Listen to the Wind Once in a While

Well, a little too much surfing, a little too many nameless movies in the background, a little too much tightening of my blogs, and poof! Internet slowdown! I can’t get enough speed to watch my Chinese movies with English subtitles; can’t post on my blog, nor go to a Zoom conference without turning on my phone’s hot spot.

How did we survive before today?

How did we make it without the Internet? Without a thousand movies to choose from to watch at any given moment; or without playing nonsensical games online where you can stab and slash and overtake others to your heart’s delight?

I blame the Pandemic.

Of course, these days I blame the Pandemic for everything —  my weight gain, my non-existent social life, my writing lull, my lack of motivation. One can only sit and watch the bluejay eating out of the front deck feeder for so long before you want to get out there and snack yourself.

The Internet is a curious thing. I have made friends in Australia, Spain, and Tennessee. I have found amazing artists that I never knew existed. I have walked through the streets of Paris and down some backroads in cities I’ve never heard of through Google Maps. I have learned about pottery and quilting and growing flowers from wonderful people I follow online.

Yet I have wasted countless hours sifting through images, reading celebrity gossip, and watching terrible movies that never should have been made. All that boredom had caused me to go past my high speed Internet throttle, slowing everything down to a crawl. 

Life is not a crawl — it’s a sprint! Get it all done in one day! In one hour! Don’t waste your time, for one day you will turn around and you will have no more of it!

Without the Internet as my best buddy I had to go back to reading hard-covered books and hand-making wind sparklers. I had to watch some of the DVDs that have been gathering dust downstairs and take the dog for a fetchie walk at least twice a day. I’ve had to clean my house a little more thoroughly and actually talk to people in real time.

How dare my zest for life and creativity turn me in an entirely new direction?

Actually is is good to get away from the ease and madness of electronics. To go for a walk in the wind or pull some weeds or feel the pages of a real book. It’s good to use the silence around you as background music once in a while. To bypass the jibber jabber of mindless TV personalities and formula movies that are the same no matter what the title.

My new monthly Internet allotment arrived this morning. Writing this blog was priority number one. Why?

Habit.

But I’m still sitting in silence, listening to the wind blow around the windchimes outside, watching the clouds roll in, thinking about making some more Angel Tears.

The Internet and it’s boredom isn’t calling so strongly today. And I like that.

I like being my own person again.

 

I’m Done Listening

I had a blog in mind this evening, but on my way home I changed my mind. On afternoon break I read a quick online story that really hit me. This is the beginning of it:

BANGKOK (Reuters) – A Thai man filmed himself killing his 11-month-old daughter in two video clips posted on Facebook before committing suicide, police said on Tuesday. People could access the videos of the child’s murder on her father’s Facebook page for roughly 24 hours, until they were taken down around 5 p.m. in Bangkok (1000 GMT) on Tuesday, or about a day after being uploaded.

It happened far away. In a world I know nothing about. To a man I know nothing about. To a little girl I know nothing about.

Of course, that’s just on the heels of a story from 3-17: MEDINA Ohio — The man who took his own life after he killed his pregnant girlfriend did not want to have a baby, her father said. Or from February: LaGRANGE  A man accused of abusing and killing the infant of his then-girlfriend pleaded guilty in a Troup County Superior Court last week.

There is nothing that can be said that can shed any light on any of these heinous crimes. There’s nothing I can do to turn the clock back. Nothing I can say to the families, to the situation.

There is nothing I can say to save the children.

I’m going to cut back on my internet wandering. Yahoo, CNET, all those hot spots that broadcast these crimes like they’re a Sunday social. I know everyone hurts, everyone wonders why. Everyone cries and makes promises and moves on with their lives.

But I’m an adult and can make my own choices. I’m older so that’s an even better excuse to tune all of it out. TV is make believe; I can handle that. But the news…

I’m done. My heart can’t take this. I know there are lots out there that say I should do something about it. The sad truth is there is nothing I can do about any of it. I can’t help those in Thailand or in North Carolina or even on the other side of town.

What I can do is interfere and interact with my own circle of friends and family. Encourage those who need to talk to talk. Those who need a break give them a break. Love the children I come in contact and stretch out to love the ones I don’t.

Life’s too short to let the media have their way. To let the world have its way. To let the madness get into my head. You are all my friends in one way or another. I’m here for you — for your highs and lows and losses and misses. But I have to let go of the rest of the world. I’m not willing to let the madness set me into depression and worse. My family still needs me.

I think I’ll call my grandkids now.

 

Goddess

JOURNEY 2011-8-16Have you ever “Googled” your name? Your blog name? Your friend’s name? Your address? The world of online fame and personal invasion is amazing.  And, depending upon what you’re looking for, frightening.

I tested my worldwide fame on a few levels this morning, and was amazed at what I found.

First I searched for “goddess” on Yahoo. My blog was nowhere to be seen in the first 15 pages. (The limit of my scientific research). No problemo. I tried the same on Google, and one of my blogs was 6th. Clap clap! Then I tried the word “humor” (almost as broad a term). Nothing in the first 15 pages of Google, the same with Yahoo. Now I know popularity is all in the name, and my name (Humoring) is different than Humor. So I tried MY version. Second page on Yahoo, first page on Google. Not bad, eh? So if anyone in the reading universe is looking for a chuckle, they have to pick the right noun in order to find me. If they are looking for a connection to the Goddess, I’m nowhere to be found.

I then decided to venture into the more personal realm. This is where it gets scary. My full name (who is actually me and not the doppelgängers). My name/blog appeared 9th in Google, Yahoo, not at all. But it starts to get creepy when all these sites tell you they can give me information based on my name. So I tried a few. Spokeo found me. The White Pages found me. USA People Search found me. Some had other family names attached to the info. For just $3.95 or $4.95 you can find out all kinds of things about me.

I typed in my address. There was my house on Zillow, with an approximate dollar value. There I was on Trulia, with a Google map tour down the road I live on and even down my driveway. They estimate the value of my house, my monthly mortgage payment, and how much I paid for it.   For $1 I could get a full report from Property Owners Org. about my house, including code problems, legal problems, square footage, and value of the property. I tried my social security number. E-Verify said they could give me court records, criminal records, phone number, and a half dozen other things about my personal life.

Suddenly free speech and public information isn’t such a great idea. What started out  as a fun search on how popular a name my blog was on search engines turned into a nightmare as I realized that, for a fee, anyone can find out anything about you. It doesn’t matter if the information is old or bogus; your name, your address, even your social security number is floating around in Internet Space somewhere. And if someone really wanted to wreak havoc with your personal (or public) life, it would only cost them $4.95.

It makes you want to become a hermit. Not a goddess.