I posted this @ 11/25/2008 08:22:00 AM.............Need a link?..........
PRIVATE EYES ARE WATCHING YOU
I was recently listening to a podcast and they were discussing how much you are out on the internet. I don't mean out of the closet necessarily. I started me thinking about a few different things. How much do you put yourself out there online for others to see?
Between social networking sites like MySpace and any number of personal blogging sites, and now even micro blogging... The minutia of peoples lives are out there for everyone to experience.
Does anyone care? Does anyone really notice? I know I have people that read this blog that don't comment. I don't expect them to. I write this knowing exactly where it is going and who might see this. I put pictures on Flickr knowing that they are easily accessible to anyone who can work a Yahoo search. But the thing is, I don't put things out there that I don't intend for people to NOT see. Otherwise, why bother?
I haven't talked to my little brother in a long time. I miss him and the rest of my extended family dearly. I've sent links to Flickr photos to him, as well as my Mom & Dad. I can only presume they've looked at them. That's what they were there for.
I've had an online presence for the 16 years. Can you pull yourself back? Go back 'under', so to speak. I don't think it'd be an easy thing to do. I laugh at what the internet remembers so times. Ghosts of former lives.
I find it mind-boggling that companies might tap into a persons online presence to research a perspective employee; or even a current employee.
In the same way that aptitude tests may not always be accurate predictors or good employees. A persons online activities shouldn't be used as such either.
The internet is very liberating. I've discussed that topic before, so I won't rehash it all here. Pulling back from such liberation isn't easy. And is it even advised?
What if someone was to hold your religion against you? Sexual preference? Organizations you kept companies with? Co-workers treated you differently. Those things might be easily found out while you are working with someone. But for that to be used against you because someone looked you up online and found out what you do from Friday 5pm til Monday morning 8am...
The internet has opened the world to easy accessibility to everything anyone would want to know about you.
I posted this @ 11/24/2008 05:53:00 AM.............Need a link?..........
...DON'T BOTHER KNOCKIN'
I've been called aloof. Some might say I'm stand-offish. I wouldn't completely deny either. I don't think I'm rude. I just don't handle unknown social situations well. I've overcome a lot of shyness in my time. I still don't talk to just any ol' random person on the street. I don't strike up conversations with people I sit next to on planes. It takes practice. I plan ahead. Off the cuff isn't not my forte. So it's rare that I'll answer the door if it's not someone I know. I don't care to verbally give door-to-door salesmen the brush off.
Yet... for some reason...
It was cold the other day. Brisk. Not weather that most fair weather joggers would be out in. Thus the name... Since Daylight Saving Time it's rarely been super sunny and bright so there is no point in opening the shades to let the dull gray day in.
I'm playing on the computer, when I hear a knock at the door. I answer it. For the sake of conversation, this will be known as Mistake #1. (See above for the reasons why.) The young man standing on the other side of the door was a fidgety young thing who was there with a purpose. He extended his hand and I offered mine in return. He shook it vigorously.
I forgot the young man's name, but let's call him Colin. Colin was working on his fear of public speaking, or so he claimed. In order to do this he was collecting signatures and earning points. How you ask? Well, let's allow Colin to explain.
Colin thrust a laminated explanation of why he was there. I didn't really read the fine print. The only things that stood out on the plastic encased flyer was "20,000" and "Europe". It's at this point that my eyes glaze over. He's selling something...
Colin needs to earn enough points to win a trip to Europe. "How?" I asked. I didn't do so on purpose... He asked me to. I obliged. By buying one his magazines, Colin could earn enough points to go to Europe. "Where do you want to go in Europe?" Again he asked me to ask... "London. Wanna know why?" Not really Colin, but I get the feeling you're going to tell me anyway. "Because they speak English there."
Ba da bing...
He asked if I was a serial killer and if he could step in. He claimed that he wasn't, because he had all his teeth. [beat] And then he showed me his teeth... [beat] Like, pulled the corner of his mouth to one side to show me his molars. I declined to invite him in and he took a seat on my patio.
