Thursday, March 27, 2014

Amber Alerts, Emergency Weather Alerts and Home Burglary and Dog Bites! How do we get any work done?

Social media is amazing!

I’ve remarked before in another post how back in the day we pretty much lived stress free all day until we got home and watched the news. Then we stressed for a while that evening but then the next day we went back to ignorance and bliss.

Now, thanks to social media, Facebook, Twitter, Amber Alert Cell Phone notifications and Emergency Alerts we are in a constant state of panic! For example, about 16 days ago I received an alert on my cell phone that said:

Screen shot of my phone 
AMBER Alert: Long Beach, CA AMBER Alert: LIC/4AUU679 (CA) 1998 Tan Saturn 4 door

That's great! I think these are awesome! It spreads the word...but, I never got another alert letting me know that the parties involved were caught, so I stressed about them all day. I still don't know if they were caught or who was abducted and if they are ok!

Yesterday I received:

Emergency Alert: Dust Storm Warning in this area til 11:00 PM PDT. Avoid travel. Check local media.

People on Facebook were going nuts wondering about this and going back and forth about whether or not they should pick up their kids from school rather than having them walk or ride the bus! Big panic and turns out it wasn't even really in our area!

Then there was this crazy story yesterday about a woman who was home alone with her baby in a nice part of town and three men came to the door at around 9 in the morning. They knocked on the door, she used the peep hole but did not answer. They kicked the door in! She hid upstairs with the baby and while she was hiding she called her husband and the police on her cell phone.

The husband got there before the police and slashed the tires of the get-a-way car and then confronted the suspects when they fled the residence in the car. Because of the slashed tires the car became disabled a few blocks away and they fled on foot.

The police did show up and in an ironic twist to the story one of the suspects had to be taken to a local hospital for treatment of a dog bite by a police service dog!

Here's a link to the complete story.

What was amazing to me about this whole thing was the myriad of comments posted by other facebookers. I wish I could just paste a screen shot, but facebook posts pictures and names, so here are some of the comments.

"Time to go gun shopping ASAP"

"To bad the mother didn't have a firearm and shot all three of them! She could have saved the judicial system a lot of money!"

"I want to know who pays the medical for the fool's dog bite. Please don't tell me it's on the taxpayers dollar. Hope it's his momma who raised him like that."

"This is why every home should have a gun and people should know how to safely and responsibly use one. I take comfort in knowing that if this happened while my wife was home at least one if not all three burglars would be leaving in a body bag!"

"Husband got there before the police? Another reason to own firearms folks, 911 isn't going to do much!"

"Wish the husband was armed and killed all of the burglars including the teenager!!!! Then we would have eliminated the threat of them doing it to anyone else!"

And last but not least...

"To all husbands, if your wife don't know how to use a gun please show her so they can protect themselves while we are away making them money. My wife can load and shoot a gun that's why I don't piss her off anymore, LOL!"

Now, I'm not anti-gun. I don't have one, but I know how to shoot one and I have pretty good aim. My ex-husband even taught me how to take one apart, clean it and put it back together, but I have no desire to have a gun. My point in posting the comments is that the husband disabled the burglars without a gun! He slashed the tires, he out-smarted them. A gun is not always the answer. It's good to have one and to know how to use one, but taking a human life is not something to take lightly. The viciousness of some of the comments surprised me.

I really don't know how anyone in Bakersfield got any work done yesterday since we were all on Facebook reading and making comments on the various tragedies going on yesterday, but it's a Brave New World!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Over-Attachment Syndrome or do I Just Fall in Love Too Easily?

Last week I wrote a post inspired by a book called The Divorce Papers. Loved this book! Was sad to see it end because I loved and admired the characters so much. I wanted to remain “best friends forever” with them and now there is a hole in my heart where they used to be because they were just made up people, no matter how real they became to me.

Well this next book I read for my online book club was on the opposite end of the spectrum! I couldn't wait to finish this book and did not care for the characters at all! In fact I really disliked them!

But I guess that’s like life. Throughout the day we run into people that we really like. It could be just a simple little conversation with your local barista or the clerk at the supermarket or a waitress at a restaurant and I find myself wishing I could get to know that person better and wondering about them and how the rest of their lives will turn out.

For example, last week I had dinner with a dear old friend. We were meeting at a local restaurant that we had both heard good things about but neither of us had ever been there, RJ’s Bar and Grill.

I got there before my friend and let me tell you…I am not a fan of sitting alone in a restaurant! That is the one thing I have never been able to do. I know people that go at lunch time to a nice restaurant or a fast food place and just sit there alone and have a meal but I can’t do it! I’m just too self-conscious. That is my one little weird quirk, but I've never been able to get over it! And I have tried!

Anyway, that is a post for another day! So this adorably cute little waitress comes over to see what I would like to drink and I tell her I’m waiting for a friend and not ready to order a drink yet. She says “No worries, I’ll bring you some water with lemon.” And she did and I sat there pretending to be engrossed in my cell phone like everyone else but feeling so uncomfortable!

A bit later she comes over, just to see how I’m doing and I tell her I’m ok and my friend should be there soon. After a bit my friend texts me that she is running late and she apologizes and I tell her it’s ok, take your time, drive safe, no hurry! My cute little waitress comes back again to check on me and to refresh my water.

After another long while my friend calls that she is lost and wants to know if RJ’s is east or west of Gosford! Heck if I know! So my little waitress is running by and I stop her and she’s just as befuddled as I am but she runs over to a table full of people and asks them and they tell her it’s east and she comes running back with this very important info and I tell my friend.

I hang up and she tells me how she is sorry she couldn't tell me right away but she’s not from Bakersfield. So I ask her where she’s from and she tells me she’s from Huntington Beach. Huntington Beach? I ask her what in the world she is doing in Bakersfield. And I said, “Oh wait…you fell in love right?” And she giggles and says “Yes” while holding up her wedding ring finger to show off a pretty nice chunk of diamond!

And I said, “Oh well, that makes sense then, only for love would someone choose to leave the land of milk and honey for Bakersfield!” She thought that was hilarious!

My friend finally finds her way to the restaurant and our waitress comes back and we get to talking about my friend being lost and I tell the story again of how she moved to Bakersfield for love and we all get a glimpse of the wedding ring and we gush and giggle and we’re just girls! It was fun. My friend and I ate, drank, talked and had a wonderful time and at the end of the evening when it was time to go home I felt sad to be leaving my little waitress, she had won a place in my heart! Hmmm, maybe I just love to easily? There’s probably a word for that? Anyone know? Over-attachment Syndrome?

This post was inspired by the novel The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson. Allie thought she had the perfect husband, until she finds him and another woman in a compromising position in their own apartment. Join From Left to Write on April we discuss The Idea of Him. Join us for a live chat with Holly on April 3.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


Monday, March 17, 2014

The Sadness of Divorce and Losing Friends

I’m losing two very dear friends, Sophie and Mia.

Sophie is an awesome criminal law attorney who is almost 30. She’s unmarried, blond and very intelligent. She’s half French, on her mothers side and Jewish on her dad’s side. She works for a law firm in New York and enjoys her job very much. Recently she was bamboozled into handling a divorce case. She hates divorce and divorce cases and it’s one of the branches of law that she swore she would never do. But unfortunately this one fell into her lap and she had no choice. Sometimes life is like that.

See, Sophie’s parents divorced several years ago and it was a very traumatic time for her and for her other siblings. Sophie felt as though not only did their dad divorce their mom, but he divorced them. She feels that her dad is angry with them because he felt they were on her mothers side. I know from experience how this can feel. You love both parents so much and yet you feel divided when you hear one talk of the other.

My other dear friend is Mia aka Maria Meiklejohn Durkheim. She is the woman that Sophie is working for, she's the client Sophie is representing in this divorce that she doesn't want to do! Sophie likes Mia and Mia likes Sophie. They feel a kinship right away and the friendship and mutual respect develops from there. Mia is a really great mother and in my estimation of how divorcing couples can be she seems very fair and except for a few moments in the beginning of the divorce proceeding she is not being led by her emotions but instead of what is going to be best for her daughter.

