Friday, April 19, 2013

Mind bleep

There’s no easy way to talk about what happened this week. People are dealing with it in their own ways. I’ve seen a lot of people go to social media, sharing tweets and posting regular updates about their feelings and experiences. It’s actually kind of interesting (to me) to see how other people cope.

I mean, I didn’t, for the first few days. Cope, that is.

How do I cope? Well, I’m pretty sure most people spend their entire lives figuring that out. This week, I realized a little too late, as I was struggling to keep my composure at work, that I needed to deal with what was going on. I took the afternoon off on Wednesday and spent time with Hulky. It was a great afternoon actually, especially after taking the time to talk about the bombings with him. It’s so relieving to have someone on the same page as you.

I’m at the point where I can find humor in the situation, but only to an extent. I’m not saying that what happened was funny! Dear Whatever, no way would I ever say that. There is definitely a limit and definitely a long “too soon” in place for me. What’s funny is the attempts at making a blunder seem light-hearted. It’s easy to pick on the police. Donut jokes all around (Dunkin Donuts was open everywhere despite lockdown). Coordinating errors turn into Starcraft jokes while folks tune in to the blotters. Peoples’ LIVES ARE ON THE LINE HERE, I know, but sometimes you just have to give up and realize that, were it not for the mortality at hand, this would be humorous. It’s a form of disassociation, I suppose, when the situation is so overwhelmingly close to home.

I coulda been a therapist, I tell ya.

No, not really, but I’m getting buzzed on Black Russians now. Should be an uneventful night in the hood. Nobody will read this anyway.

IMAG0752They say pictures attract people to read blogs. I got nothing. I refreshed my theme back to my favorite: magnolias. I took the picture in the background. It’s either from Harvard Square or Washington DC. Either way, much love associated with it. Today, I guess you can have this, which is cloudy white magnolias (I prefer the pink ones, shockingly enough) on the way to Alewife Station. My phone no longer focuses on things closer up, thanks to me dropping it multiple times. Hooray!

 

Listening to: Macklemore’s “The Heist” (the whole album)

Things that make me happy today: Magnolias and post-apocalyptic sci-fi movies (Oblivion, which was pretty good, but too many romantic scenes).

Monday, April 15, 2013

Immediate reactions…

There is something so violating about an incident such as the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

I am a Bostonian by proximity. I have not spent a lot of time in the city proper, but being only 10 miles from the city, it seems appropriate to call it my home. Somebody attacked my home.

On September 11, 2011, I was in middle school. I remember finishing the first class of the day and hearing rumors in the hallways about something happening in New York City. In my next class, the teacher had the TV on and we watched as a plane struck the second World Trade Center tower. We saw the towers fall. I remember very little about the atmosphere in the room, but I was suddenly impressed with a sense of maturity. People died behind those walls, while we watched. I don’t think I fully realized what was happening as I saw it. Many classmates remembered parents and family members on business trips, maybe in NYC, maybe elsewhere. A couple people panicked about flights in other parts of the country. I think my dad was on a business trip in Texas at the time, but I knew he was safe and I felt annoyed at students that were worrying unnecessarily about people in unaffected cities. Later in the day, there was an assembly and the principal was burdened with the task of explaining those events to the student body. I no longer remember what was said, but I remember asking my mom what the elementary school students might have been told.

When I found out about the explosions in Boston today, I was at work. I was angry. Someone out there is either laughing at their success or lamenting over the lack of impact. Perhaps 2 dead, one of them an 8-year-old child, was not enough for their mission, whatever it may be.

When I got home, I was sad. I distracted myself with food and then TV. I watched the Boston PD press conference. There was nothing new to hear about. I stopped going online for a while. I watched Bones on Netflix and (SPOILER) when Bones and Booth’s baby was born, I cried. I don’t think I need to explain why I was feeling over-emotional.

Whoever did this… People forget how angry America can be. There is plenty of historical evidence about what happens when you piss us off. Man, we got pissed about TAXES and revolted against our mother country! I am absolutely proud to be a citizen of this nation, but I am afraid of what kind of retaliation could come from this. That could be exactly what the perpetrator(s) want and that could be devastating for more people than deserve it.