He handed me a brochure of magazines that he was offering. If my eyes weren't already glazed over... It's at this point then I'm trying to think how to get rid of him without just handing him back his brochure and walking back inside. How was I to know that his tooth-full mouth wouldn't just keep knocking?
He pulled out a scrap of paper and a pen and begin to quiz me. What's my favorite color? Green. Name two hobbies I enjoy. I was supposed to keep them legal and out of the bedroom. Apparently my neighbors are a little freaky-deaky, according to Colin. Bets are he has already spoken with my downstairs neighbor.
Colin offered to send me a postcard from Europe!! "I could send you a postcard of 5 girls in green bikinis." I half expected him to claim the postcard would read "Wish You Were Her." But let's go back to the bikinis... Historically, Londonese women aren't seen as the beach-going bikini clad bombshells that Colin expects to find on a postcard. Not to mention... such bangers and mash beauty's bikini ways are lost on me. As I pointed out to Colin. "Not really my type." That's when he noticed the rainbow stickers in my window. Without missing a beat, he offered an alternative. "I could send you a postcard of 5 GUYS in green bikinis." He's persistent. I'll give him that.
I told him that I really didn't see any magazines that I'd be interested in. He asked if I liked kids. I almost tossed myself under the bus by saying that Mark teaches. But I wanted to get RID of him. Not encourage him to keep talking. While I personally don't mind them, in the interest of getting him to go away I told him I didn't. Colin asked, "You don't bake them in the over do you?" What?! Is he trying to make a sale or pin me down on some criminal charge?
Finally came the moment of truth. I told him that in these hard financial times I really didn't have the disposable income for such things as magazines. He seemed defeated, but I'm sure it wasn't the first time that he'd heard that today. Nor will it be the last.
This just reinforces why I tend to keep to myself around people I don't know. People are weird!
I posted this @ 11/17/2008 07:44:00 PM.............Need a link?..........
LET FREEDOM RING
Mike: Is this one of those "no mail" holidays? Cris: you know... some one mentioned something about that. i dunno what holiday it is tho. Cris: columbus day maybe? Mike: It's Veterans' Day. Cris: Eep... Cris: sorry, Vets... Mike: This is where I call you a commie. Cris: lol Cris: thanks for writing a blog post for me. :P
I posted this @ 11/11/2008 06:18:00 AM.............Need a link?..........
TRUE COLORS SHINING THROUGH
I didn't bust out my tale of telling people I was gay, like I have on past National Coming Out Day's. I figured I'd rehashed it enough and that it wasn't important to do so again. I feel like I should have now. It's a very 'butterfly effect' feeling. Simple little things that we do now can have lasting effects on people we don't even realize we've reached. Maybe reading it someone else might have got something from it.
One splash from a little pebble may not make much difference in the pond, but a lot of little pebbles will make quite a commotion. This is me picking up a handful of pebbles.
This whole Proposition 8 thing has been hitting me in slow motion. I'm not trying to jump on the emotional bandwagon about the ban on gay marriage in California. I won't lie and say it affects me as much as it does some others. It affects friends that I know more than me. But one day that could be Mark and I just wanting to be acknowledged as legally married. So it is something that concerns me.
Maybe I was fortunate to have been as secluded in small town life as I was growing up. The only openly gay person that I can think of was a young man who wore fishnets and make-up and seemingly took pleasure standing out from the small town crowd. He was ridiculed, but I think part of it was the fact that he was very flamboyant. And this was the early 90s. We didn't have Project Runway's Christian Soriano, yet, to explain hot tranny mess. By being secluded I wasn't exposed to all the various kinds of hate and discrimination that exist. By living in a bubble, it wasn't until I was older and more mentally ready to deal, that I might have come across such things.
I'm fortunate. I've never been called names for being gay. I've never experienced discrimination first hand based on my sexual orientation. I'm fortunate to have friends that don't judge me. That don't shun me. I have a Grandmother who doesn't fully understand, but loves me the same, but doesn't want to see me with hardships that I can't handle.
The last couple of jobs that I've had I've not hidden my sexuality. I don't start my first day by waving a rainbow flag. Yet when the subject comes up I don't shy away from it either. I have a rainbow sticker on my car. I public display affection. I'm not shy about discussing my life in most situations.
It boggles my mind that there are people who voted that two people, who love each other, can't marry because they are both the same gender. The rally cry is hard to hear clear out here in Nebraska, but it IS heard.
I posted this @ 11/10/2008 02:06:00 PM.............Need a link?..........
CH- CH- CH- CHANGES
I would be remiss in my duties as an American and a blogger if I didn't at least briefly touch on the Presidential election.
This is the first time in a LONG time that the person I voted for actually won. I live in a state that typically leans red for elections. That isn't to say we don't have our moments. Yet, it can feel rather fruitless to cast a vote and know that in the end you are almost always going to be out voted. That's my perception, at least...
Tuesday was a mix of feelings. I'd moved since the last Presidential elections. I had not registered to vote since then. So I was still registered at my old polling place. I knew they'd ask for some sort of identification of where I lived. My driver's license wouldn't cut it. It was updated. The more I thought about it, I wouldn't even be able to fake it. I couldn't even remember my address at all. I knew it started with a one. Should I even bother trying to vote?
I googled my previous polling place and showed up there. I was on their list, but couldn't prove I lived where they said I lived. I did manage to recall my address with the help of... looking at my name on their form. Way to cover up the answers, Smart Guy. But Alas, no... They made quick work of me telling me where to go, form in hand. I showed up to my ACTUAL polling place and was greeted by a friendly table of women who had clearly too much enthusiasm. GO TEAM VOTE!
I had to complete a voter registration form as well as my ballot. It was on paper. Really? We haven't learned that we need the fancy compu-boxes that tally everything?
Forms filled out. Ballot filled out. I just voted! Look at me, kids! I'm a voter!
As corny as it sounds I really felt good about that fact that I'd voted. Even if my candidate wasn't going to win, I knew that I'd done my part to try and help. I went through a drive thru to get dinner and the young girl at the pay window had a I Voted Today sticker on. That made me smile. She had to be barely legal to vote and I found it cool that even she voted.
One I got home I was surprised at home much election coverage I was watching. I even told Mark that I'd probably just have it on in the background as I played WoW or something. But TV was beating WoW at the moment. I was watching the crawl across the bottom with results. I was watching the various news anchors and political talking heads ramble on about demographics and turn-out and percentages.
By this point it was looking like Obama had an early lead. I was excited. Mark and I were calling each other back and forth about how he hoped that if his state didn't go blue that at least his county would. I didn't even consider that an option for me. After a while I realize that I didn't even need to get updates. Between people on WoW talking about result and getting all kinda of IMs and texts about the evening, I had my very own political ticker coming to me.
I'd be lying to say that race didn't play some part in this election. Not maybe in the overall decision, but at least in the coverage. He's not white. We get it. Thank you news sources for pointing out the obvious every 10 minutes during your election coverage.
It was a historical night. But not because Obama is the first African-American President. Because ANY election is historical. We just added another name to the books, posters, encyclopedias, wikis, that says Barack Obama is the 44th U.S. President. THAT'S history. We had a candidate with the potential to be elected the oldest President. Sure, we had a woman who was a real contender for President and another who was a contender for Vice President. That is not to be over looked either. Yet when our children hear about this night... are they really gonna care about all the things that we find 'monumental'? Probably not. Because hopefully to them it won't be a big deal. They'll be used to the ideas by then.
The results were coming in. Iowa went blue and Mark was happy, tho his county went red. On the flip side... Nebraska went red. No big surprise, but my county went blue. What? Blue? For real... Now keep in mind that I typically feel like my vote isn't worth much because Nebraska goes red every election. Blue? That's a big deal for me on a personal level, because it renewed my faith in the power of a vote. The two counties containing our big cities in Nebraska both went blue.
I posted this @ 11/05/2008 07:55:00 AM.............Need a link?..........
YOU DON'T KNOW HOW IT FEELS
I've noticed an interesting social aspect. I suppose it's always existed and I'm just now seeing it in all it's glory.
When you get any group of people together there is always going to be an odd man out. One or two at least. Someone is always going to be outside the normal. Even if the 'norm' is the craziest situation and the person on the outs is the sane one. Ostricization still occurs.
We can talk about how sad it is that anyone has to be singled out for being different or for being unusual. But really... it wouldn't change anything. There are some situations where I'm not sure a correction would even benefit anyone or anything.
When you've got a group of people and someone is on the outside, it's human nature to single them out. As much as we try to be 'good people', if it's someone we don't like, whatever the reason... We may not want to congregate with them. So then eventually the people on the outside disappear, for whatever reason. Then what? Then we start picking each other apart.
Let's use one of my favorite shows, Survivor, as an illustration. The typical rule of thumb is that the bitchy/annoying are voted out first. When you've got a group of a dozen or so people... someone is going to be quickly pegged as the one that the others don't like. They are most likely the first to be voted off. So tehn the show goes on. Whittling contestants away one by one. Until the core group the like each other will have to turn on each other. It's part of the show. It's part of how you win the game.
As a student of human nature, what is interesting is watching how easily a core group can turn on each other. One wrong step and you're on the outs again. It's strangely, high school.
So back to 'reality'... you get a group of people together. Even if the odd man out was to leave, someone would become the new outside. There is a pecking order and we're fools to think otherwise...
Not that I want anything to change. Not that I even expect anything to change. This is all purely observational. It's also self-serving. Because who knows when an outsider might be kicked out and suddenly I'm the new outsider.
*This is not about me personally. Just something I've noticed.
I posted this @ 11/03/2008 05:00:00 PM.............Need a link?..........
LONG TIME GONE
Hey Blog... I know I've been neglectful. I'm really sorry about that. It's not on purpose. Well, it sorta has been, but not really. I could use my free time to tell you about my day, but really what I feel like doing is not writing. Well, now, even that isn't entirely true. I enjoy writing. I just haven't had the focus to sit down and write. It's been much easier to just shoot a quick message here and there about what's been going on.
So what HAS been going on? Well... I have been working as usual. Nothing to out of the ordinary there. I applied for a state department job with social services, but it appears I got he brush off. No one ever called for a second interview and no called to say that I was rejected for the job. Even after I contacted them, they still puffed around it. C'est la vie.
Mark and I hit our two year anniversary. Things have been going just swimmingly between us. My only complaint is that I can't get enough of him. I look forward to being able to come home from work to him, and vice versa. He recently opened his high school play he was directing. It was actually just this last weekend. It was good. It's sweet how he warns me not to have my expectations to high for a high school production. That's never an issue. I can enjoy a high school production as much as a local production as much as a full-on touring theater production.
Money has been tight. Like seriously tight... We're not taken in many movies. The ones we have seen have been rentals which is fine. When you figure the cost of two tickets (even during cheaper hours) and concessions, it's pricey. It means more time snuggling up on the couch. It also means that we aren't taking our favorite place for granted. Carrabba's is a treat to go to now. Not a weekly occurrence anymore. Which means that I get to cook more. Which is fine with me.
I tried working out for a little while. I was jogging outside while the weather was nice. I tried using the various workout contraptions. That didn't last long. It's more fun with someone else.
Politics... what to say. I'm tired of it. And I'm really not even in the thick of it. I steer clear of debates. I'd rather read the synopsis later. I don't care for hour long commercials for even a candidate that I like. I'm tired of political ads, both national and local.
That's kind of been the last few months in a nut shell. I promise to be better about touching base with you. For realz, yo!