The sad thing about losing these two woman that have become my friends and that I've invested time and energy and emotion on is that they are characters in a book that I've read for my online book club, From Left to Write! may say, "Oh wow Alicia, they aren't even real friends, or real people!" But they are! Characters in a book become real to me and Sophie and Mia are now people that I will miss! I won't get to hear how the rest of their lives turn out. Or how Mia's daughter grows up having to share her life with both her mother and father. Will Sophie find true love with Matt, will she marry him, will she have children? How will she balance motherhood and her career?

I will never know any of these things, unless there's a sequel!

How I hope there is a sequel!

Do you become invested in books like this? Do you hate to see a book end because you feel like the characters have become friends and you are going to miss them? I have to admit this has happened to me more than once!

This post was inspired by the novel The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger. Young lawyer Sophie unwillingly takes her first divorce case with an entertaining and volatile client in this novel told mostly through letters and legal missives. Join From Left to Write on March 18th as we discuss The Divorce Papers through inspired posts. As a member I received a copy of the book for review purposes. I give it 5 Stars and 2 thumbs up!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Opposite of Maybe

Just started reading the book The Opposite of Maybe. I'm on page 19 and already it's pissed me off like hell!

I'm not a man hater, I'm not against relationships, I'm not against marriage, but I am against women modeling themselves to be whatever a man wants them to be, or whatever they THINK a man wants them to be.

I'm against women following blindly like sheep to fulfill the dreams of a man, no matter what they have to give up.

I'm against women giving up their own identity for a man.

In the book this woman Rosie is asking her mate Jonathan to go with her to visit her 88 year old grandmother, the woman who raised her. She has no one but her grandmother as her mother died when she was three and her grandmother raised her. She has to go and tell her grandmother that she believes it's time to have a home health aide come in to take care of her and she is dreading telling her grandmother this. She needs Jonathan's support and love and she asks him to please come with her. He makes faces, tells her he's a busy man and he's got things to do.

She knows he has nothing to do, nothing as important as what she is going to do so she starts to try to convince him and he tells her "No, no, no. This is not going to be a negotiation, where I say what I'm doing and then you say it's not important."

Then his cell phone rings and he picks it up and then mouths to her "this is important" and heads outside to take the call. She watches him through the window of the restaurant where they are having breakfast.

He finishes his call, comes back in and she says "Well?" He tells her the call was from a man in California (Rosie and Jonathan live in New York) who is starting up a museum and called to offer him the opportunity to move to California to be a partner in starting up this museum.

Rosie is stunned, she can't believe it, she tells him "You're just going to move to California and leave everything behind?" He instantly starts bashing their current life, that they are stagnating and they need something new, that he can't get it together there anymore, he needs a new beginning, he's getting old, he feels like he's falling in a hole, he needs something big and important to happen.

Rosie instantly thinks of her grandmother, her job, her friends and he tells her, "Oh, now don't go invoking you grandmother on me. If your grandmother thought you were even thinking of giving up one single opportunity because of her, she'd run you down with her convertible. And as for your friends--there's' e-mail and Facebook and cell phones."

This man...who 5 minutes ago could not take time out of his precious day to accompany Rosie to see her grandmother and support her in giving her grandmother bad news, expects Rosie at the drop of a hat and after one 5 minute phone call to CHANGE HER WHOLE LIFE because he wants to do something he wants to do!

So what does she do? She thinks in her head that this man "has said no to absolutely everything imaginable for so long now--to sex, to parties, to pieces of pie after dinner, to creativity, even to the little girl at their table this morning. He walks through life with a big chilly NO on his lips, and now, by God, he has said yes to something, and he needs her to say it too!"

So she says Yes.

That's as far as I've gotten and as I said, I'm pissed as hell.

This post was inspired by the novel The Opposite of Maybe by Maddie Dawson. At the age of 44 Rosie finds herself suddenly single and pregnant. She tries to hide in her grandmother's home, but meets two men that will change her life forever. Join From Left to Write on April 8 as we discuss The Opposite of Maybe. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

UPDATE - I finished the book and luckily I was able to finish reading it and ended up liking it, although it was very predictable.