Saturday, May 31, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I had to give a presentation at work today to one of our business units. For those of you who talk to me --or rather listen to me talk about work--you know that I work with a large group of seriously opinionated engineers. Today was an all day meeting for this group starting at 7:45am (ouch!) and my presentation wasn't until 2:30pm.
No one could understand why I found this so funny, and that made it even funnier. Then, it got a little sad when I realized that they NEED these rules. It did get a little amusing during the meeting when someone felt personally "attacked", and they would point to this poster on the wall-- to "remind" the attacker of the rules. ...Ah, adulthood.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I get CNN News Alerts delivered to my email inbox--these are activities or events that CNN deems worthy of giving the title of "breaking news". For instance, today, there was and update on Teddy Kennedy's condition, a more grave announcement than the one sent yesterday. Some days, I get an announcement that Obama has won this state, or Clinton has won that one. So today, when I saw that my friend Cassandra had forwarded me a CNN story with the subject line "ugghh- did you see this?"-- I thought it might be about the Ted Kennedy story. While the story about Ted Kennedy is indeed sad, the story she sent me stopped me in the middle of a hectic work day and actually distracted me for a good bit.
There are so many things about this story that got to me. One, I have gone through layoffs, and I know too well the devastating effect it can have on your life. Without the help of family and friends, it scares me where I would have ended up. I can't tell you how that worries and haunts me, even now. I worry about it happening again one day--I worry about ending up like the woman in this article.
Two, in the sunset of your life, you shouldn't have to live like this. And having pets, I can sympathize with this woman so much. Some folks who read this article can say this or that about what is good for the animals, but I know what it feels like to feel like you have lost everything...and to not want to lose those babies--those animals that are a part of you, and that love you, too.
I do believe that where this woman lives is one of the most expensive places in the US to live and relocating wouldn't be a bad idea, but imagine her predicament. Where do you go when you don't have the resources to search for a job outside of the city or state and you feel so lost?
Anyway...this article made me think about how far I have come in the last few years and how fortunate I am. As a woman, it made me ache for these women. I am so thankful that this organization is doing this to give them some small safety. I hope this article brings publicity to this organization, these women, and this situation.
Something else happened tonight, that I will write about later and it hit me that all of this is happening to remind me to give back. I have been doing some of that, but I need to do more. I need to volunteer, to support organizations like the one in this article in my community.
And one last thing...why isn't this "breaking news"? I know, I know, there's too much of this. But, seriously. How much worse can the economy get? How much scarier can this situation be?
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
When this story came across the news last year, it stopped me in my tracks. I was sure I had heard it wrong. I remember flipping the channels to find another 24 hour news station. Surely it wasn't true. An adult, a MOTHER, in Missouri, had helped set up a fake MySpace account, had posed as a teenage boy and communicated with a girl, Megan Meier, a friend of her daughter's. The so-called adult, Lori Drew, then proceeded to instigate a relationship with Megan over the internet. Her reasoning for doing all this? To find out what Megan might be saying about her daughter.
She ended the whole ruse by "breaking up" with Megan and telling her horrible things, and saying the "world would be a better place without her". Megan committed suicide. She was 13 years old. Lori Drew was 49 at the time.
I was so angered by this story, I couldn't see straight. To think that an adult would sink to this, and that she also involved her daughter and her daughter's friends in the whole thing just sickened me. Did she never stop and think what she was teaching them? Even worse, Lori knew that Megan was on medication for depression, as Megan had spent time with the Drew family on vacations, etc.
This story bothered me for weeks afterwords. I followed the updates, learning that there were no laws that covered this type of crime. I also learned that the neighborhood there had turned against the Drews, and I was glad for that. Now, was Lori the sole reason for Megan's suicide? Maybe not--even Megan's parents said that. But, was what she did horribly wrong and should she be punished? You bet.
Watching Megan's parents in interviews, though, my heart ached for them. They were torn apart by guilt and anger and pain. Something needed to be done. As you will read from the article below from CNN, Lori Drew is at least being charged now.
I know that the internet is a free and open space, and that so much can happen, but at least as adults, we have to set examples, especially those adults with children, to teach them right from wrong, respect and compassion. Hell, we have to teach them that in every day life. The internet gives everyone easy ways to hide behind masks and hidden identities though, so these lessons are more important every day. I hope Lori Drew and her children have learned theirs. And I hope other parents are paying attention.
Mom indicted in deadly MySpace hoax
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- A Missouri mother was indicted Thursday in the case of a teen who killed herself after being taunted on the social networking site MySpace.com.
Megan Meier, 13, hanged herself in her bedroom after being targeted in a MySpace hoax.
A federal indictment accuses Lori Drew, 49, of O'Fallon, Missouri, of using a MySpace account to pose as a 16-year-old boy and feign romantic interest in the girl.
The girl, Megan Meier, committed suicide after her online love interest spurned her, according to prosecutors, telling her the world would be a better place without her.
