Voice Uncensored: Diary of my Mundane Monday

Monday, January 5, 2015

 

3:20 a.m.  I wake up to my husband’s shufflings. He’s getting ready for work. I lay there. We are not speaking since Saturday when I spoke to him over a simple matter and he over-reacted and stormed off, leaving a gift I had asked him to bring to a child. I followed him, he drove off in a rush to evade me and I ended up having to give chase and throw the bag in the back of the van as he sped away. It was so unnecessary. What had happened should not have offended him to that point that he got so angry. Depressed already, I was not in the mood for more stress.

3:30 a.m.  I hear the keys jangle as the door closes, the sound of the van revving up and he drives away.

3:45 a.m. I get up. I can’t sleep. I head to the living room with my pillow and a sheet, settle myself on the couch and start my computer. I start flipping through downloaded files and reading through some. I open up my internet browser and find an online learning toolbox from an Australian site. I start reading how to design learning programs as a trainer. The radio is playing gospel hymns and my mind is flickering everywhere so I can’t concentrate. I don’t know when I fall asleep.

7:30 a.m. I wake up with the laptop cotched on my tummy. The screen is sleeping. I get up and crack my windows to see there’s bright sunlight outside. It’s morning. I turn off the lights and open up my door. Oh well, another day.

I continue browsing through my emails. I find HUFFINGTON POST Monday mail and am taken to the gossip pages about the actress who had a baby for a boxer guy. She’s small, and he’s tall. Then a story about Kate Middleton captures my attention and I read through a series of Royals posts for the next three hours. I find myself reflecting,  I don’t know why I am so fascinated with Kate and Williams’ life. They are not Gods. Just what’s the claim to fame? She has lots of fancy clothes and don’t really work,unless you call dinners and fun travels work. Seems like princesses and duchesses just push out babies every other year and they and their babies are fawned over by an adoring public. What a life though. I find myself wishing I had such an idyllic life nevertheless. Wonder if I would be bored though? These days I find myself easily bored.

12:00 noon. I must have drowsed off again. The government  news is being read on radio. I switch stations back to gospel and a lady is praying.

I am hungry.

I get up and go search for food in the refrigerator. I decided against touching my husband’s fries in the freezer and opt for some raisins instead. I search for my phone. My girlfriend who is visiting from the States is supposed to call so we can meet up and chat. I find it in my bag. It’s off. I turn it back on and instantly see that my daughter has sent me some phone credit. A minute or so later it rings and my friend is calling. We arrange a lunch meeting out on the plaza for 2 0’clock. I checked and found I had some change I could use for my busfare. I wasn’t too sure I had enough, but she had promised to give me busfare to return home.

I head back to the couch. I sing along with a song that’s playing on the radio for a while before turning my attention to the laptop screen. I flip from email to web site. All I do is read, a bit of this and a bit of that. Oh, my poor flitting mind. I feel a headache coming on.

Then I decide to write this post.

Thoughts intervene. I need a job. I should be spending more time applying for a job. But where, what? There is nothing in the papers. Why can’t I find the motivation to do anything? Why do I sit here feeling worthless, having ideas, but not acting on them? I haven’t called my mother since the New Yrear. I should call, but I don’t feel like dealing with questions today about what progress I’m making with my job hunting. It bothers me. It seems I’m shut down. I feel miserably unhappy and stuck. I guess I’m depressed.

I also worry about my dad. Guilt rides me everytime I remember I haven’t seen him in just over two years now. I didn’t find the time to go when I was working and had funds and I can’t go now I am free and have no funds. I feel torn and very guilty. He’s recovering from a stroke which has taken his speech and leaves him speaking gibberish which I don’t understand. But I love my dad. I want to see him. I could ask my husband but I don’t really like him to see my father in this state. He’s sometimes comptemptuous of my family. I don’t want to subject my parents to him. I’d rather not share my parent’s lesser selves  with someone who has no regard for me or them.

I need to see my daughter too. As you would have read in my About page, she doesn’t live with me and my husband. She lives with her father’s parents in another parish and goes to school there. She spends time with her father in Florida in the Summer months and should really spent time with me during the Xmas season, but in the last couple of years she’s been reluctant to come by me. I can’t say I blame her. My husband always finds a way to show her the side I try to keep her away from why she’s not with me in the first place. We constantly argue when my daughter is not here and he can’t make an effort not to create some offence when she is around for the short time I have her. I think she finds the environment in my home distasteful, or maybe just less luxurious than what she is used to in her second home. I don’t know. Maybe the grandparents are part of the problem too, spoiling her so she can’t accept what I have to offer her.

So as I was saying I didn’t see her at Christmas or New Year and I feel like a bad mother. I feel guilty and conflicted all the time since she’s not been with me, which is major part of my deep unhappiness.

