to be good, honest men and I can say without doubt, my brothers have never done this to a woman nor would they. They were raised to treat women with respect and no means no; period. That being passed out drunk isn't an invitation for sex. That even if a woman says yes and she’s under the influence of something, they are respectful enough to decline. So when these men tell me that I needed to be educated; I say, Fuck you. Perhaps these men are shitty adults because their parents raised them to be self-serving, disrespectful, and unkind. There is a moral compass in these men that tells them that they are doing something unethical and they are blatantly ignoring it.

I think it’s funny now that Madonna and Lena Dunham have come out with their stories and people are going insane saying that inappropriate touching is now a form of rape. Um, no, it’s not. It’s just inappropriate touching.  I've heard stories about guys and girls teasing each other and things happening. If you’re constantly getting naked, getting on top of guys and teasing, then I feel you get what you deserve.  Wearing low cut shirts, high skirts, flashing your ass is not a reason to rape someone. There are a ton of gray areas involving this I’m sure, but let’s not get insane. Touching its touching; not rape or anything else, so people calm the eff down.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Slowly Coming Back

   Sorry been gone forever. Had a few people ask why I wasn’t writing anymore but 20 or so months of writing every other week plus a thesis has me burnt out.

So much has happened and well, I’m not sure where to beginning but sort of at the beginning if there is one.

We moved. After a year and a half of trying to short sell my home it was done with a flick of a pen..done. I cried about it for a few minutes as we packed the remnants of our stuff and I turned around for one last look. 10 years..gone. 10 years of struggle..gone. 

  One of Colin’s friends was getting married and still hadn’t moved out of his bachelor pad and into a place with his fiancĂ©e, we figured once he got married he’d probably have to sell his house or rent it.. hhhheeeey! So the friend got married in April, we moved out June 6th  and we sold the house mid-June.  It’s cheaper than what I was paying, the kids get their own room (the girls share and Colin’s son gets his own), we get a funky loft room and a rental with some character. It’s also a place I can hide and build up my credit.  We figure we’ll be here at the least a year at the most two depending on my job situation.  Sigh, yeah this has become a serious issue. I lost my job at Best Buy and again at 3M which is what started the whole house situation. I landed a temporary job at Honeywell helping test and improve thermostats. What was supposed to be 3 months turned into a year and many open slots I applied for. Many managers felt I would be a great asset but I was never hired, not sure why. I was told it was due to lack of money and several of jobs I applied for were eliminated. I was hoping since I helped open the door on social media platforms and informed the head of MARCOMM that I would like to be the manager of Social Media and run all new product campaigns on them, that would get my foot in the door. However, they started up the platforms with someone who knows little to nothing about social media and started them all up based on a new product campaign. A little disappointed there. I liked it and met some really great people.

  I haven’t had a permanent job in over 2 years and every time I apply for unemployment it gets smaller and smaller. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that I’m not supposed to make so much that I don’t go out and look for a job or decide to stay on it for a while, I get that. They give me 40% of what I made, which is almost as much as a part time job. Thank God we moved!  I’m hoping once I’m finished with school the MA portion of my resume will help.

     I have one class and a Capstone left before I finish, if I finish. Instead of a thesis on a topic we are passionate about we were told last summer that we need to do an Action Research Project. This requires many approvals before it can be turned over to the Human Testing Committee. I am having trouble maintaining the B average required to continue the graduate program. Enough that I have decided if I can’t get an A in this current class I will take a break, work on my ARP (thesis) then return next year to turn in my ARP and present my research. I have been thinking about it for a while since all the paper writing etc has zapped my creativity and social life. I’m not happy about it, not only does it mean I graduate later than planned but I feel that I’m holding Colin back a bit since my graduation and finding a new job is what we've agreed to do before he starts college and finds a new job. So I feel bad about that.

