wwcitizen: (Uuuuuuh)
Who looks in their spam folder anymore? It's spam. I think I peer into any of mine because I'm looking for a note from a friend who's never sent me an email. More often than not, though, those kinds of communications never land in my spam for some reason anyway. So, I rarely if ever check it.

Today, however, on a whim, I did. There's spam about adverts and the typical "Win an iPAD!" crap.  Today's spam of note was this one from a "lonely Russian".  It was a really, really creepy note written in really poor English.

I have to wonder: how many people nowadays really, truly respond to these emails anymore? Who responds specifically to the Nigerian princesses who have "one billion pounds" for someone to acquire as a result of responding with their social security number in the reply? My thought is quite a few: Wouldn't the originators stop sending them around - eventually - if such emails never garnered responses?  I think they send out the spam in the hopes of getting at least email addresses in order to send other spamming things with links to websites that inflict viruses, trojans, and worms.

The sad thing is, there are lots and lots of lonely people out there who, against their better judgement and lack of exposure, or based on the simple human desire to connect, will respond to these things. The catastrophes that could possibly ensue are numerous and most of these people will unwittingly invite an electronic vampire into their homes.
wwcitizen: (TV Watching)
Over heard today - so sweet:

Guy #1: "Have you ever heard of Prairie Home Companion?"
Guy #2: "No, what's that?"
Guy #1: "It's this radio show on NPR (National Public Radio) that airs on Saturday evening; reminds me of when I was a kid."
Guy #2: "Oh yeah?"
Guy #1: "Yeah, they have music and last weekend they had this really great band!"
Guy #2: "Oh yeah?"
Guy #1: "Yeah, and the band's going on tour."
Guy #2: "You don't say."
Guy #1: "I looked 'em up and they'll be heading to Britain first, though. But they were so good. This one girl played the crap out of her clarinet - like I've never heard it played before. So good!"

Background to this and why it's so sweet:

The Prairie Home Companion is a terribly nostalgic show. It makes me think of A Christmas Story: Kids in the pre-TV years used to hover around the radio with their parents to listen to the radio shows, Roosevelt's fireside chats, mini-dramas like War of the Worlds.  I did a self-study course in college on German radio plays from the 1960s and 1970s, which was really fun and interesting.

I just cannot for the life of me imagine someone playing the "crap out of her clarinet" before. What must that sound like?
wwcitizen: (Lincoln Tunnel)
This morning at QuikCheck, the cashiers were trying to lure customers into visiting any QuikCheck at lunchtime for a free submarine sandwich. In order to get the free sub, you had to succumb to a hand stamp.

I had stopped there for veggie snacks on my way to work. It's a "quik stop" off the highway. I overheard the cashier explaining the "Sub Club stamping program" to a female customer ahead of me: Once the cashier stamps a customer's hand, the customer can go to ANY QuikCheck today to receive a free sub sandwich for lunch. The female customer didn't seem to be heading to work (wearing jeans and a polo shirt) and even seemed to consider getting stamped for a free sub later. But she declined.

However, that QuikCheck gets a LOT of business folks throughout the morning on their way to their office. How could QuikCheck possibly expect that these business folks (like me) would want a "Sub Club Stamp" on their hand when they're heading to work (I don't know if that was the title of the program, but it sounds funny...).

My excuse? As I glanced dramatically at my hand and tie, I replied in a short burst of overacting, "Oh, I coudn't possibly have a stamp on my hand like that at the office. **sigh** Thanks, but no thanks."  <-- Not that I would return to any QuikCheck for a free sub for lunch today.  I wouldn't have returned to any QuikCheck even if they had offered some other form of "program conformity", like a paper coupon because I eat my lunch at work.  But, I if I had given the real excuse, I couldn't have been so audibly and visually dramatic this morning. It was invigorating to give the pretense of being high maintenance.  B-)

Somehow the previous customer's lack of enthusiasm left a morning drama void that I had to fill.

The whole thing was strange this morning. Even the cashier was visibly bothered and annoyed at having to ask me to stamp my hand - she even knew I was going to say, "Oh, huh-uh."

I'd never heard of any store offering a hand stamp in the morning for something free at lunch. Stupid campaign.
wwcitizen: (Car in the Country)

I am so irritated and flustered. I had just gotten off the phone with Matthew and turning off the highway onto the exit for the street where I work. There's always a back up at that exit.  I noticed this morning that the turn off traffic was backed up more than normal. I thought, "I'll cut through the Burger King or the diner parking lot and come up the back way onto my street (something I've never done before).

So, I turned into the Burger King parking lot, where no one was because it's closed this early in the morning, but out of the corner of my eye I see a car - don't know what kind. I get to the entrance to whatever the back street is leading up to "my" street, stop completely, notice that there's an "Entrance Only" thing for the Burger King parking lot and think, "Oops".

I make a right turn, safely - with no one behind me, and go up to the merge onto my street. Then I notice that there's an SUV DIRECTLY behind me. I mean like ON MY ASS. This SUV is RIDING MY ASS all the way from when I turned right and jerking back and forth.  I thought, "Oh, could this guy be seriously full on road rage this early in the morning?"

I almost felt like pulling over to the side of the road to let the guy pass.  Instead, I make a legal merge/turn onto my street go over a bridge (that goes over the highway), stop at the next traffic light - fine. This guy is still ON MY ASS. Even through the light, he's lurching forward, jerking back and forth, and I think, "Jeez, fella, calm the hell down and get around me."

He finally does and pulls along side me. He's apparently an off-duty cop - not even in an undercover cop car!! I glared at him and soooo wanted to say, "Dude! Calm the fuck down!"

But, I didn't. He stays driving next to me, looking at me then back to the road for like a block. He's swerving and jerking his car as he keeps turning up his hands to look at his speedometer and back at me. All the while, I'm driving around 35 mph in a 40 mph zone.

He speeds up, passing me, but has to stop at the next traffic light and eventually turns left. So, it seems as though he was trying to make me speed and go over the speed limit or do something illegal, so that he could pull me over or something. I did nothing illegal - even in the BK parking lot, really.

There was no sign stating "No Thru Traffic", which some lots have if they're on the side of a highway.  And the "Entrance Only" sign is a private sign - not installed by the city, but possibly monitored by town cops. That's the only thing I could imagine was this guy's beef, but he couldn't really nail me on it.  Maybe I came into the parking lot too quickly. Who knows?

The only thing I could imagine being an issue is, the NJ statute that reads, "Operating a motor vehicle on public or private property to avoid a traffic control signal or sign". But, I wasn't avoiding a traffic signal; I was avoiding the backup of exit ramp traffic heading to the same signal I was ultimately heading towards, just from the other direction.

UGH!! That type of cop behavior pisses me off so much! Enough venting. Thank you for listening.

wwcitizen: (Uuuuuuh)
Everywhere we go in almost every city, there is some graffiti. San Francisco, Berlin, NYC, and DC have some of the best I've seen. Philadelphia is known for their spectacular murals (which are commissioned by neighborhoods), but I wouldn't classify those as graffiti. NYC has phenomenal graffiti. A few weeks ago, we were in the Lower East Side, and I captured a couple of interesting pieces from around Prune on 1st St. & 1st Ave. I noticed - possibly for the first time - that graffiti is now being painted on sidewalks or (as the Eyeworks piece was probably commissioned) on cellar doors, but on the sidewalk nonetheless.

Some captures of LES graffiti... )

Yesterday, we spent the late afternoon and evening in Brooklyn: Matthew had an appointment there next to the Brooklyn Brewery, so I dropped him off and spent about 30-45 minutes driving around checking out the graffiti in the area. I kinda wanna go back there and find more specimens.

Graffiti holds my interest because it's fleeting and dynamic! You see it, you appreciate it, and you might capture it.  It'll be there once for maybe a week or two, sometimes a month. Then it changes. Someone comes along to add their touch to the item.  Or someone else decides to cover that one with their own thing. The graffiti that is the most exciting is the wall that grows and expands off of one particular tag or image. San Francisco and Berlin graffiti artists, I find, tend to build on others' work, while in NYC, it seems that most artists want to be the ones on top. Perhaps the individual's or collective's cultural expression is coming through the graffiti and its placement - on top of others' work or next to and feeding off of another's.

Here are some examples of Brooklyn graffiti from yesterday's foray; notice the differences between Manhattan and Brooklyn graffiti. It's slight, but interestingly different and both unique.  Also, does a scarf wrap qualify as graffiti? Perhaps. Why not? One of the telephone poles in Brooklyn (below) has a knitted thing around the base, which is covered in graffiti. How about an old, broken, miniature skateboard? It's interesting to see that artists are using stencils and stickers more and more - why not other artistic mediums and materials - like yarn or wood? Enjoy!

See the Brooklyn graffiti collection... )

In honor of this graffiti post, I even graffiti'd my finger!
wwcitizen: (Tax Season - UGH)
I just changed my settings on Twitter NOT to post my tweets to LiveJournal. I hate the format, the re-tweets are impersonal, and just, well. Ugh. It's all too much.

BUT, my LJ posts do go to Twitter!  So, yay that.  (<-- saying that makes me think of [livejournal.com profile] dendren).  :-)

wwcitizen: (Uuuuuuh)
Hey there folks! If you're on Twitter and are interested in connecting to or following me, here's my Twitter page:

I only succumbed because my MATTHEW (@matthew_vecera) took the plunge the other day. This is his first real social media involvement and I kicked and screamed every step of the way whilst signing up for Twitter. I really, really didn't want to get involved, but because I wanna support my man, I did it. You can find him on there, too, but he's not posting much - yet.  ;-)  
wwcitizen: (For realz?)

OMG!! POOP!!!  It happened while I was asleep on the tarmac leaving NYC on the way to Florida.  Somebody simply had to use the bathroom and she couldn't hold it any longer. There was a small, round spot on the floor next to me and I thought I was helping folks by warning them about the spot.




Alas, later in the flight I stood up and looked toward the back of the plane. Someone really lost their shit.




The flight attendants poured coffee grinds all over the center aisle, which really helped with the smell and covered it all up. 




I really like JetBlue, but Matt swears the airline is going to shit.  Now, literally more today than ever.  He'll call it JetPoop from now on.  :-)


wwcitizen: (Uuuuuuh)

In the lobby earlier charging my phone, I kinda tired of hearing: "I saw that this house was picked up off its foundation and then moved a block down the road and then hit the neighbor's house!" Or "Yeah, ya know, listen... they keep picking up dead bodies!" Or "Edgewater is a complete disastah! I can't tell you how it looks! Trader Joe's? Oi, they're devastated!  Devastated!"


Did they not read or hear about the tsunami last year?  This highly pails in comparison.  At least Indian Point is still standing and suffered no ill effects from Sandy.  But I get it: THIS storm affected THEM or came this close (*showing an inch with my fingers*).

Oy! Gewalt!

Nov. 2nd, 2012 06:30 pm
wwcitizen: (Uuuuuuh)

I just inadvertently kinda freaked out a Jewish man in my building.  I'm sitting in the lobby charging a jumper battery for our phones. To keep myself amused, I was taking some pictures of the carp fish in the lobby.


An older Jewish man over my shoulder said "What are you doing?" in Yiddish (which has its roots in German, of course).


My knee jerk reaction? I answered him in English... "Just taking some pictures... oh, sorry you were speaking to your friend..."


He kinda got this big hopeful smile on his face, "You speak Yiddish?"


"No, I just understand it."


Then he turned to his friend to explain that I had understood what he'd said and that I speak Yiddish.


But I don't... :-)

wwcitizen: (NJ - Greetings)

So, it's day three of the aftermath of Sandy hitting NYC & NNJ (where we are). We are healthy and safe and that's the main thing really. It's hard to keep that in mind without electricity, TV, or internet, not to mention hot water.  But Matt and I have truly been making the absolute BEST of a bad situation. And even though we can't have a grill or natural gas in the condo, I am evermore astounded by and thankful for living in a high rise.  We have security, we have regular community updates, we have neighbors close by, and there are local businesses that are open and easy to get to.




Matt & I have also decided that once in a while, we'll eat solely by candlelight again. One, it's like romantical and stuff, and second, it'll -hopefully - keep this experience fresh in our minds. Of course hoping that something like this hurricane doesn't happen again to this degree in the near future, but also to remind us that we should totally unplug from time to time.

wwcitizen: (Rainbow Flag)
Would you travel to a country whose leaders actively persecute gays and lesbians?

Would you travel to a state where religious leaders want to round up gays and lesbians into concentration camps and leave them to die?  Would you travel to a place whose leaders advocate "punching the gay" out of innocent children?  Would you want any of these people making medical decisions for you?

What if you were rushed to the emergency room and your attending doctor's church advodates the killing of gays and lesbians?  How hard do you think he would fight to save your life?  What of that of your partner's life?

Could you expect these radicals to adbide by man's laws when they feel they're answering to a "higher law?"

If you're straight, would you want your gay children, family members, or friends to go to those places? Wouldn't you be afraid for them?

At first blush, what's your knee-jerk reaction?
wwcitizen: (Disney - S&M - Castle)
Matt reminded me of his most favoritest and most magicalest day ever at Disney this past May.

Matt, his sister's family, his aunt, and I had a character breakfast one morning at the Crystal Palace. Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger come out to visit everyone during breakfast, take pictures, and sign autographs for the kids. It's a lot of fun for everyone, though.

At the end of breakfast, Matt's sister started getting the kids ready to go run around the park. Matt and I got ready to leave and he had to go to the bathroom.  I waited for him outside in the vestibule of the dining hall.

Matt's prim-and-proper, 82-yr-old aunt, who looks like she could be Betty White's mother, made her way to the bathroom about 3 minutes later.  About 5 minutes later, Matt comes out of the bathroom motioning for me to get up and go.  I said, "Don't we need to wait for your aunt?"

He said, "Nope! She's fine! And I'll tell you why she's fine. Just go outside."

He told me that he was sitting in one of the stalls when he heard his aunt's voice saying, "Oh. There's a man in here. Oh, there's urinals. Oh, where's the nice couch?  Where am I?"

Matt sat there on the toilet silently with his hands covering his face.  The other man at the urinal finished his business and told his aunt patiently that she was in the men's room.  "The ladies' room is the next door over," he explained as he began washing his hands.

"Let me see what it says on this door here," she said, as Matt heard her open the door thinking to himself, "Does it really matter what it says on the door? There's a row of standing urinals against the wall."

He heard his aunt then shuffle out the door muttering to herself and the hallway, "They need better signs around here," in her best NJ Italian accent.

Bless her heart.

When he heard her muttering voice fade into the distance, he quickly lifted his face from his hands, pulled up his pants, and rushed out to tell me about the scene.  Of course, I quickly texted his sister about the scene, who said, "Nice!"
wwcitizen: (At Puter)
A buddy from Philly messaged me today in text and on Facebook. His note was about a picture that his neighbor showed him of this guy she's been chatting with from Colorado who's Italian and a veterinarian.  He recognized the face right away as Matthew and sent me the picture taken with his phone off her computer screen.  The picture on the left is from the girl's computer screen and the picture on the right is the original (same picture) that I took in 2008 during a trip to Newport, Rhode Island:
mail.google.com        DSC01196
It's strange to see your or a friend's face being used by someone else on their dating profile. I mean... what the hell are people thinking? When the guy shows up to meet the "person of his dreams", the expectant person won't recognize him!!  What's the point except maybe to get free naked shots of the person you're chatting with?  I dunno.

Years ago, just after I came out, I realized (naively) that people use others' photos or VERY outdated photos of themselves to entice people to meet them.  This one guy I met up with had posted pictures that were CLEARLY 15 years old and about 250 pounds earlier (not disparaging one's weight, cuz I ain't thin by any stretch! But when you say you're 6'2" and 185 lbs and you're obviously, really 5'10" and 350 lbs, that's a pretty drastic difference).  Another guy's pictures had been from about 20 years earlier.  On both accounts, having enough self-esteem and confidence, I told them nicely where they could put those photos and that they needed to be honest first with themselves, love themselves as they were, and then be honest with everyone else.

Why do that only with the greater possibility of being rejected?  If you've been rejected before because you didn't fit someone's bill, be honest with yourself and others from the get-go instead of having to (embarrassingly) admit that you're insecure!  I don't understand why people would want continuously to go through such rejection.
wwcitizen: (US Flag - LEARN PPL)
When Scott Walker survived his recall in WI last night, about 1/3 of my feelings leaned toward wanting to escape this country and move to Canada or some place else, or just sink into Xbox role playing games and escape. But the other 2/3 of me got really mad, frustrated, and concerned.
  • MAD at the situation and voter determination in WI. I sense that Walker wouldn't be above tainting the voting pool further to secure a win by any means possible. Still hoping for an indictment against Walker for corruption - that'll get the fucker out of office.
  • FRUSTRATED at Citizens United, when the ruling decidedly isn't about citizens of the US at ALL - it's about corporations. And corporations are NOT people.
  • CONCERNED about people who are apathetic to their voting rights and who aren't paying attention to what's going on in our country.
I want to inform people around our neighborhood about voting (after meeting 2 somewhat apathetic college girls yesterday). What can it hurt?  I'm not telling people how to vote, but I'm presenting information about how to register - whether they vote or not. Hopefully, once they've registered, they'll want to vote, too!  I'm putting together the following flier to hand out around my neighborhood.  I'm thinking about making a VistaPrint card to hand out, as well - just to hand out to people in NJ.


Click on “Voter Information” and read about:

How To, Who Can, & Where To Register, as well as answer “Am I Registered?”
Or call the Division of Elections toll free at 1-877-658-6837 for more info.


If you want your voice to be heard, you must


Feel free to copy/paste this information for your own state. Make copies and give to friends, neighbors, family members, and local businesses that you visit. Make sure that people are aware of their right to vote. Make sure that you have an impact on the 2012 election.

Here's how the VistaPrint card turned out:

wwcitizen: (US Flag - Old Glory)
"We the People of the United States... insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..." 

WE do this. WE have a voice. WE have the rights. WE have the power as Americans under the US Constitution to make change happen. WE can make things right and turn the tide of injustices and discrimination around. WE can. YES, WE CAN! 

Not our legislators. Not the corrupt politicians in our state, local, and federal offices. Not our corrupt justices who refuse to recuse themselves in the face of blatant unethical bias. WE the people do this. WE the people have a voice. WE the people have the rights. We do.

If anyone tells a US Citizen otherwise about their rights within our country, they are lying. They are liars. You have the right to vote. You have the right to a soapbox. You have a voice in our country. Anyone who opposes a US Citizen in those rights or attempts to dissuade a US Citizen from exercising their rights to vote and voice their opinion stand vehemently against the US Constitution.

I am truly and utterly ashamed of the NC GOP today. I am truly and utterly ashamed of NC ministers over the last couple of months who claim Christian love, but articulate threats of violence: Jesus Christ is not a homophobe - why should YOU proselytize otherwise? I am truly and utterly ashamed of the majority of North Carolinians who feel justified in continuing discrimination against my minority by passing Amendment One.

In NC, my state of birth, I have no power. I have no say. I am not a legal resident. Others, however, do have that power, a voice, and the rights in North Carolina.

No doubt about it: I am (absolutely) NOT a Republican. It's not about whether or not I'm liberal, it's simply that I'm not a part of the GOP by any stretch of anyone's imagination.  And in their bigotry, insolence, depravity, greed, love of money, and lust after power, they have forgotten our nation's foundation of freedom and the right of ALL of US AMERICANS to pursue happiness. I, sirs and madams, am certainly and resolutely NOT a Republican.

Blatant discrimination is unconstitutional. It is up to US to prove it.
wwcitizen: (US - Gay Politics)
As if Amendment One wasn't enough, the NC GOP had to take their hatred a step further and deem it appropriate to discriminate against us.

North Carolina GOP Platform Says Government Should Be Able To Discriminate Against Gays

While I understand [livejournal.com profile] dan4behr's concerns about a NC boycott (granted, the Target boycott didn't put any real dent in its bottom line) and the people who live there and are trying to build lives there, it still seems like an every-growing hostile place to live.  Why would we want to subsidize that kind of behavior and discrimination?

And I cannot believe that my family WANTS me to step foot in NC now.  They are hurt that I'm not willing to come to NC??  Are they not seeing what's going on?  Don't they comprehend that NC for Matthew and me is becoming a more and more hostile place for us?  They don't think they can do anything about it, but in my opinion, that's just being complacent.  No apologies.

It would be nice to know that my family is doing something against all this, but we no longer talk politics because they were offended at my campaign against NC Amendment One.  Offended!  They were offended that I was concerned about possibly not returning to NC because of blatant, legal discrimination against me, my partner/family, and us. Concerned enough to plea with them to do more than just vote against Amendment One - encourage their friends and churches and communities to vote against it, too.  I sent the same message to many friends, who understood where I was coming from. Yet, they felt bullied by a campaign letters addressed to them over the course of two days.  As this is my cross to bear, here's a picture:
  • 1st nail in the cross: Amendment One.
  • 2nd nail in the cross: At least two NC ministers - supported by their communities and congregations blindly speaking of killing gays in concentration camps.
  • 3rd nail in the cross: The GOP proclamation-EXPLICITLY STATING-that they SHOULD BE ABLE TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST GAYS
Who'd want to go to a place like that? Who'd want to purchase stuff from there?  The landscape is beautiful and I'll miss visiting.  I'm becoming less and less of a Tarheel at every turn of the newspaper's pages.
wwcitizen: (Face-Serious)
Saturday night I lost my wallet. I lost my wallet in the WORST.POSSIBLE.PLACE.EVER.  Union City, NJ.  Well, granted, probably not THE worst, but not the best place, either, which could have probably been Fort Lee, NJ.  I'm sure that whoever would have found it in Fort Lee, Edgewater, Weehawken, or Englewood Cliffs would most likely not have done what the finder of my wallet did: Racked up $1000+ worth of fraudulent charges on my credit cards. 

There was already about $250 CASH in the wallet. Why not just use $5 of that to throw the wallet in an envelope and send it back to me with no cash? You still net $245 from the "good deed".  Still, if I had found that wallet, I could never have brought myself to run around from Union City to Jersey City to Elizabeth and Secaucus, NJ, spending someone else's money who I don't even know. That sort of activity and mindset reflects a dark, dark soul IMHO. And they've probably done this sort of thing before. I mean, if they'd bought groceries at a local grocery store, I wouldn't feel such negativity, but they drove to Wal-Mart, Target, IKEA, a hair salon, Dunkin Donuts, and other places before 10AM on a Sunday to buy as much as they could with my credit cards. Shameful.

I'm a strong believer in karmic energy; i.e. what you give to the world and universe, the world and universe give back to you. Matthew has been wonderfully supportive throughout this whole thing, even though one of his cards was also used fraudulently and we've both been traumatized and stressed with the knowledge that someone out there in the ether has our home address, email addresses and goodness-knows how much other info that possibly could be used against either of us in some fashion. What's even kind of creepier is that this person knows what I (and possibly Matthew) look like, but we don't know what he looks likes. He could see me walk across the street and I wouldn't even know.

And I do know it was a "him". One of the charges was made for gift certificates at a salon that has surveillance cameras.  When I submitted the police report, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. That's not to say that I necessarily think that the police will be able to find the guy and arrest him or that whatever case is mounted will achieve any level of prosecution, but at least the crimes are being reported.

The salon's owner has given the tapes to the police and the police have already followed up with me on the guy's activities, including possibly finding the guy's address from an online purchase.  I mean, truly, how stupid do you have to be to make an online purchase with a stolen credit card?  The IP address alone tracks where purchases originate.

It's just all so sad to think that someone out there really needed to go and spend that money (not mine - but my credit cards' money) on things. What could they possibly have needed from IKEA or Target or Wal-Mart?  Another sad thing is that those gift certificates will lead to either someone else's disappointment or arrest because now the salon knows not to honor the certificates.  Another innocent victim of this guy's criminal rampage.

My own "glass-half-full" ideology, that people are generally good people, has truly been tested, too. All day Sunday and part of Monday (until visiting the police station), I was fighting off negative thoughts and feelings of dread and anxiousness. But because I want to fight and maintain the "glass-half-full" and optimistic realism in my heart and soul - as well as the karmic energy perspective - one of the first things I did with my new credit cards was donate to charities. I felt the need to give back in the hopes that someone else can be blessed by the blessings I've been given, without having to steal it. (I also bought a few pairs of glasses from an online vendor (for way LESS than the price of ONE of my newest pairs from Pearle Vision - meh), but who doesn't need a little shop therapy now and then? Especially after such a bad experience!)

Suffice to say, I have been granted a lot of peace of mind from my Matthew, in my credit card fraud departments, from the police, and with the hair salon surveillance cameras. I'm still gonna get ID security from my bank. They will monitor my credit activities, potential fraudulent activities (including if a credit card somewhere without my knowledge has been opened in my name - they will take care of everything for me), and keep my personal information more secure.  Looking forward to making that investment!
wwcitizen: (TV Watching)
Yeah, we can be bitchy. Sometimes. We love Rachel Ray. This time, though, on 30-Minute Meals, she's showing a sad side. She's not the energetic "EVOO" girl  we all know and love. What happened on this particular day? She's soooo sad. This is only a 3-minute clip, but the whole show was like this: Low energy, dead air, missteps, forgetting stories, talking way too fast and making things too complicated, showing frustration like she never does. Some might say this is endearing, but, frankly, if she had been a contestant on the Next Food Network Star, she wouldn't have made it passed this take. What do you think?

We just felt so sad for her. We love her shows and we've been excited to watch her talk show. I can't imagine what was up with her on this filming day. Cannot imagine.  
wwcitizen: (TV Watching)

Below is the text of The Final Speech of the Great Dictator, delivered by the character, the Jewish Barber, in Chaplin’s 1940 film, The Great Dictator. The Jewish Barber was played by Sir Charles Chaplin.  Watch the video one time through. Then play the speech a second time and read the text through (if you haven't wiped your eyes the first time through).  I had to save this piece for myself.

"I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible- Jew, Gentile, black men, white…

We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others’ happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind.

We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery ,we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.

Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say “Do not despair.”

The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder!

Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men—machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate!

Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it’s written “the kingdom of God is within man”, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.

Let us all unite.

Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill their promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people!

Now let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance!

Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.

Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!"


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Stephen Lambeth

May 2017

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