Archive for the 'Concerns and Alerts' Category

09
Sep
17

The Match That’s Perpetually Out of Reach

***

What do you do when you meet someone who seems so right for you but is in no position to pair up with you?  How often must I meet women who are otherwise engaged with some other man and so…just seem so right as a fit?  It’s torture to even listen to them talk about their days when I can see myself sharing the sentiments but have no right to do more than nod and maybe comment.

Even here I see it.  I find people who could be so easy to relate with…but if I do anything, anything, it feels like I am some creep encroaching on another dimension.

Or, maybe, what I think I see isn’t as “perfect” as it appears and I have merely turned my attention to someone I have no business attending.  [Then, is it a cruel trick or some other divine lesson at hand?]

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07
Sep
17

It has a name…a floater!…or is it?

***

So, I went for an eye exam.  And, I asked the doc about this spot that appears in my one eye when I blink under certain light conditions, usually when my focus is up close and in lower light, often at the computer or in the shower.  It can make straight lines look wobbly.  In a blink, it appears–well, it has changed shape in two years.  It started out as a speckled oval, then a jagged oval, then an oval with a frame, and, most recently, it looks like a small black moon in one corner of a white sun.  And, if I look in a mirror, I can periodically see a yellowish oval or gash at the top of the iris.

The doc said it’s a floater and that it could either work itself out (though he didn’t sound too confident about that) or multiply over time.  He said it’s often brought upon by trauma to the eye/body.  And, he said it shouldn’t be a concern; so get used to it.

[But, it concerns me because it can really get annoying and distort my vision.  As an artist and a perfectionist, it could really be unsettling to go on this way!  It messes with my eye color and could ruin my ability to appreciate the beauty of things I see or make accurate judgments.]

While he did give me an ounce of reassurance–and I want to stay optimistic–I just decided to see what I could find online about this.  But, most of the videos I find speak of floaters as those tiny specks or strings you see float by the eye when you move your eye out of focus.  I know those are likely harmless.  I thought those were worth concern when the doc asked me the last time if they were a problem.  He also mentioned seeing spots.  Well, now, I’d say there is a spot, but it’s not whizzing by my eye.

The doc also handed me a “fine” eye health report, saying I don’t even need glasses, for now.  Well, that’s great!…except.  There’s that thing in my eye that looks like a burn in a film strip sometimes when I blink and a yellow spot in the mirror.

As I poke around the web, I found something on CSR, central serious retinopathy.  And, while I am rather certain what I have is not at the back of the eye, the spot I see when I blink DOES seem to match the images I found, resembling a sort of pitted olive.

The best solutions I can find speak of either lens replacement, gel replacement/extraction or laser surgery.  And, the side effects could be more fatal than putting up with the distortion and seeing what happens.

So, what is it?  And, how do I deal with it?

I wrote about this some time ago.  But, I am still curious if anyone is familiar with such a distortion and any treatment they may have received/tried.

 

26
Aug
17

Miraculous; a Heap of Awesome With a Splash of Awkward

*****miraculous_ladybug-cat-quamis

It’s a slick mix of Cutey Honey, Sailor Moon and a handful of other cartoon-like shows I have grown to enjoy.  It’s a fashion show for superheroes and villains alike, infused with modern technology (IPads, Wacom boards and cellphones) used like super powers of their own.  It’s 90 percent awesome and 10 percent awkward in an inexplicable way that makes some older viewers uneasy.

What is it?  It’s Miraculous!  This new/old show that has made its way to local TV, about a group of people(teens and adults) in Paris, France who acquire magical alien-like creatures and charms which activate certain superpowers for a limited time.  And, the feature duo are a sort of yin and yang team that maintain balance between good and evil by technically stomping out evil which comes in the form of one of their own gone rogue.  [When I say new/old show, I mean it must have aired somewhere at some time ago because I saw action figures advertised briefly some months–if not a year–ago.  But, I am first seeing it in recent weeks.  And, merchandise seems to be resurfacing, along with DVDs.]

