Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday. A Social Commentary.

Well, already it has come and gone. That dreadful day-after-Thanksgiving wherein people rush out of their homes to go stand in line in the dead of night when those of us more sane (and blessed with not being scheduled at work to open the store) are doing things that normal people do. Like, say, sleep until the rooster crows. At least.

Yes, it came and went just like it always does. Sneaking up on you, tapping you on the shoulder (in the dark and with a gun so as to maximize the fear factor) and then twisting its' lips into a sinister smile while it waits with an open palm to take all of the money you've earned in the year thus far, so you put on a brave little smile and tell yourself it'll be worth it to have all of your Christmas shopping done in one day.

Even though, if you're like me, you're well aware that many of the movies and/or CDs that you're wanting won't come out for another few weeks yet. Just sayin'.

But no matter, Black Friday is over and you can thank your lucky stars that you've survived.

Unfortunately that isn't the case for everybody.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who has an opinion on this, but as this is MY blog and I can say what I want thank you very much, I just have to say that this story both shocks, appalls, saddens, and angers me. And a bunch of other not-so-nice adjectives, as well.

On the off chance that any of you haven't heard the sad news, here's the deal (in a shortened version).

Basically, it's 5 am at a Wal-mart in Valley Stream. There are 2,000+ people waiting outside to get in. If that's not crazy enough, as workers are trying to get the doors unlocked to open to let the crowd in, these people get impatient. They push their way in, literally pushing the glass sliding doors to the ground -"bending their aluminum frames like an accordion," writes Alfonso A. Castillo and Matthew Chayes of An employee, 34 year old Jdimytai Damour, was knocked over and did anybody stop to help him? NO. They continued to rush in. Even first responsers trying to help Damour were jostled. Even the police that arrived were jostled. 

(And people are pointing a finger at Wal-Mart's security measures. As if a mob who can trample someone to death could be stopped by having a few more cops there shouting, "Hey, you! Quit that!") 

Damour was pronounced dead at 6 a.m. And even after he was pronounced dead and the shoppers were told that the store would be closing- because technically what we've got here is a CRIME SCENE now don'cha know?- some shoppers ignored that little memo and continued shopping.

Does this not just speak unfortunate VOLUMES as to the skewed priorities of our society?

"Hey, how was the shopping today, Tim?"

"Oh man, it was great! I mean, we did collectively trample some guy...I think they said he died. But check out this 40" plasma HD TV-DVD player-VHS player-CD player-FM transmitter-super computer-dog groomer-mp3 player-toaster oven I bought! I saved $83.50 AND as soon as a I put a big red bow on it and scoot it up under the Christmas tree, all of Christmas is taken care of, baby! Taken. Care. Of.!"

Does nobody see something fundamentally wrong with this???

Monday, November 3, 2008

Things To Do That I Can't Get Done, My Dog is a Lampshade, and Salsa-ing With Jalepenos.

I have been having one of those weeks where all of the things I need and want to do are simply piling up on me faster than I can handle.

It's not all bad, not really. I'm just behind in a lot of things. For instance, I should have about 3,000 words written for NaNoWriMo by now. But my word count remains a meager 527. What kind of an author am I?? It's just not going as well as usual for me. Writing, I mean. Usually spitting out words isn't a huge feat, but for some reason my characters don't want to cooperate. I don't know the name of my protagonist (and I find it extremely challenging to write a character with no name as I don't feel that I can properly know them when I only refer to them as "BOY" or "GIRL". Or "Insert-Name-Here"). They also don't want to be where I've put them for the opening scene, they don't like the people I've got them mingling with, and they don't care how well I can visualize what I want them to do because they just plain don't want to do it.

If you're reading this and you're not a writer, yes it's perfectly appropriate, if not normal, to think that I am a raving lunatic for talking about characters that I'm supposed to be writing as if they were living, breathing people with minds of their own.

On the other hand, if you're reading this and you're a writer then I know you know what I'm talking about. It's like taking your best friend, who HATES seafood, karaoke, and dress shoes to an All-You-Can-Eat sushi bar and telling them they have to sing Dancing Queen in six inch Choos. And they have to have a good time doing it.

They're just NOT going to.

But I digress. The point is, I'm behind. I also have homework I've been putting off, a second job (that I love but that still takes up precious hours of the day), day
dreams of revamping this blog, and I'd like to keep at least a toe in the social scene. Even that has been difficult to manage as of late.

However, I DO have another few cute pictures of Tucker for ya'll. :)

So without further ado, I'm moving on to that.

My little baby Tucker just had his first brush with surgery this last week. We took him in to get "fixed", and all went very well. Plus he got a Halloween costume out of the whole affair.


He was none too happy about this bit, as you can imagine. He came home from the vet and was fine. Perky, just like usual. He didn't seem sore, either. Probably something to do with those
 meds they gave him. He doesn't have to wear the cone all the time, but when he does he looks so pitiful that I can't help but feel bad for even putting it on him to begin with.

It's also made sleeping in bed with me a little more interesting. He was so scared when we first put that cone on that he was just shivering, and he didn't much enjoy walking around with it on, and I couldn't very well add to that trauma by kicking him out of bed. So instead of on or around my feet under the covers, or against my stomach which is apparently also warm and cozy, he slept with his head on my arm and his body under the covers.

It mostly went well, but there were times throughout the night that he'd move and inadvertently wack me in the face, shoulder, arm, etc. with that big plastic cone.

I can't help but feel bad for the little guy. But he hasn't messed with his stitches at all that I can tell, so I suppose it's helping.

I'd meant to purchase a little Halloween costume for him, but of course I put that on the list of things I need to get done, which pretty much ensures that I won't get it done. So...instead we decided that Tucker's little cone would serve as Halloween costume enough. Besides, going as a lamp is just classic, right?

I also spent a decent chunk of tonight pestering Tucker with flash after camera-flash, but I don't think he minded too much because he was avidly chewing on a treat. Plus I got some really good pictures, which as you can surely guess will turn up on here soon enough. :)

I wish I had some good Halloween pictures to post for ya'll, but I am sad to report that my Halloween was spent setting another ad at Kohl's. I didn't even get any candy. I didn't even dress up. It was a bit of a let down, but I didn't have high expectations so at least I won't cry about that tonight.

Besides, I stumbled upon an incredible shirt today so I can't frown too much. It's a long story, so perhaps I'll share the whole thing later, but I do have to post a picture. So that you can understand. Long story short, a friend and I decided we should join forces and write some songs. Our first 'hit single' was going to be called "This Is Why I'm Hot".

Imagine my surprise when, after following mom into a store, I come across this:

Yeah, I about had a cow.

         So that made my day. 
         I hope it made yours, too. 
   Or, you know, at least made you smile.