You know this poster?

It’s bullshit.

Keep calm and keep informed. Don’t let hype words fool you. A good example is this afternoon’s news coverage. Various reporting agencies would and have been referring to the explosions as bombs, and while that is incredibly likely given the evidence (color of the smoke, ball bearings at the scene and inside injuries), the police have not confirmed the cause. “Carry on” carries the implication of continuing as usual. This isn’t business as usual. Someone wants us to panic. Don’t. Someone wants us to be afraid. Don’t. Be angry. Be informed. React calmly, educated, and justice will be served. Right or wrong, that is what this country acts in the name of.

You’ve messed with the wrong people. Boston is a place of fiery tempers. I am afraid.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thinking about LTC (license to carry)

I took my time coming up with a response. What was I really feeling?

“The idea of a gun in the house makes me nervous.”

“Okay.”

"… I wouldn’t want a gun in the house unless I knew how to operate it safely.”

Safety: the idea behind having a gun, behind all guns. Keep yourself safe, keep your family safe. But I am not concerned about protecting myself from other people. I just like the idea of knowing how to use something, if I ever had to.

Apparently, in Massachusetts, you have to take a state approved gun safety course and fit in certain qualifications and you can get a license to carry. There are different licenses for different types of firearms that affect concealed carry vs. open carry, but as far as I can tell, you could get a license to carry a weapon concealed in MA. I think that’s limited to handguns.

Gun control laws are a hot issue right now, one that I’m not actually certain how I weigh in. On the one hand, I like the idea that people can get a firearm, with certain measures in place to restrict access to certain people. That leads to the issue of “who”, which no one knows how to answer fairly. I don’t like the idea that people feel like they need guns to protect themselves, but that has more to do with society and less to do with access to guns.

It’s a very personal decision, no matter how you boil it down. One thing I think all sides need to keep in mind is that nations evolve. Nations must evolve. What once was or was not does not necessarily need to be or become.

I like the idea that someday, firearms may be available, through appropriate safety control measures and appropriate identification/training, if someone wanted them, but that people would choose not to get them at all.

The solution behind everything is usually education.

Monday, April 01, 2013

A weekend at large

It's amazing how rejuvenating a good weekend can be. I had been sleeping poorly all last week and I think, in the end, it was mostly due to stress.
  • Friday, my friend came up for a visit. We went out to Boston Burger Company and finished the night at the apartment, watching Futurama on Netflix. Among all that, lots of chatting occurred. I had entirely forgotten how good it can feel to just chat with a "girlfriend" about anything and everything. I was so nervous about that one-on-one interaction, since it's been a long time since I did that regularly, but as the night went on, I worried less and less about filling silences or finding things to talk about. Saturday, we went out to breakfast at Uncommon Grounds (I got gluten-free stuffed french toast and a hot chocolate with banana & macadamia flavoring) and hit up a thrift store in Central Square that I hadn't known existed. I got two pairs of jeans that fit beautifully (huge bonus to buying pre-washed clothing!) and a floor-length prom dress that I think I'm going to revamp into a party dress (tea-length).
  • Saturday, Hulky and I went to a dinner party to watch the new episode of Doctor Who. The idea of a dinner party is so grown up to me, but it was very relaxed. The people in attendance were friends from my university, all with a lot of common nerdy interests. The food was great, especially the "fish fingers and custard" for dessert (fried pound cake with coconut flakes dipped in custard pudding). We stayed late, watching people get increasingly drunk while playing Mario on an old console video game system (I'm sorry, I'm not a gamer nerd, I don't know the name of the system!).
  • Sunday, we played Terraria together, which is a surprisingly addicting game. I'm slowly getting better at jumping around. Precision jumping has always been an issue for me and every time I encounter it in a new game, there's an adjustment period where I get exceptionally frustrated and eventually forget I was ever pissed about my lack of skill. I'm not quite there yet. We also drove the Mustang a few times to get it over to his parents' house and pick up some drinks for Easter dinner. Easter dinner at the future in-laws' was nice. I am regretting not eating more ham! It was delicious.
I also got some grocery shopping and laundry done, so my weekend was fun AND productive. Can't beat that...unless I'd made some money too.