I want to spend time with her,  but I don’t like to be with her and feel depressed, and the idea of travelling so far to see her when I’m in a state that can’t deal with anything stressful, is additionally off-putting. She also doesn’t seem to need me that much anymore either. She’s almost 16 and has friends and  activities that seem more important to her at this time than being around her mother. So I feel unneeded and a bit angry with her sometimes for that, but my mood soon changes to sadness. I can’t blame her. She is just a young girl trying to chart her path and make sense of the adolescent changes in her body.

How can I be upset at her? I didn’t take charge of my life. I made the mistakes. I decided to sacrifice having her by my feet and suffer my own punishment, so that she would have a better life and would not be harmed by my mistakes. It became imperative that she must never take the same road I have taken, never be smeared by the mud I had settled in. So I’ve decided to let her have a better home, an argument-free home where I pray to God, she will blossom into a confident young woman who will know how to assert herself when she grows up and never mistake sadistic romance for love.

I  take full responsibility for all the crap I’ve allowed to happen in my life, the learned helplessness, the mistakes, the fact I’ve allowed people, especially the men in my life to walk all over me and take my happiness, break my spirit and increasingly reduce my self-worth. It’s my pound of flesh to give so she can do much better than I have and achieve all the good things an empowered life can offer. But I still fret that  it could all go wrong and my painful sacrifice could be in vain; wonder whether it is possible that I could have passed the learned helplessness and abuse psyche to her genetically and the cycle may stubbornly continue despite my best efforts to separate her from this curse.

1:30 p.m. I start getting ready to go meet my girlfriend. I was the dishes, mop the kitchen and straighten up the bed which I’d left tussled since I came out of it after 3 p.m. this morning. I battle with the little voice that tells me to cook dinner and leave it for my undeserving husband. I recall he had said his shift would end at 6 p.m., so I estimate I would have enough time to spend time with my friend and return in time to make dinner. A hurt voice of passive resistance tells me not to make any dinner. Don’t keep making him feel that what he is doing is okay. Stop being a doormat. I iron, shower, get dressed and head out the door 30 minutes later than I had told my friend I would be there to meet her. But she’s patient, I console myself. She’ll wait and won’t make a fuss. She calls to check where I am me and I tell her I am on my way.

2:30 p.m. I arrive at Megamart where we had agreed to have lunch at the food court. We spend time catching up talking about her ‘new friend’, her wish to have a baby (She’s 40 this year and a divorcee) and my inability to get pregnant with my husband. I counsel her to be careful on the dangers of rushing into a two month old relationship with a double divorcee. I am married to one, so I know first-hand the baggage they can carry. She extols his virtues and express concern about a few of his issues while we eat.After an hour she seems to be getting antsy and we leave.

3:45 p.m. I follow her to search for gifts to take back to Florida for friends, and then take a taxi to her home to pick up the few gifts she had brought me but which she had forgotten to bring with her to the lunch date. I greet and chat with her mom who I had not seen since college days. We chat for about 30 minutes about the state of affairs in the country.

4:45 p.m. My friend walks me to the bus-stop where I hail a taxi which takes me to the plaza we had left from. From there I take another taxi home. When I get home, I see my husband is already there. Guess the shift ended an hour early than he had claimed it would have. I let myself in, put down my things. We pass each other like two sailboats on the ocean. No horn is tooted. He goes outside. I change my clothes. There is soup on the stove that he had made for himself. I sit on the couch and turn on my laptop. I browse and read.

6:45 p.m. He comes back into the house. He picks up his laptop and puts it on his knees and soon is engrossed in his favourite game of cards. A popular radio talk show is booming through the radio speakers just beside where I sit. I am annoyed and want to turn it down but decide against touching his stuff.

8:00 p.m. He attaches his laptop to the radio sound system and watches the television news through WIFI Internet that I have not paid for in the last five months since I stopped working. I’ve been praying everyday they don’t come to cut it. It sounds bad, but I’d be really lost without the Internet to keep me company. I live with a man who does nothing but work, sleep, work. We  have no social life. He has taken me out on a date since we married, even though I’ve asked to. We have been to the beach once in the last five years since we married. I never had a honeymoon because he asked back for the money he had given me to pay down so he could use it for his uncle’s funeral. His promises to make up for the lost honeymoon since then has been forgotten. He has never had the money to do such ‘foolishness’ since then. Neither has he told me ‘Happy Anniversary’ since we married because he always find something to be upset about the night or days  before and the ‘malice’ always conveniently lasts until the day of the anniversary. And over time, my laptop has replaced him as my loyal, peaceful companion.