Drew faces up to 20 years in prison on charges of conspiracy and accessing protected computers to obtain information to inflict emotional distress.
The indictment, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, accuses Drew and others of registering on MySpace as "Josh Evans" and using the account to start an online romance with Meier.
Authorities have previously said that Drew set up the account to find out what Meier, who lived in her neighborhood, was saying about her daughter.
Prosecutors allege that Drew and the others violated MySpace's terms of service by using false information to create the account so they could "harass, abuse or harm" Meier, according to the indictment.
The two corresponded for about four weeks before "Josh" broke off the relationship, authorities said. Within an hour, Meier hanged herself in her room and died the next day.
The indictment does not allege that Drew sent the final message telling Meier the world would be a better place without her. Instead, the indictment blames her unnamed co-conspirators, who authorities have previously said include a teenage girl.
After Drew learned of the teen's suicide, the indictment alleges, she directed one of the teens involved to "keep her mouth shut" and deleted the account.
Meier's mother, Tina Meier, told CNN in November that her daughter had self-esteem issues and had struggled with depression since childhood.
She said when her daughter began receiving messages from "Josh" telling her she was pretty, she was thrilled.
When "Josh" broke off the relationship, Tina Meier said, her daughter was devastated.
"She was looking for me to help calm herself down like I always did and be there for her. And I was upset because I didn't like the language she was using, and I was angry she didn't sign off when I told her to," Tina Meier told CNN.
"She said to me, 'You're supposed to be my mom, you're supposed to be on my side,' and then took off running upstairs," Tina Meier said.
Tina Meier found her daughter hanging by a belt shortly afterward.
"It's as if my daughter killed herself with a gun," Meier's father, Ron, told CNN. "And it's as if they loaded the gun for her."
Drew is scheduled for arraignment in June.
"This adult woman allegedly used the Internet to target a young teenage girl, with horrendous ramifications," U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien said in a written statement.
"Any adult who uses the Internet or a social gathering Web site to bully or harass another person, particularly a young teenage girl, needs to realize that their actions can have serious consequences," O'Brien said.
In December, Missouri prosecutors declined to file charges against Drew, saying there was no law under which she could be charged.
"There is no way that anybody could know that talking to someone or saying that you're mean to your friends on the Internet would create a substantial risk," St. Charles County Prosecutor Jack Banas said. "Under the law, we just couldn't show that."
-article credit: CNN.com
Monday, May 12, 2008
I actually took a few days off--I know, I know, it's a miracle. I took Friday off (sort of)-- I had a dentist appointment because I broke a tooth. Fun! Then, on Friday, I started looking around on the internet, and trying to decide if I could actually go somewhere fun for the weekend. I had been thinking about it all week. I have been really stressed over the past few weeks, and I needed to go somewhere and relax. I was going to go to Charleston, but I found a resort on Hilton Head Island where I could use my hotel points. It all fell into place. I decided to take Monday off, and I left at a really insane hour on Saturday morning (like 3:30am) and got to Hilton Head at 7:30am. I have never been to Hilton Head before! I stayed at the Marriott Resort there, and it was amazing, and the weather was perfect. Well, the weather was perfect on Saturday and Monday, Sunday was rainy, but I did some writing and reading--which was great. There was an outdoor bar, and they delivered drinks and food right to your chair, and I was completely spoiled, and loved that. Probably the best thing of all, though, is while I was there, I slept like a champ. At night. When I am supposed to.
I never left the resort, I relaxed, lazied by the pool, ate good food, had a few fruity drinks, and just loooooved it. I had a hard time leaving today.
But, I missed the kitties. My petsitter, Lisa, looked in on them while I was gone, so i knew they were OK, but I always miss them. Baxter breaks my heart when I come home, he actually makes little crying noises when he runs to me when I have been gone more than a day. He cries and runs to me when I come to the door and I scoop him up and he buries his little head in my neck and breathes hard and purrs. It is so sweet. It almost makes me cry. He is so attached to me, and is such a sweet baby. Lilly is sitting next to me right now--smooshed against me--purring. Lucy is behind me on the back of the couch. They are always like this when I have been away, they need to be near me when I get home, and to be truthful, I love it. I couldn't wait to see them!
Friday, May 9, 2008
Then there's the short, but direct variety: "std's are on the rise. love, mom."
***Dad and I deposited some money into your bank account since it looks like you blew your last paycheck at H&M.
mom: How did this happen?
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Pictured is the prime piece of real estate in my house...the window seat in my bedroom. The kitties all fight over it, even though there are two of these in the house, and several other areas they can camp out in front of a window. My theory is that this window gets the best sun, but also, this window gives a view of me leaving and coming home each day.
I love looking up when I come home and seeing whoever is resting there (usually Lilly, sometimes Baxter). They watch me get out of the car and then jump down as soon as I hit the porch to meet me at the front door. Too sweet.
I can't imagine my life without animals -- without these fur babies. They are entertaining, peaceful, and loving, all in good measure!