  Then the engagement! Well I never expected we have been talking about getting married since the third week of our relationship. While this is a very scary process for me I don’t think I could much more of a guarantee of a happy life. I did say in the past that I’d never marry for the basic ideal of marriage simply doesn't fit my lifestyle nor does it fit my idea of retirement. I have not made an exception but have found someone who shares the same idea of marriage, same lifestyle and idea of retirement. It has never been a question of commitment or fidelity to me for that has never been the case when I have committed myself to someone. It has always been the case of my partner being unfaithful or not wanting to commit to me, so that made me not want to seriously commit to anyone. Truth be told is that I still don’t want to get married, I do want to marry Colin. I love him, period. He’s been the only man I feel comfortable making this type of commitment to. He gives me unconditional love that I haven’t experienced before and it makes me want to give it back. He also doesn't make me want to punch him in the throat or irritate the hell out me. 


As far as a wedding date, we haven’t decided and a wedding will depend on when I get another job, how much I make and if I graduate on time.  We have “sort of” decided that April will probably be the month and Belize will be where and that’s about it. All of that is contingent upon me getting a job anyway. Hard to believe that it’ll be 2 ½ yrs in September. 

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Goals


   Colin and I set out to make a list of goals he and I are going to work on this year so we can marry, buy a house and start travelling in the next couple of years.

The goals for this year....

  •         Kami-O graduate from Grad school by end of year  (Date of graduation Dec 22nd 2014)
  •         Kami-O to get permanent job by end of year
  •         Kami-O to short sell her house and we rent for 1-2 years (Date to move June 1, 2014)


I was fine until a recent bad grade sent me into panic mode. It’s difficult to get A’s in a graduate program but with the job thing, house thing, a relationship and 3 step kidlets, I’m finding it difficult to manage time well and focus.  I actually felt “stupid” for my classmates I’m sure are dealing with their own lives but seem to be doing just fine. So I’m a tad bit embarrassed to admit I was close to being suspended from the program with only 3-4 classes left. It’s really not that much of a big deal, but it would push my graduation out 6 months to next August and I just really want to get this over with. Grad school isn't like getting your undergrad degree, at least this one isn't. It’s been a miserable process thus far and I just want to be done already.

As far as my job, I love what I’m doing for Honeywell. It’s stressful sometimes; yes, it’s boring sometimes; yes but I like working with the people. I like making stuff people can use and I’m constantly learning things! I’d like to get hired on but am not seeing anything coming my way so far. My current contract expires on May 30th and they aren't working on another product coming out so not sure what’s going to happen there. I almost want to take the summer off to move, enjoy the step kidlets and work on my thesis, but on the other hand I need to make some money..


I’m having issues selling the house though. I've not been stressing too much about it, because the longer I stay the longer I can go without paying any rent. That’s the easy part, the shitty part is that the banks refused to work with me each time I was laid off or my contract expired (My contract has expired 3 times and will again in May!) so I have to give up the house. Every time I have a buyer in my pocket the first lender makes us go through an appraisal then waits until they have to turn in the participation agreement (last piece of paperwork)to sit on the file for months, then we go through the process again with another buyer. My agent has called and called, I have called and now I’m done with this crap. I have filed a complaint with HUD and have demanded action from the Attorney General to get them to move on my paperwork. Regardless we are moving on June 1 to a nice place in St. Paul. I will then file for bankruptcy if I have to. I don’t want to, but I will for I’m tired of dealing with this shit. I can’t pay a mortgage if I’m laid off or don’t have a job nor are they willing to work with me, so I’m done screwing around and so is the second lender. The second lender is going after me for fees accrued while trying to sell this place. Whatever, I’m sure it will work itself out in end; I’m not too concerned at this time!

 It seems that all of it is on me and it is right now. Our life will be a bit on hold until I can graduate and find a permanent position.  Next year Colin goes back to school and will hopefully graduate within 15-18 months. He'll start looking for another job and once he finds something we'll be set! His oldest will be off to college, and his son will be ready to graduate in a year or so.. Schedules will  be lighter and easier to manage..