Archive for the Commentary Category

a shot in the head or put me to bed

Posted in Commentary, Uncategorized on May 26, 2010 by gypsygies

I just ran across this old journal entry from around 2004 (ish) and was suddenly glad I had a decent day today. oO This is what a “bad day” is REALLY like…. :
a shot in the head or put me to bed

this morning I just really did not want to get up. Didn’t feel awake at all. Consequently, I accidentally threw away (yes, in garbage after use) my toothbrush, dental floss, and a coffee cup (don’t worry Shanna, I retrieved it). The last thing, only moments after my roommate left saying `don’t throw anything else away!’…laughing about the toothbrush. I’m like “ok!” and drink up some coffee, then throw the coffee cup away. SHIT ! While getting ready to leave, I accidentally knock something down into a crevice between the sink and a cupboard…trying to reach that, I knock over something else very heavy in the bathroom…which pretty much crushes my big toe (left foot). Thus, I am wearing my teva’s today, because my toe is bloody and swelling (but hey, not broken!). I wasn’t about to shove it into a shoe. THEN – I get across to work, realize I’m running out of gas, stop at the gas station nearby there…I don’t have the gas cap key! It recently broke off my keyring, and is still sitting at home on my desk. My car is on “E”, and traffic is very heavy. At this point I call my boss to tell her I’m going to be very late. I had to go all the way back home, riding on fumes by then, just to get the fucking gas cap key! I of course hit every red light, screaming at the traffic and the lights and pretty much everything else because I’m _going to run out of GAS_. I made it home and pulled into the 7-11 literally just as the car is sputtering. fuck. At the 7-11 I buy some caffeine and donuts, because by this time I’m starving and still in need of “wake up”. I forget to grab any napkins, so arrive to work an HOUR late, with custard all over my face and a slight limp as by now my toe is really swelling. fuck fuck fuck a duck. And, while writing this message, I just realized I have _no idea_ where my cell phone is. Shit. I had it at the first gas station this morning when I called my boss. fuck! Did I leave it at the 7-11? I remember putting some stuff down to get out the donuts. oh hell.

Message sent to Blizzard (aka why I’ve taken a game break)

Posted in Commentary, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 21, 2010 by gypsygies

On the subject of World of Warcraft:

At end-game all characters become carbon copies of other ppl’s toons. Recount destroyed this game. Now you must put your talent points *here* specifically, you must have *this* specific same gear, you even must cast spells/use abilities in exactly *this* order (called rotation)…so there’s no point in actually playing the game at end game, it may as well be an AI playing the game at that point. Customization dissipates b’c player base insists on ONE Maximum Build, which the game is built to accommodate – there’s always ONE *best* way to do things, one BEST set of gear for a class, one way…results in carbon copy toons that there isn’t much point in. Find a way to kill recount and similar abilities so players can customize their toons.  If all your doing is copying other people’s talent points, other people’s specific “max” gear, other peoples spell rotation/ability use – you may as well have a macro playing the game and walk away to eat. There’s no point. If you don’t do such, people use Recount to berate and bitch at you, won’t take you in teams if you don’t have the right build (as they like it), right exact equipment, etc. Renders toon building obsolete.


Now, you must understand that coming from a game with so many path options as City of Heroes has…because of the common power pools you can choose in that game there’s just so many *different* ways you can do something, none of which is worse than another – just according to play style and preference… that it’s hard to get several toons to the top-lvl of Warcraft only to discover the devout player decree is that all toons must be alike. That, of 3 talents trees for each toon, there is actually only ONE “maximum” way to allot your points, one spell rotation you must follow like a macro or you will do substantially less than other carbon-copied player’s toons… etc. That you’re only striving for ONE specific set of “maximum” tier-whatever gear. It just seems like it loses the point. May as well be a macro playing the toon, building all toons of a class the same, playing them exactly the same, etc. Sure there are professions to distract you from that and there is plenty to *do* in the game.. but alas, the actual character play becomes carbon-copy.

It just seems to me that Recount destroyed the game. It must’ve been so fun before anyone knew to bitch at people doing 3k instead of their 4k damage and insisting they have to build like *this* and do *this* and blah blah blah. No fun if I just copy the herd.