8:40 p.m.  He sighs, gets up and irons his work shirt for the next day. I would usually have washed and ironed, but since the impasse, I have left those duties to him. On Saturday evening, I overheard him making plans with a woman to wash his clothes for him. He didn’t discuss this with me before to see how I felt about it, but I figure it is his way to reiterate that I need to get up and get a job which he has been saying these past few weeks in more and more disrespectful tones. I had asked him why he needed to go there. Amidst my distrust issues with him after an incident a few months ago involving a woman, he knew and I told him I didn’t like the plan and there was no need for it as I was already washing for him. But he let me know, I would be at work. The innuendo was not lost on me. But to go ahead without discussing this with me and letting me into who he was asking was I felt a form of disrespect and another attempt to  alienate me in his psychological games and a show of  passive resistance which he has subjected me to and taught me since we married these past five years come the 29th of January.

Now, I have become a master at the game too, and I give back as good as I get these days.

After completing his ironing, he listens to some more tv news. I read and browse some more.

9:00 p.m. He turns in for bed. I decide to complete this post which I had started earlier today.

10:30 p.m. I have completed drafting my post. I need to put some finishing touches on it before publishing. I need to publish it tonight too. If I let it sit, I may change my mind.

I realise I have shared a lot more than I am used to, but ‘cho’. . . I need to get some of this stuff out of me so my spirit can rise from the ashes at this dark time in my life. I need strength to bear my cross. My emotional turmoil has burgeoned into a stone that’s hanging around my neck. I’m in sink or swim mode, and despite my immobile feet, my spirit commands me to ‘swim’.

As  a few of my fellow bloggers told me earlier this week, this is my blog, my story to write. I’ll write what I want to write. Maybe it’s time to break the cords of helplessness that has dogged me for too long, time to find my voice, reach for the fulfilment that has evaded me for far too long . . . time to smell the roses in the rose garden.

 

 

 

Will It Just Be Your Heart That Breaks?

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Stuck in fear.

You are in the phase in your marriage where you know it’s over and things are not going to get better, but you’re not ready to face the sunset, to let go. You play his manipulation game, wishing the charm of the last evening could last, but it doesn’t this morning. And anger, denial and fear tussle daily trying to keep the inevitable at bay. It’s a scary place.

You  wish you could jump over the years after the oncoming separation/divorce and be at the place where the dulled pain is and the sun shines again. You’re scared to go through the forest. You may not survive, You may go insane. It’s been too much held down for too long.

When it comes up, will you be able to handle so much? Will things break? Will it just be your heart that breaks is the question that makes your knees shake.

Blogging for a Better New Year

blog new year   blogging for a new year

Happy New Year Bloggers.

I don’t make New Year resolutions. I feel too guilty when I renege on them, so I will make it a prayer today.

Lord help me live my life and blog more fearlessly in 2015.

Now that is out of the way, I need your help to  evaluate my blog.

Did you ever suffer from confidence issues about your writing or your blog? How did you overcome or tackle these?

It’s said that the blogging life of new bloggers is very short and a great number of new blogs fail within the first three years. As comments trickle in and long gaps emerge between posts when I receive no notifications, I too have faced the spectre of my own demise. Lately I’ve been asking myself whether it’s worth continuing this blog. I have even begun to doubt my ability to write. I scrutinise the blog to see it with my readers’ eyes, but there will be always a blindspot that you can’t see past in your own work.

I have read the blogging pundits and taken WordPress classes and tried to apply the guidelines. In and out of WordPress forums, I have spent time supporting other bloggers in the community by reading and commenting, yet it is all too easy to feel alienated. I don’t feel a part of a writing community sometimes. My readership is not growing as I would like, and my comment boxes remain predominantly empty.

I also hear ‘guest post, guest post’ as the way to build readership, but I panic at the thought of writing on someone else’s blog.

I know there are several areas in which I need to improve. I am not certain if it’s my subject, my writing,  or whether the problem is that I need to focus and tweak my niche or target audience. I know I am not very consistent. I don’t follow a blogging schedule or all too often do not stick to my promises to write what I say I will write. I sometimes don’t take enough time to proofread and let the post sit for a day or two before publishing, so some errors escape. I let posts sit in drafts forever instead of cleaning or completing them so can be pressed.

I’d like to make an effort to find all the holes in my blog as I step into the new year. So if you can find some time, could you answer these questions for me?

1.  What do you like about my blog? What was your favourite post?

2. What do you think I should improve or change to win over new or win back my readers?

2. If you were running my blog, how would you make it pop?

3. What makes you connect with a blog?

4. What more can I do to connect with my readers?

5. I’ve tried all the marketing tactics for getting more comments on my posts. Still it doesn’t generate the feedback I expect. What tips that work for you could you share with me?

6. Does it really have to take years as the blogging pundits say to build a blog from scratch?

Thank  you for your constructive feedback. Happy Blogging in 2015!

Thank You, Sorry, Who Cares? 72 do

I want to extend special thanks to those who took the time to follow and read my blog this year. I enjoyed your visit. It feels good to know you were interested in what I had to say when I did say anything.

I am also sorry that my blogging pattern has fallen off recently. Life gets in the way and I often struggle with whether I should blog about my issues.

‘Who cares’ is the voice I battle with.

‘Why dump your bad days on your readers? Everyone has their own troubles, you don’t need to spew more onto them.’

That voice most often wins.

It’s a voice I’ll have to battle as the new year approaches. I either have to stay on the blogging horse or get off altogether. But I’d like to continue blogging, put my voice out there, even if it’s one of dissent or depression, or conversations with myself. It’s my rose gardens. It’s my thorns. It’s what I said I’d blog about, even when its a streak of thorns that seems to be all I can stumble through.

And maybe not everyone will ‘stay away’ if I share my personal failures. Maybe there are other people who can identify with my caged bird stories. Maybe I don’t need to listen to that discouraging voice that keeps asking, Who cares? Or maybe I should just ignore the Notifications and the site stats that I check way too often and just write what’s on my over-analytical, not so lucid brain. Feel the immobilising fear and write about it cause that’s what I feel and experience at this point.

Forget what my About page says and it’s promises and that I’m not sticking to the big picture and the goals and just write. Admit that I am a lazy, distracted blogger who reads too much about what other ‘successful’ bloggers say defines my success. Admit that I probably am never gonna make it big or have the same site stats that some bloggers have. Maybe I should just stop all the marketing and just write and who will come, come. Maybe I should stop thinking and just let my thoughts flow as they are doing now, not really going anywhere, just saying, y’know.

Put my good, my bad, my sense and my nonsense until my change comes… a  new vibe, the ‘what’ I’m aiming to become.

Whole, lucid, prolific.

Maybe I should just ‘say’ and forget the rest. Who will come, will come. Or maybe I should change my focus to reflect the dynamic patterns of my life. Probably that’s what I should do. Not try to be a magazine, just be a blog. Be the little train car and not the whole train. At least for now, until my change comes.

For now and today, all I have are fragments and a hoarse discordant song.

You can listen in  or not. Tomorrow gifts a new day.

When I MAY HAVE A NEW SONG, a more perfect one.

Thanks for keeping me company in my rose garden this year.

I was truly blessed to be read by the universe. When I am asked again, Who cares?

I’ll stick my chin up and proudly say

My 72 followers and 1,300 visitors who just viewed and stopped to chat or just silently cheered from the side-lines.

Thank you, yes you.

Have a fantastic 2015!

(UPDATED) The 10 Best Things (I Admire) about America and Americans

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Screenshot of my Stats Summaries page showing top country views for all time

 

(This content was originally published December 2014. Content Updated on July 4, 2016)

This post was originally published two years ago. I’m updating it today to dedicate it to Americans for two reasons: It’s America’s Independence Day and I want to celebrate the fine citizens of that country and pay homage to their history and independence achievement. Based on my blog stats, my American readers are also the top readers of all time of this blog since I started Rosegardens and Thorns six years ago.

I know there are some uncomplimentary things that can be said about every country, but that is not what my post is about. In every thing, in every country, we have good and bad. There is no utopia in this world.

Sometimes we need to hear a good news side of the stories. There’s enough evil in the world. The Best of . . .  seeks to cast your attention to that goodness. My post will reflect an overall impression of the goodness of the country and its people; it doesn’t mean everyone in a country is that way. I’m going for patterns, not individuals. With me? Great. So here are my 10 Best Things I admire about America and Americans.

The Best Things about America and Americans

1. Big hearts.  America is big, but so is its people’s heart. They didn’t acquire the label, ‘land of dreams’ by default. Americans are known to be kind and are generous to a fault. They are quick to share their wealth with their fellow man and are givers of second chances. America today is a huge melting pot of cultures because they have opened their shores and borders to those seeking refuge from persecution, enslavement and poverty in their homelands. Americans will readily break bread and give a person who is hungry. It’s not to say they are stupid, for just as how they quickly open their pockets, hearts and home to those in need; an injured America can pay forward swift and painful karma to those who abuse their generosity and loyalties.

2. You are Accountable. Although not a Bible-beating society today, Americans still govern their society against certain morals, values and standards and expect those who govern them to abide by these principles. For example, Americans decry lying and fraud, actions which many countries gloss over as a way of life. Children are taught early that lying and cheating have severe consequences. Americans will call you out for lying and cheating. If you are a public official, rest-assured Americans will not stop until you are impeached for your fraud.

3. Anti-corruption. In the same vein, America has built a business culture that prizes ethics and transparency. Corruption is not regarded, expected or tolerated of public figures and businesses. If the whistle blows and they’re caught with pants down, pants droppers will do what they know they ought to: resign. I know a few countries who could take a page from the Americans.

4. Happiness Custodians. The toughest of them are romantics and dreamers who will get teary-eyed and sniffly over a hurt dog, the underdog, unlikely heroes and Cinderella stories. It’s this ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ quality that makes them try to save the world. I believe Americans deem themselves happiness custodians. Which other country has rebranded customer service people as “happiness engineers” (Click to hear Pharrell Williams ‘Happy”)?

Because  happiness is their truth, they have built dream castles like Hollywood and Disney land to give the world ‘escape’ through fantasy. Through television and cable, the world, including those of us in Third World countries can live our aspirations vicariously through the people behind the silver screens and take comfort that we are never alone in our human experiences. Through their movie and music industries and the moving picture, we on the other side of the screen can escape from our own harsh worlds to laugh, cry, empathise, fall in love with or despise our alter egos in heroes and stars for a brief moment before real world intervenes. But often, that break is enough to enervate and inspire us to  keep on moving and surviving our own real life dramas.

5. Literacy a Prized commodity. They acknowledge and push literacy and education as the pillows of societal advancement. Books and reading are prized commodities and heirlooms in the homes of most American families. Their Publishing industry is the most thriving in the world. Authors are celebrities in that country; you can actually make a living from writing in America where a book in the hand is worth more than a gold nugget. There are no cobwebs in public or home libraries because book worms are always lurking there. The American reading habit is one I most covet for my home country.

6. Can’t take their rights. Americans know and take their rights seriously and will fight against any breach or threat to those rights. Misfits and animals have rights in that country and Americans expect the world to follow suit. Once you are an American citizen you can claim and enjoy the same rights. I admire how American consumers from all social backgrounds clan up to boycott any unreasonable increases in prices. The consumer is respected in that country, and it is so because they value their hard-earned money, their right to eat healthy, to choose, to vote and be taken seriously, and they demand and exercise these rights to keep their capitalists and leaders in check.

7. Kids rule the Kingdom. They value and regard children as vulnerable and must be protected by the state. I love the public outrage at those who seek to hurt children. They do not hide them. Justice is swift for pedophiles and abusers; even parents have to watch themselves as they could be hauled before a court for neglect or abuse if they spank their kids, something Americans have come under criticism for from those who believe that parents are the kings, not kids and who take it for granted that kids should be seen and not heard. Wise move or foolish move, love them or hate them for their ‘kids rule’ philosophies, it’s still heart-warming that children’s rights are still largely protected in America.

8. Free Press. Without a free press, there really is no freedom. I love the gusto and the bravado with which the American press tackles issues. They dig and dig deep. They are like little moles and mosquitoes. They will come up with something and anything that is in the woodwork. They build careers and will break them the next minute as those who have been granted stewardship of public trust and admiration find out as soon as they begin to behave like demigods. In essence, the press in America are doing what the people trust them to do: keep public stewards and celebrities accountable and minding their p’s and q’s in the interest of the public. I believe the American press has kept Americans free.

9. Free Speech. Americans are vocal and opinionated. Just as the press is free, so is speech. The two go hand in hand as the press gives voice to this free speech and we see and hear it in the myriad of tv and radio talk shows all over the country. Is there a thing as too much free speech? Americans haven’t heard of it.

10. Free Internet. From their living room, the ordinary Joe/Jane can communicate with the globe through the internet which, thank God, has remained free to date (knock on wood). America has made the globe smaller because of the gift of the Internet. It’s this reason that has enabled me to write this post and know that when I hit ‘Publish’ I become an author, enabled with the authority and the power vested in me by my readers to influence and inspire, educate and adjudicate on subjects of my choice. That I can stay in my country and be read by people from parts of the globe I’ve never even visited is simply amazing and humbling. The invention of the Internet has opened up communication platforms which have torn down socialist and communist walls and given franchise to opportunities to peoples and generations that never dreamed it could happen, and I thank inventive Americans for their role in that.

I also thank Wordress for the free platform that is enabling and realising the dreams of indie writers who would otherwise be still writing in parchment diaries stifled by a social order once determined and dominated by the publishing bourgeoisie.

To pay my respects to all my Americans readers and show some more country love, here’s to The Star-Spangled Banner. (Video)

One last word for my American readers, before you go, would you kindly click on the link below? Remember to click the back arrow to come right back. Just wanna say….

Thanks for being my friend Pikachu. (Credit: multitudeofgifs.tumblr.com)

Content Thieves giving you Writer’s ache? Ways to Chase Those Crazy Baldheads outta Town

As some of you know by now, not very long ago I discovered that all my posts were being pirated by this parasitic website, news.sysmaya.net. Since then two bloggers have contacted me with a similar discovery — they are being pirated.

While trying to find advice on how to tackle this extremely disabling problem (I’m now less inclined to write here), I have come across other writers complaining about the piracy of their e-books.

It is with some measure of relief that I have found that there are a few things that an affected writer/blogger can do to seek some kind of justice. Kissmetrics writer Kristi Hines explores these solutions in a detailed and eye-opening article which you’ll get a chance to read later in this post.

Here is a synopsis of some of her recommended approaches:

1. Create a Google Alert for your posts. Google Alerts will do searches across the Web and inform you each time it finds  your content duplicated on the Web. Quick Tip: To narrow and refine your searches, put quotation marks around the name of your website or your name. For example: “How to Catch Content Thieves.”

2. Copyscape is a search engine that can also help you search for your pirated content. Copy and paste your URL in the search slot and the site will return finds of websites using the exact language.

3. Check your site’s Webmaster Tools to see which sites are linking to your content. You can then check out whether these links are legitimate or not.

4. Find the culprit using a site called Whois Look Up.

5. Exert your rights under United States law with a DMCA Take Down Notice. You can visit the DMCA site and pay for one of two options it offers to get your stolen content taken down. According to the site, the DMCA can also execute these actions on your behalf in whichever country the content scraper resides.

6. Embed an RSS footer plug-in into your posts. (I’m not certain if this will work for WordPress.com users)

Read more here: Content Scrapers – How to Find Out Who is Stealing Your Content & What to Do About It.

Ebook Piracy and Reblogging

Are you a victim of ebook piracy? This guest post by Kathryn Goldman, an intellectual property attorney sheds some light on some recourses you can take.

Blogger/Author Molly Greene also had a bit to say about people who reblog whole posts without the writer’s permission. Read 5 Ways Re-Posting Other Bloggers’ Content Rips Them Off.

Based on feedback from other bloggers who have had similar experiences, chasing down content scrapers and pirates can become a tedious pursuit, one many have decided is not worth the time and expense.

Those who have achieved successful take-downs advise that a good dose of persistence, along with some legal muscle is the way to get results.

They say knowledge is power. Now I know what my options are, I will be able to detect more content thieves (though I pray God they stay away from my site), and in the words of Bob Marley can  ‘chase those crazy baldheads out of town’.

Teary Tuesday: Grief and Joy — You will Cry Too When You see these Images

Today is a teary Tuesday for me.

I cried because I can’t understand the ugliness in the world. (Be prepared. This is very graphic.)

Publisher Credit: Sudhir Byaruhanga

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Words desert me.

These images will stay with me for a long time.

A little Kindness

I cried because there is still kindness left in this world.

Publisher Credit: Break.com

happy tear smile

There is still beauty in this world.

Now I’m crying for a child, next I’m laughing for a deserving mother.

But deep down, both have pulled my heart strings.

It’s a teary Tuesday.

Tears of grief; tears of joy.

smiley sad teary tuesday

Post script: Latest reports are that the child is recovering in hospital. Thank God for angels. One must have been watching. Parents, start watching what happens in your house. Don’t let any more monsters in. Invest in a nanny cam, Spend time and carefully screen your babysitters. Let’s protect our children.

Try a little Kindness Today. Watch more #PrankitFWD and help Break.com raise money for charity: http://www.break.com/prankitfwd

I leave you with this classic old song from Glen Campbell.

Less tears. More Joy. Walk good, my friends.

Sunday Satires: O My Gaffe! The Day ‘The Cord’ rained on my Flirt Parade

 

My Sunday Gaffes Challenge should have started last Sunday, but I guess everyone is over at that novel writing challenge Nah No-Rhyme Oh… Nah? Got it wrong?  Na—No—Wri—Mo—. Yes? Got it now.  (*Aside*  Way a miyit. Gatho unthwis my thong.  I meant my tongue. What a terrible Acronym) :0 Just kidding, Nanos.

Fun aside, terrible timing too for me, right?

Anyway, for whatever the reason, since posting the Sunday Satires: O My Gaffe! Challenge earlier this month, no one has taken up the challenge. I had asked folks to sign up for the challenge in the comment box of the post. Nada. It won’t last forever either.

So hear what, we have a week to go before the Challenge closes, so send me those social gaffe posts. You’ve never put your foot (figuratively) in your mouth or seen someone else do so? (*scoff*) Of course you have.  At one time or the other, we’ve all gaffed; or giggled, chuckled, snorted, snickered, or guffawed at someone who has.

To give you an example of what I expect you to write about, I’ve decided to share a post. It’s a recount  of one of the most memorable, biggest and most embarrassing gaffes I’ve ever ‘committed’.

Warning to my gentlemen readers: It’s about to get very feminine around here, but stick around anyway; I won’t be too graphic.

My Big Gaffe: In the late 90’s I was working as a newspaper reporter. It so happened that I was investigating the dismissal of an employee at the country’s most popular resort group at that time.

Somehow word leaked to the resort owners that I was following the story and the editor of the society desk of the newspaper which I worked for called me and told me that the wife of the owners wanted to speak with me. I spoke with Mrs Bigwig (not her real name, of course) and almost immediately after the phone call,  Society Editor conspicuously assigned me to cover an opening of said resort property which was being renovated in Montego Bay.

I was packed up and flown down in Bigwig Resorts corporate plane and then driven to their corporate offices. There, I was  met by the son of the owners who then drove me to the city where the scheduled opening was to take place. He was quite nice and we had a friendly conversation on the ride down.

Soon after I returned though, I noticed I was being asked to do a cover feature on Mr Island’s Most Eligible Batchelor nominee for the magazine, and before I knew it I was getting day passes to their hotels and I was being assigned to cover anything related to the property that Society Editor wanted. We had struck up a friendship (in retrospect, it has become clear that all that was part of a  big PR conspiracy in conjunction with my society editor to gain the resort free write ups, and I was young,  pretty and gullible.)

My family lived in the resort parish, so on an occasional Friday evening when I wanted to beat the three hour commute by bus, it was not unusual to call him (he had offered) and ask if he was heading home as well, and I would join him on a flight down to the resort town. As I said, he was kind and never inappropriate, and I developed a massive (probably one-sided) crush on him.

I met the girlfriend eventually.

But back then, I was still under the influence of Mills and Boons millionaire-prince- marries- innocent- working class-girl romance stories, and it was easy to delude myself that a romance between him and myself was possible. Of course I was very shy and I never shared my feelings openly with him, but he was a playboy so he probably read my blushes when I was around him all too well.

So, one weekend I was invited to attend a jet  ski conference that he and friends were hosting at one of their properties (My gut told me it was another free PR opp to squelch a government ban after a fatal jet-ski accident around the same time).

After an invigorating and scary jet across the sea, we stopped and parked on the beach of the hotel where the press conference was to be held.

A few of my reporter colleagues decided to lark and climb the low hanging trees that were on the beach.

I guess I was trying to get the attention of my ‘crush’ who had been flashing me killer smiles every time our eyes met. He and other staffers and jet skiiers were gathered around on the beach below. So, to show off my tree climbing skills, I clambered  up amongst the branches. I was of course wearing my bikini bottom. My period had come from  the Friday before and so I was wearing a tampon. I felt very secure in my tampon and the tv advertisements claim that  ‘all day, all ways doesn’t stop a girl from having fun’.

Shortly after returning to my hotel room, I went to check my stuff. And what should I find, but my tampon cord hanging out of my bikini? Hmm, no biggie. Let’s fix that, I remember thinking.

But then (BIG GASP)…..my mind flipped back to my harmless little romp in the tree and  it slowly dawned on me that my little wayward feminine cord may have gotten me attention from my ‘crush’ in the worst way a girl would ever want.

If embarrassment could kill, I would have tied a thousand deaths in that bathroom as the mortifying memory rushed at my consciousness like a speeding freight train. O. MY. GAFFE!! (Not these words exactly, but you know.)

Good thing he didn’t fly back with us to Kingston. I would have had a epileptic attack from blushing.

To this day, I still grimace in embarrassment when I think of the incident.

Moral of the Story: If you decide to wear a tampon and bikini bottoms and then go jet skiing, chances are something is going to get dislodged. Take my advice. Wear a shorts over your bikini. And never follow the crowd and climb a tree to get a guy’s attention. Murphy’s Law: anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Note to Self: Don’t trust in feminine cords;  they tend to pull unexpected stunts. May rain on my flirt parade.

Big Life Lesson: From that day, I have never tried to be coy with a guy unless I had checked in with my inner cord.

Have you have a similar feminine gaffe rain on your flirt parade? Would you like to share your story or another satirical post with my readers? Read the instructions in the link I posted above, and leave a comment indicating your interest in participating.

You can also sent me your post by email at taylor-karen@hotmail.com. I’m dying to hear your story.

DAVY LEARNS A HARD LESSON

I don’t usually write short stories on this blog, but a good friend asked me to write a children’s book story for her eight year old son’s Library assignment this week and I wrote this. Let me know if you like it. I’ve always dreamed of writing children stories. I must say she was thrilled with the story, and I like it myself. It’s not perfect, but for a first timer, I don’t think I did too badly. 

 DAVY LEARNS A HARD LESSON

BY KAREN TAYLOR

Davy

Davy

Davy was a puppy who liked having his own way.
Whenever his mom told him not to do something, he did the opposite.
His cries were often heard in the neighbourhood as his mother frequently spanked him.
Today he was receiving a spanking. Again.

His mother had told him not to go on the street to play. But he had disobeyed and while his brother Lion took a nap, he bored through a hole in the fence only he knew about and went to visit his friend Marianne, a poodle who lived five houses down the road and the prettiest girl dog in the community. (Davy and his family were Alsations.)

Marianne, Davy's best friend

Marianne, Davy’s best friend

He had planned to go back home before his mom came back. She had gone with Mrs Lewis, their caretaker, to the vet for a worm infestation complaint.

But they came back earlier than he thought, and he was having too much fun playing Catch the ball with Marianne and her owner to hear when Mrs Lewis’ car pull up.

When his brother Lion appeared at Marianne’s gate, he knew he was in trouble. His heart thumping with fear, he bid goodbye to his friend and followed Lion, preparing for the punishment that he knew his mother would inflict on him as soon as he arrived home.

Ten minutes later, Davy was licking his hurting haunches, and angrily sniffling over the injustice of being punished for wanting to play with his friend. Davy decided that he would find a way to run away.

He would persuade Marianne to come with him and they would start their life far away from here together. He would marry Marianne when they were older and have their own family. And he would never beat his children. He would give them their freedom to enjoy themselves and together they would be always happy.

So, the entire night Davy thought about his grand plan and by morning he was certain that it was the best decision he had ever made.
————————

Two days later, Davy had managed to get out again and made plans with Marianne, who had agreed, somewhat reluctantly, to go with him.

On that same night, shortly after nightfall, Davy crawled through the secret opening in the picket fence and trotted away from his home. He was a little scared, but he comforted himself with the fact that Marianne would be waiting for him under the big tree behind her house as she had promised.

Swiftly, he headed to Marianne and his new life ahead.

But Marianne was not at the spot. He waited. Five minutes turned to ten and ten minutes soon became 30. Where could she be?

He decided to go look for her. Maybe her caretaker had learnt about the plan and locked her inside. Maybe she was sick, he fretted.

He didn’t know what to do. He could not bark because he didn’t want to alert his family (his mom’s ears were extremely sharp) or Marianne’s caretaker that he was out there.

He went to the window of the living room where Marianne usually sleeps in a feather bed. “Marianne,” he whispered. “Marianne, it’s Davy. Come out.”

But Marianne did not come out. It was getting really dark now, and he was seeing fireflies in the dark.

He was afraid of fireflies and bats. They were flying monsters that his brother Lion told him flew about after dark looking for little puppies who were out of bed, to have as supper.

‘Oh, how would he find his way back home now? How could Marianne have let him down so? Why had he thought running away was a good idea in the first place? He should have listened to his mother. Oh,’ Davy whimpered fretfully.

As he made his way back home, tears were in his eyes. His heart was in his throat. He jumped when a Tom cat meeoowed and flashed its evil witch eye at him. The fireflies were everywhere now and seemed to be chasing him. An owl hooted in a tree above.

Davy decided to make a mad dash for home. He had to get home; home where no strange things went bump in the night.

He missed his mother and Lion.  Suddenly she didn’t seem so wicked anymore. She and Lion had only been trying to protect him. Oh, how wrong he had been. They were his family and they loved him. Marianne obviously did not love him as much as he did her. Or maybe she was just smarter than he was. ‘Oh hum, never mind,’ he barked miserably as he leaped through the bushes.

Finally, he saw the white picket fence that had been his home for the last four years. Thank you God, he prayed.
As he bounded through the hole, his mom and Lion who were there waiting worriedly yelped their relief and fell on him in happiness. His mother was crying, and soon everyone’s face was wet.

They sat and talked for a long time, and for the first time his mom shared the story of how she had lost his father when he had run into a car on the street. It was the first time he was hearing the story of his father’s death. He now understood why she had been so strict on him going out. She was afraid to lose him too.

That night Davy learnt that parents put rules in place to protect their pups from dangers they cannot see themselves. He also learnt that it was selfish to think the world revolved around him. He shouldn’t have asked Marianne to run away with him. She was right to not come.

Epilogue

He did eventually forgive Marianne, and the two became closer friends. They later married and had puppies that looked like both of them. And he loved them. But when one was wayward, he spanked. And afterwards, he would gather all his pups around him, and he would tell them the  familiar tale about the night he learnt two important lessons: to obey rules and consider others’ feelings. He taught them to remember one thing, even though they were too young to understand why: parents are always wiser and they always care even when it seems otherwise.

Davy and Marianne’s pups

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdownloadmixed pups

The End