I will geek out on the show if you ask me any questions or care to discuss any part of it.  It’s just that delicious.

It also has that annoying gushing teenage Sailor Moon quality to it, mixed with CG models that remind me of the BRATZ cartoons of recent past.  It makes me question taking any interest.  There’s also that superhero show flaw that involves the heroes and civilians not recognizing each other in costume when you can clearly see their hair and hear their voices.  Of course, I must realize it’s still a kids’ show.  Buuut…

But, overall, it’s an inspirational delight with sufficient if not impressive use of brain power.

[I’m hoping the “healer”–who looks like Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid–turns into Ralph Macchio when he uses his Miraculous.  That would be hilarious.]

 

 

 

 

17
Aug
17

New, New, New, New…Reruns?

****

Have you ever seen the movie Back to the Future?  And, do you recall the part when Marty, in the past, claims a certain black-and-white TV show is a rerun before the kid in the room asks, “What’s a rerun?”  I find myself revisiting that scene as I realize the perception differences of kids and adults, especially in this modern age of DVRs and internet access to just about everything.

When I was a kid, the family had one TV, maybe two later on when I was nearing my teens.  I didn’t think about reruns.  But, they were there.  I was immersed in SYNDICATION, watching shows that had originally aired about a decade ago but were playing again and again in my day.  I didn’t think much about the strangeness of fashions, makeup or hairstyles.  If the show was black-and-white, it was too old for me.  If the jokes didn’t make sense, I really wasn’t thinking about them.  I was merely watching grown-ups be silly or cartoons in general.  If my family laughed, I considered laughing.  Only one sis ever laughed every time someone else laughed first.  Even at an early age, I would not be the pawn of the laugh track or “live studio audience.”

People would say, “TV rots your brain.”  And, us “rebels” would watch all we could and think nothing of it.  Despite all the TV I watched, it didn’t seem to impact my attention span.  I always thought I was a good student, a good listener.  I became a well-behaved, patient adult.

Nowadays, families have TVs in multiple rooms and some kind of device receiving a signal that can either transmit “broadcast” TV shows or “internet TV”/”web TV.”  They can skip commercials and zip from one show to the next with the flick of a finger.  And, if commercial breaks aren’t littered with mindless ads for cars and services like “wireless” television, at-home education, retirement options and ways to cut corners for the financially challenged (like the only people who should be watching TV are stay-at-home parents, retired folks, unemployed bums and future thieves?)…there’s this constant drive for what’s NEW.  Yet, the promise of NEW is fleeting and makes one feel like a desert wanderer waiting for some chopper to deliver water.

My nephews, possibly as a result, have the attention spans of fleas. They struggle to get through a whole show that may only be 20 minutes long.  They want to know what’s next.  What’s new.  And, though the magic box promises new essentially daily, flashing timers and such to announce the oncoming glimmers of delight, the actual NEW is kinda like expecting a response from a letter to Kris Kringle.

They are dazzled by the commercials I, now as an adult, would rather skip.  Truth be told, most commercials aren’t as nearly entertaining as they were when I was little.  But, maybe it’s just a matter of perspective?  These lame ads I see are new to them, not me.  Well, some are new to me but annoying to watch over and over.  Heck, I don’t remember getting tired of seeing certain commercials as a kid.  I didn’t look forward to commercials, either, but they were rarely if ever bothersome.

And, while I grew up not minding or even noticing reruns, these kids may or may not notice reruns.  But, once they DO realize they’ve seen something before, their reactions are mixed.  Sometimes, they want to see the same show, again (provided it’s something they have watched in the last few days or weeks, as they like to replay even the shortest of video clips).  Or, I hear them sounding like adults when they say, “This one, again?  Why isn’t it a new one?”

As a big kid myself, I think of a not-so-old episode of Teen Titans Go! in which Robin warns the other team members about “the spicy life,” the pursuit of increased spiciness.  People get tantalized into chasing NEW to keep the economy flowing and, consequentially, stimulating impulse shopping (which often empties people’s pockets to the point of concern/neglect).  It’s not healthy to anything but the economy, and even that is questionable.

The promise of NEW.

Why can’t we be comfortable with what we already have and enjoy?  As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”  And, if it needs fixing, let’s work that out.

It doesn’t take a genius to see people are struggling to keep coming up with new ideas in some areas.  Maybe they’re burnt out.  Instead of replacing them, maybe we just need to relax and get comfortable with…dare I say it…routine.  And, let new ideas be a blessing from above, not something we force from the cow for fleeting profits.

 

21
Jul
17

In the End…of Linkin Park?

****

I had just come home from my day job when I heard on the news about Linkin Park’s lead singer killing himself, a father of six, supposedly married (which I didn’t even know)…but happily married?  There’s a question.  I also did not know he had addiction troubles.  But, looking at the majority of song titles the band has released, I can see a pattern.

Crawling (in my skin…these wounds; they will not heal.  Fear is how I fall, confusing what is real.)  –Possible itching from a drug fix/addiction; check.

Breaking the Habit  –A cry for help, a desire to quit; check.

(I’ve become so) Numb.  (‘Tired of being what you want me to be.)  –A pain in the back pushing him toward his “medicine;” check.

In the End (it doesn’t even matter).  –I’d say that was the start of the road map to feeling worthless, right off album one.  Other depressing and bleak songs followed.

Nothing really about relationship troubles…

Unless there’s more to “Lying Away From You” than meets the ear.  I most often thought any mention of relationship conflicts in the music was related to teenagers and their parents.  I figured the music was geared towards rebellious teens.  But, perhaps, I was looking the wrong way.

I first heard Linkin Park around 2003 while walking home (wearing a headset).  I thought I wouldn’t like their preach-y hip-hop style, at first.  But, the longer I listened, the more of the lyrics I understood; and the more I grew to like their albums.  I almost have every one they made.

There were a few songs, released not too long ago, that sounded like overkill of despair and anger.  So, I kinda turned a blind eye to what may have been the most recent album of “pop” songs?  I haven’t heard any of those, as far as I can recall.  I wonder if the band didn’t have the same sort of mid-career crisis it seems Katy Perry may be having (among other talents).

For some reason, these talents beat one form of music til they wear out and then get the fear in their heads that they need to change directions.  And, in my personal opinion, I’m okay with it.  Diversity isn’t always bad.

Taylor Swift went from country to pop-ish music, and that suited me just fine.  [Maybe she averted “bad blood” or emotional breakdown by taking a concert tour break.]

Katy Perry started with gospel (when I knew nothing of her, before I knew she was a blonde named Kate Hudson).  But, going raven-haired and switching to scandalous rock got my attention.  And, now?  I’m not sure where head is going.

Back to Linkin Park and the lead singer fiasco.

So, it seems Chester B. was close pals with Chris Cornell who also took his own life earlier this year.  Chester played at a memorial event.  Who will play at Chester’s memorial?  And, will they be next…to, you know?  I sure hope this isn’t some scary, accursed chain of events.

I would create some kind of memorial for the guy(s), but I don’t know how to feel about a father of six taking his own life.  It makes me shudder.  [I don’t mind making memorials for those who die at the hand of fate/God.  I’ve made memorials for countless pets to ease owners’ hearts.]

Life for me hasn’t exactly been wine and roses, but I’ve been surviving the best I can…or as well as I feel able under the conditions I face.  I have come close to “the end” and don’t ever want to go back there.  So, I do what I can to avoid the edge.  Still, no matter what I do, life has a “funny” way of throwing crap at you, whether it’s to teach you a lesson or punish you for something done…perhaps in a past life?  I may not have a drug addiction, but I know how addictive certain activities and foods can be.  I must be mindful of the “golden rule” of moderation and of what I indulge.

I’ll still listen to just about anything Linkin Park has made thus far.  If this is “the end” of the band’s career, I’ll live and take what I can from the past albums.  [I had aspirations of working with Linkin Park on future movie projects.  I even had storyboards with lyrics under certain pictures.]  I’ll have to look into this “pop” music they tried making.

But, where do they go from here?  Replacing a lead singer doesn’t seem to go well for anyone.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the band and/or this recent tragedy.

17
Jul
17

Big Brother 19; It’s That Time, Again!

****

It’s already begun.  My one slip into the “reality TV zone” where I dare not get swept up in the childish (or, middle-school-ish) gossip and blame games but chance a long look at the interior decorating and elaborate challenges placed before a mixed group of wannabe celebrities who seem to live in a world outside the norm, that pocket of reality where people win lotteries and have strangers appear on their doorsteps with giant envelopes before carrying the “winners” to a secret location.

It’s Big Brother season.  I’ll be referring to the U.S. version.  [There are versions in other countries, as well.  Feel free to ignore me, completely, and/or act as if I am some street performer looking for a handout.  The contestants aren’t much different.]

And, as usual, there are those players who irk me to no end (some of which who will later prove they are worth a second look) and a small handful who stir heartstrings.

NEW FACES

This year, among the latter is a surprisingly appealing body builder.  I am not fond of tattoos, especially women with tattoos.  But, this gal Christmas** has a face that just speaks to me.  She has that certain “fire.”  But, she also scares me a bit when she gets “evil thoughts.”  [So, in a way, she’s Heidi Klum.]  I feel a strong desire to support her no matter what…well, as long as she doesn’t don any horns or make blood pacts with dark forces.

**Yes, that’s her name.  And, the staff has fun with it every chance they can get.

She has already met a grim fate (or so it appears).  [Ya never know with television these days.  It could be a ruse.  And, with the way this particular “game show” pulls stunts every year, ya really never know what’s the truth.]  Some CLOWN got a lil silly with her and broke her foot!  [I say that with a hint of humor because he claims to be a rodeo clown.]  It’s partly her own fault for riding him.  But, I feel her pain.  And, like a true champion–or just someone consumed with the pursuit of a (silly) cash prize–she powers on in the competition.  It’s doubtful she will make it to the end without pity.  But, it would also be a sad shame if she got the boot without failing first.  [And, I don’t mean the cast she has on her bad foot.  What’s with the thin bracelet and fuzzy, pink crutches?]

In short, I will be rooting for her until she reveals something I cannot approve/support.

I’m also keeping an eye on Jessica (who may just be the token pretty face that proves to be nothing more than a “floater” with artificial assets), Alex (who has horribly bleached her lovely dark hair but has an amazing figure and is slowly revealing her gaming skills) and Matt (who just looks like a good, all-around player and spokesman for Just For Men).  Raven is a bit of a tragic curiosity with a ghost-white face and interest in ghost hunting (witch–er, which I do not like).  And, the others are proving to either be brainless pawns or less enduring than they appear (unless that is staged, too).

OLD FACES

As is tradition, an old face resurfaces.  This year, it’s Paul from last season. He’s “ballsy” and more of a loudmouth than a competitor.  But, when he’s not in survival mode (which you’ll know when he gets fired up and chatty), he seems honest and genuine, enough.  [It’s hard to evaluate a guy when he’s scheming in this type of environment.  But, compared to other players, he seems unusually true to his word, even while he “stirs the pot.”]

And, while I grew to like him (surprisingly), I see his flaws and wonder if he will bail on competitions, again.  Last year, he seemed good friends with a smiley, Jesus-like hero named Victor.  Victor was what they call a “competition (monster)” who battled his way to the end. Paul frequently barks “friendship.”  I doubted his promises until he stood up and tried to advise the naive Victor who really seemed like the sort to turn the other cheek when someone punched him.

And, it looked like two buddies would shake hands before letting one take the prize.  Instead, Paul picked Nicole, the “veteran” from the previous season, to be the “unworthy alternative” to him getting the big prize, figuring Nicole was whiny and the very thing the newcomers didn’t care for, a “returning player.”  Instead, he lost, and I think it’s because the “jury” decided all of his strategic moves were worthless if he didn’t support his friend (who ended up getting a nice but smaller prize out of the deal).

How Paul treated Victor makes me question anyone supporting or teaming up with him to the end.  I questioned Nicole making it as far as she did in a second season.  Heck, I question bringing anyone back from a previous season.  Fan favorites?  Seriously, what world do these people occupy?  I remember a few seasons in which players talked about quitting their jobs to chance this game.  Is the show some Fantasy Island which becomes a lifetime career?  And, they all seem to have loving families that go along with the “get the key” gimmick, making audition videos of the experience.  I question the reality of this reality TV.

GOING DOWN

One contestant already bailed from feeling bullied!  I’ve never seen such a thing.  Usually, the target/victim survives until voted out which often happens when the target gets mad and makes a scene.  And, the show didn’t replace the one who left; they just had the military hothead pick new candidates for eviction.  With one guy eliminated the day he entered the house (more on that below), way to cut the summer shorter…at least, until you get the writers together to work out some newfangled strategy.

This show has tried different formats for game play.  And, some work better than others.  Some that worked seem to get voted out and replaced with less favorable variations.

This year, they came up with the notion of “temptations” and eliminating someone the first day as the “curse” for someone accepting the first “temptation.”  Had they NOT recently revealed the “chance to get back in,” I would have thought it very unfair what happened to Cameron.  From that first “eviction,” I thought the show was in trouble.  [Why would you go through the trouble of picking these people and video-taping every little thing just to push the guy out the door on day one?…and replace him with someone who runs a “fashion” business which apparently allots him the time (among other things) to participate in multiple game shows.]

And, crazy at it may seem, the lovely Julie Chen sticks it all out, hosting every year.  If all else fails to satisfy, I can count on her countenance to make me smile.  🙂

[I’ll add more to this post when I can.  Though I hate to admit it, this show stirs thoughts.]

Feel free to contribute your thoughts to this topic.  If you watch the show, who do you think will win the game?  Or, who are you supporting?

01
Jun
17

Nerd or Geek? What’s the Difference?

*****

I can’t remember what late night show brought this up recently, but it stuck out in my mind, demanding I take a whack at the explanation.

When I was a kid, either word was like a scarlet letter on your social status.  If word got around that you were either a geek or nerd, you had little chance of ever getting the best anything out of life other than a score on some video game no “cool kid” had time to play.  But, nowadays, I am okay with being called both words, on occasion.

Here are my personal definitions:

NERD:  A NERD is someone who is remarkably knowledgeable about a particular subject and capable of organizing that knowledge well so it can be referenced at any time.  So organized are nerds that they tend to get miffed if you disrupt their sense of order.

GEEK:  A GEEK is someone who is greatly exited by and/or interested in a particular subject and likely to drool in response to a mere mention of said subject.  Hence the concept of “geeking out.”  [There is no such thing as “nerding out,” as far as I know.]  You don’t have to be as educated as a nerd to be a geek.  And, geeks don’t usually qualify as neat freaks.

In short, geeks drool with excitement.  Nerds do not.  Nerds are more likely to know more about a subject than a geek.

Now you know.  And, that makes you a superstar.  Or, half the battle is won?  I dunno.

themoreyouknow-ad_jem-ridingonarainbow_ap-1

[FYI:  I am somewhere between a Jem geek and a Jem nerd.  I have my info and other resources on the cartoon in decent order and would be bothered by any disruption.  But, I am not so knowledgeable that I can reference every character or episode.  And, on occasion, I’ve been known to drool.  :)]

 




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