No one may read all of this, but here we go – lol

Posted in Commentary, Uncategorized on May 9, 2010 by gypsygies

Thank you to Miss Clinton, who’s first name I sadly don’t remember. I think it was Lynn. My kindergarten teacher at Pendergast way back in the early 70’s. I don’t remember much, but I remember she was unmarried, blonde, pretty, tall (but then I was 4…) and really very kind. Her kindness made the separation from home for the first time, easier. It’s a very hard transition for a child. Freedom to system-slavedom. I had no preschool, it just wasn’t as common back in the day as it apparently is now. I had the impression it was something extra you paid for and we never had that kindof money. Especially as the last of 5 kids. And yes I started school at 4 years old, because of where my birthday falls. Apparently nowadays they make kids wait a whole year later until they’re 5-almost-6 to start, if their birthday doesn’t fall quite right.   She had a bright cheerful smile and a kind countenance. Good qualities for a kindergarten teacher. Thank you.

Thank you, oh thank you, to Mr. Geroux, who’s name spelling I just probably slaughtered (pronounced “geroo”). My 1st grade teacher at Desert Horizon, which had only opened the previous season. I’m sure the school, pristine and sparkly new then, is now quite grisled and worn. Mr. Geroux is the cause of many great smiles still now. When you were there as a little kid in the early 1970’s you weren’t as aware of “movements” and cultures as you come to be later. I had already learned of the great Rock vs. Disco war – haha Rock wins  (sorry Jackie !  – oldest sister who was on the wrong side of that family argument, at the time). The rest was awash in the background, the world was fresh and new and as it was, I knew no other. I have since looked back on a picture of my 1st grade class, and cannot stop laughing and smiling. Mr. Geroux was, as we now know, a “flower child”. I had no idea. Looking back – it’s obvious. Haha. I love him so. He was so nice! His hair cut just above shoulders so he could teach, his full mustache, the little brown open vest he wore every day, he brought his acoustic guitar to class with him, always. Thank you for trying to teach me some Spanish (fail), and for singing “Puff the Magic Dragon” to us at least every other day, if not every day. We requested our Puff guitar-singing teacher moment, if he tried to skip it. He was wonderful.  That’s still, and I thought at the time, one of the most depressing songs ever, really..but still I loved it. It’s permanently tied to Mr. Geroux, now. It pays to have a signature song, haha. Ok and just you never mind the fact that in that old photo I’m wearing bright red polyester bell bottoms with very large white flowers imprinted on them. I was 5, I didn’t dress myself!

Thank you to Ms. Eurek, whom I wont’ spend too much time on here because I believe I have a whole other blog somewhere about her. The 2nd grade teacher who had figured out already that the last of the 5 children, got pretty much lost and passed over and had no attention. No one talked to me, really, except my next-older sister Leigh who did teach me to write my name, to read, those kinds of things pre-going to school. A 7 year old was the teacher of the 4 year old lol. The others were busy already in their own lives and dramas. Such is the way of things, I suppose. Ms. Eurek was the one to realize that my best friend Cindy & I weren’t “talking in class” so much as Cindy was explaining the lesson to me. I was a little slow and had trouble paying attention, was always spaced off even then (no, not really attention deficit b’c I was focused, just totally focused on something else more interesting going on in my creative brain). Ms. Eurek caught on pretty quickly, and when she’d re-arrange the seats she always made sure to sit Cindy next to me. I think I even vaguely remember the moment she realized what we were talking about because I remember her pausing quietly once within earshot and just eavesdropping on us, and after that we never once got in trouble for talking in class, like everybody else did. Might have seemed unfair to the other students, but I bet not. They knew, plus Cindy was actually the school bully so none of them would have questioned her lol. Cindy & I were very much good-cop/bad-cop in a way haha. I was super shy and would only really speak to Cindy, though was polite and smiled at everyone else. Cindy well…she understood me and was nice to me. We grew up together from age 2 (although that was cut off when I moved only a little while later). Ms. Eurek eventually got in trouble for paying so much attention to me, for trying to get me to open up, and was asked to leave the school. That was not-kosher, at the time. I think that happened just before the end of the year and we got some other teacher to finish it out, but I have no memory whatsoever of that other teacher. I was suddenly in a foreign world with math lessons I didn’t understand because the new teacher wasn’t as wise as Eurek.

3rd grade, I sortof got saved…I *was* to have Miss Styles (who got married sometime in there and became Mrs. Bloom). I liked her so much I was utterly terrified to be in her class. You see, she had all my older siblings and my older siblings were all born prodigies. She literally pushed Leigh up to 8th grade math just to get her to *miss* a problem. I, as we can see, was not so much. Math was and is SO not my thing. We had Miss Styles over to dinner fair often in those early years (when I was in kinder, 1st & 2nd grade)…parents had teachers over for dinner back then. Don’t think so now. She was awesome – she had this little car with one of the odd horns that makes a funny toon and she’d honk it when she drove up just to get us all laughing. She was very nice and always so astounded and impressed by my brilliant older siblings. She always expressed how much she looked forward to having -me- in her class, and I’m sure I went pale every time. And we registered for 3rd grade, and I recall originally Cindy & I weren’t in the same class and we managed to fix that. I have no idea how parents explained that to the administration to get us into the same class. However, that didn’t happen anyhow because somewhere just before that our family suffered some kind of financial difficulty and we had to move to a poorer neighborhood, a poorer house, over on 47th Drive. So I while I admit I was so greatly relieved to escape the humiliation of having Miss Styles learn I wasn’t as brilliant as my older siblings…I got ripped away from Cindy my best friend, and this utterly shy little girl was suddenly the “new kid” at a new school (Andalusia).

I have scrambled memories of 3rd grade and the first part of 4th grade at that school. Times were hard for me. Mom & Dad were arguing much, and then got divorced, mom showed up with a new boyfriend she picked up at the bar (she just randomly brought a man home from a bar – that was her way of getting Dad to finally grant her the divorce, as he didn’t want to). That man moved in as Dad moved out, and he was very very strict, mean, possessive and drunk.

However, I can thank Ms. Powell…a little gray haired lady I know taught some subject in 3rd grade. Granted, I mostly remember her because her house was only a couple of blocks away, on the way to school even, and at Halloween she let us kids she knew grab as much candy as we wanted. haha. Way to remember a teacher. Andalusia I mostly remember we had to say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at the Arizona State Flag…odd and for some reason stuck in my head. I suppose Arizona must have the same head strong independence feeling that Texas has, just with less reason (was not its own nation…). And I recall it with a sense of trauma because of this “new program” they were trying out on us kids…I was part of an experiment there. Apparently, though Math is certainly not my subject, I always scored unusually high on Reading Comprehension tests. I was very articulate for a 3rd grader, which is odd in that I never had books to read as a child. The only thing around to read was the Webster’s Dictionary – which had cool articles in the back of it about stuff. Mini-encyclopedia, sortof. I still have that very same old brown Webster’s Dictionary, I recall from my earliest days on West Whitton Cul de sac (after sisters taught me to read some, of course). It’s quite beaten up by now, but dammit it’s in a box somewhere here lol. But I wasn’t allowed books, we were poor. And mom insisted that if I checked stuff out from a library I wouldn’t return it or something would happen to it that would inevitably result in a fine of some sort, so I wasn’t allowed. She was terrified of the possible fines, so no books!

Anyway, Andalusia got this idea that they would teach some of us kids with good reading comprehension to *speed read* at the same time as teaching us to read better. This was a very traumatizing experiment. They would set 3 or 4 of us down at a half moon table in a dark room, with a screen in front of us and project paragraphs  on the screen at a very fast pace – only part of the words illuminated at a time so that’s all we could see and were forced to try to keep the projector’s pace. Afterword, we would take a comprehension test on what we read. This was horrible. Far too stressful for 3rd graders – we were so freaked out by it, knowing we’d be tested, that we didn’t have the control not to ask the person next to us what that line was and in doing so would miss like, 3 more lines. It was terrible. I was aware that not all the kids in my class were being subjected to this method. Just some of us. Those of us that were would return to the rest of the class like soldiers limping off a battlefield. Dejected and exhausted and we’d only been away for a little while. And then Math we were supposed to take “self-paced” but they’d sit us at these little cubicles with a tape player and a math lesson on tape and we were supposed to be able to learn from that cassette tape. SO didn’t work. No one to ask questions of. Mostly resulted in frustration and tuning-out.

And during my second year at Andalusia, 4th grade, I somehow convinced mom & her boyfriend Lyle to let me join The Girl Scouts! (okay I admit now there was this really cute blonde in it I guess I had a crush on). I finally started to make a few friends and -almost- open up a little bit, then we moved. I was a Girl Scout for a whole 2 weeks of life. