Be the Cat's Meow

Archive for January 2011

When I was a kid I remember looking up to every adult as though they were some sort of super hero. I thought being an adult meant you had accomplished great things. I admired figures of authority like my parents, teachers and politicians to name a few.

Now society classifies me as a young adult, but I view the label loosely, because I still feel I have room to grow. I still feel overwhelmed at times and am not ready to settle in any manner. I am not ready to buckle down with a career and in no way am I ready to settle and start a family of my own. If I were my mother I would I have two children by now- the thought dumbfounds me.

This does not mean that I am a lazy. It just means I am open to all opportunities currently and by no means could I handle supporting anyone beyond my three cats.

Recently, I have been reevaluating the whole “adult” situation. I know plenty of elders considered “adults,” but I also have witnessed many immature and ill conceived actions by some of these so called “adults.”

I started to realize that adulthood is different stage for everyone once I was in my late teens. As a child you can’t even begin to grasp the big picture. You just assume people are miraculously blessed with intelligence as they age.

Once you are old enough to realize this is a falsehood you start to understand how one’s experiences mold and shape their thoughts. Sadly, you start to realize that some people do not allow their minds to be influenced by their experiences. Ignorance truly is bliss and some people chose to live this way. They think the world works according to their reality and that they don’t need to oblige to any rules. These are the people that act entitled, that blow off responsibilities, abuse systems, behave disrespectfully, and the list goes on.

I just continue to be baffle by the lack of awareness certain people display. People that can be put in the “adult” bracket. How can you not understand the reaction of your actions? If you act disrespectful or break a rule how do you not expect to be reprimanded in some way. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction- this applies to more than just physics!

Maybe I am rambling on, but this topic has plagued my mind and it continues to baffle me. I consider myself to be a mature and rational young adult with occasional bouts of immaturity. However, an immature moment for me would be laughing uncontrollably at a fart joke, whereas an immature moment for “adults” would be screaming at your child for playing too loudly- on the playground. Another example is knowingly placing blame on an unknowing party. I mean, really? If some of the most sly and intelligent criminals get caught, what makes you think that you won’t?

I just hope this lack of judgment isn’t something that comes with age. I have met plenty of people my senior that I look up too, but there are also those that I can only shake my head at. Why would they take advice from a twenty something anyways? It will be a never-ending battle and you can never help those that don’t want help.

All I ask is that you don’t become one of those people. Don’t become someone that relies on everyone, but themselves. Don’t expect others to spend their hard earned money paying for your mistakes. Don’t bitch about being poor when you blow all your money on drugs and alcohol. Don’t think that you are that entitled person that can yell their demands and disappointments to everyone. Don’t complain about spending all your money on your child- it is your child for heavens sake. Don’t project your own faults on to others. Don’t get pissed off when you get caught for whatever you did wrong. You made all the choices that got you to where you are today. Man up and take responsibility. If you don’t like your life then YOU need to do something about it.

DEAL WITH IT.

I figured, with all the negative news lately, this nonsensical holiday was worth sharing. Today, forget all your worries and show these fuzzy little critters some affection. If you are one of those people unable to show affection to any living or non-living creature then here are 5 easy ways to show a squirrel that you care.

According to the NWF, Squirrel Appreciation Day was created by wildlife rehabilitator Christy Hargrove in 2001.

I’m not to sure why Hargrove chose to create this holiday, but, personally, I have never had a negative squirrel encounter, so I fall in the category of  a squirrel appreciator. When I was a kid I would get up every Saturday at 6 am to watch old Rocky & Bullwinkle reruns. I thought Rocky was the cutest little thing. How can you not love their beady little eyes and fluffy tails?

Eddy the Squirrel Man in St. James Park, London 2004 (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Okay, so maybe squirrels can be a little mischievous, but watching squirrel videos on YouTube is a guaranteed to make you smile. It is Squirrel Appreciation Day and the least you could do is show some appreciation. Even if a squirrel gnawed a whole in your wall you can’t deny the cuteness factor.

This recent Times article provides eerie details of the life of Jared Loughner. It also supports what I believed about his mental health and implies his actions were not a result of the current abrasive political rhetoric. For all we know it may have fueled his fire, but at this point in time it truly seems he cannot distinguish reality from fiction. His rampage was a result of many variables and, in his mind, it was a solution to many of his problems. An interesting read if you have the time. I recommend it to everyone that is placing the blame on politicians like Palin. I do feel the political rhetoric is an issue that needs to be addressed, but I think that is an entirely separate situation from the Loughner case.

The New York Times: Looking Behind the Mug-Shot Grin

Once upon a time I could tell someone I am from Tucson and get a response of, “Where?” This all changed as of Saturday, January 8, 2011 when Tucson became the center of attention for all the wrong reasons.

I was born and raised in Tucson. My relationship with this city has been one of love & hate, but recently I have grown to appreciate it more. I love the vast community of artists, the strong presence of the city’s Mexican & Native roots and the small town feel of the growing city. The 100+ degree temperatures of summer make me cranky, but I certainly appreciate being able to wear flip flops in the winter.

My safety had never been an issue either. Being a petite female I do get paranoid going certain places alone, but deep down I know that I will be okay. This is why I was so shocked when I heard the news Saturday morning.

I had just returned from a wonderful breakfast outing with two of my dearest friends. Two more friends had stopped by to visit and one received a text- “Gabby Giffords shot point blank.” Stunned by the news, we all sat in silence momentarily. Once the harsh reality set in we attempted to learn more. We were shocked to learn 20 people were shot, six fatally and, even eerier, it happened at a Safeway- in the foothills (aka the “nicest” part of town), during an event called “Congress on Your Corner.” It was hard to fathom what kind of person could do such a thing.

Within the first few hours we knew the shooter was a 22 year old named Jared Loughner that went to Pima Community College, but that was it. Then the media had a frenzy. The blame game began. The media blamed the Arizona gun laws (or lack thereof), the sharp political rhetoric being thrown around, books like 1984, drugs, obscene music, a poor health care system, lucid dreams, and the list goes on. I am sure these factors could have influenced him, but can we really pinpoint an act like this on one thing? I understand the desire to find the motives behind Loughner’s twisted plan, but I was shocked the media did not state the obvious until recently- maybe this guy is just mentally unstable. He is just INSANE. How many people in their right mind would go on a shooting spree in a public place? I mean, come on now. We can play the blame game all we want, but will we ever know the inner workings of this lunatics mind? I doubt we will and I don’t even want to know to be honest.

Only within the past few days has the media shifted the focus to Loughner’s distorted reality and past incidents which demonstrated this. Society has access to his blogs and youtube videos to learn more about the reality of a mad man. I personally refuse to watch or read any of that. I feel that Loughner will only bask in this new-found “fame” more. In fact, I am pretty sure he already feels he has succeeded.

Even so, we continue to have these pointless heated debates about the political rhetoric and now people are even tearing apart Obama’s speech from last night. Apparently, these people missed the part about Obama emphasizing unity in the face of tragedy and a lowering of partisan voices. This statement perfectly captured my feelings about this situation.Everyone needs to back-up and recognize the tragedy at hand. There is no room for the blame game and, from what I have gathered, Loughner wanted to create more chaos in the world, so pointing fingers only makes him more powerful. Doesn’t it make more sense to take the high road and honor those that lost their lives while working together to prevent something like this from happening again? Tucsonans have definitely united in the face of this tragedy and I wish the rest of society (media included) could.

I would also like to point out that the University of Arizona never explicitly referred to last night’s event as a memorial and the event was titled “Together We Thrive, Tucson & America.” The mood in this city has been particularly somber and I think the “pep rally” feel was a response to Obama’s encouraging words. Tucson is such a small community and so many people were effected  by the shooting directly or indirectly. The crowd needed to hear words of optimism in this dark time. I watched his speech broadcast at the UA football stadium and there were times I felt were inappropriate for applause, but, in retrospect, I think that was the means of honoring those lost. It was obvious the crowd was very emotional (as was I a few times) and, speaking from experience, sometimes you don’t quite now how to react when your emotions have gone awry.

All I am saying is Tucsonans needed those words of hope to help us move forward. Sure, I think some of the audience may have forgotten the real issue at hand and reacted too “pep rally,” but I think what needed to be said was said (by Obama). Loughner did what he did and we will never know exactly why. In fact, his reality is so warped he may not even be able to rationally explain why. We can play this game and chase our tails to put this puzzle together, but it would be much more effective to focus collectively on coping with this tragedy. We can’t change what happened last Saturday, but we can sure as hell work towards a better future.

Unless you live in a desolate cave out in the middle of nowhere you have probably read about the “end of days” incidents involving dead birds falling from the sky and dead fish washing ashore. Obviously, this sparked my interest since it resembles something out of the X-Files.

If you do live in a cave or just don’t keep up with current events, here is a recap. It all began December 30, 2010 in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. At least 100 tons of dead sardines, catfish and croakers washed ashore. Then New Year’s Eve thousands of dead birds fell over Beebe Arkansas. In the following days (up until today) incidents include:

  • 100,000 dead fish found along a 20-mile stretch between the Ozark Dam and Highway 109 Bridge in Franklin County
  • 500 dead redwing blackbirds were found scattered along a quarter of a mile span of highway in Point Coupee Parish, Louisiana
  • Hundreds of dead birds were found near the Murray State University (KY)
  • Hundreds of fish washed ashore on St. Clair River in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
  • Thousands of dead fish washed up along Spruce Creek, in Orange Florida
  • 2 million fish wash onto the shore of Chesapeake Bay in Maryland saw
  • 200 Dead birds found in Tyler, Texas on highway 155 over the Lake O’Pines
  • 150 dead grackles found on the side of the road in Wilson Tennessee

More recently, the “deaths” have extended beyond North America with:

  • 50-100 crows were found dead along a street in Falkoeping, West Sweden
  • 40,000 velvet swimming crabs washed ashore dead in Kent England
  • Hundreds of snapper fish, many missing their eyes washed ashore on New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula

Naturally, the immediate reaction of many has been, THE APOCALYPSE IS NEAR! Religious cooks are having a field day claiming this is society’s punishment for leading such sinful lives. I highly doubt either of these is true. If I am proven wrong at a later date I will publicly apologize before the four horsemen of the apocalypse come to sacrifice me.

Meanwhile, we have a handful of others that believe these events are not related whatsoever. I beg to differ. Did everyone forget about the BP oil spill that happened last April (which was not even sealed until September) that resulted in millions of gallons of spilled oil? What about the physical damage and irreversible damage done to the Gulf of Mexico? Well, BP did claim that the government “overestimated” the size and now everything is okay, so I guess we should believe those guys- I mean it’s not like they are trying to protect their image and need their BILLIONS of dollars-

Whoops…got a little sidetracked…any-who…

Fortunately, many scientists have been scrambling to find logical answers to this eerie mystery. It has already been discovered that many of the dead birds found in America died from blunt trauma internally. Prior to these events, many of the cities involved experienced brutal winds at up to 120 mph, which is a possible explanation for the mysterious injuries. Currently, they are still trying to figure out the what happened to the aquatic life and so far believe it was due to the extreme cold spell in those regions (causing a dramatic drop in water temperatures).

In the meantime many scientists have centered their attention on The New Madrid Faultline– a common thread for these catastrophes. The faultline is said to have the potential to be more lethal than the San Andreas Fault. Ooo, spooky. In 1812 the fault was responsible for the New Madrid Earthquake, which was one of the largest in American history. More recently, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, more than 500 measurable earthquakes have been recorded in central Arkansas just since September (hmm…the same time BP “sealed” the well).

Hmm…

So, maybe, just maybe, the BP well debacle happened to hit the New Madrid Faultline or it sparked a revival of seismic activity, which has caused this increase in earthquakes and possibly these odd atmospheric changes.

If you think I am talking out of my ass remember that the continents began as Pangea. Shame on you if you have no idea what Pangea is. Anyways, and excuse me if I don’t sound scientific here I am and English & Creative Writing major, the Earth’s crust is constructed of plates like a puzzle. The plates move very slowly, yet they do move. For example, faultlines are results of tectonic (plate motion) forces and are essentially gaps in the earth’s surface. Mountains are a visible product of plate collisions from the distant past and oceanic trenches (the deepest part of the seafloor) also indicate plate boundaries. So, perhaps, the deep drilling along the Gulf happened to hit a trench and trigger some reaction. It would be similar to the reaction caused if somebody hit a puzzle with a blunt object- not only would the area that came in contact with the object separate, but other sections would be affected as well. It may not be a dramatic separation in certain parts, but there would be a reaction nonetheless.

For now, we still don’t know what caused these strange incidents, so we can only speculate. I’m curious to see what scientists discover and even if the New Madrid revival is unrelated to the animal deaths I think that is something we will need to keep in mind. Even volcanoes that are said to be instinct have the slight possibility of coming back to life. I’m not trying to scare anyone- I am just reminding you Mother nature is a rabid beast. RABID.

I think I missed something….

…or maybe I have stumbled into the bizarro world…

but last I checked New Year’s is an OPPORTUNITY for personal growth and goals. The start of a new year does not magically dissolve any unresolved issues from the prior year. I thought this was common knowledge, but a lot of people seem to think otherwise.

I am definitely not saying to forgo any resolutions all together, I am just reminding you that a NEW, better and bigger year is ahead if you actually work towards your resolution goals. You can’t just say that 2011 will be better than last year, you need to make it happen. Trust me.

I only say this because I have heard far to many people refer to 2011 as the end to all personal problems. 2011 marks the end of 2010 and personal problems are, well, personal. Nobody or anything can fix it besides you.

I am not trying to nag, I promise, I only mention this, because I am experiencing deja vu. I have seen this happen in various forms. In fact, it happens often. People set high, unrealistic goals and then they sit back to presumably watch these “goals” take place. Your bank account won’t magically fix itself and your work ethic won’t magically change. The problem wasn’t the year (2010) it was you. You were most likely the initiator of whatever said stress, crisis, etc. If you don’t resolve the problem within yourself, chances are, you will most likely find yourself in the same situation (many times) before 2011 is over.

Just to clarify I don’t live a stress free life, but I have cut stressful factors out of my life and I am aware of personal triggers. One of the things that stresses me out is trying to help as many people as possible and a resolution of mine is to fix this. This doesn’t mean I will cease helping people, but I will not bend over backwards and I need to take my personal needs into consideration too. We are all thrown into this world with the same basic resources, so why should anyone expect special treatment? There is no handbook about how to deal with life’s dilemmas- it is learn as you go. If you don’t work towards this goal of learning (about yourself, about others, about everything!) how will you ever grow as a person? The only constant in this world is change, so take a second to look inside and see how you can better yourself.

Take 2010 as a learning experience. Actively work towards your resolutions. Life goes on and if you don’t deal with your own personal problems 2011 will be a repeat of last year.


%d bloggers like this: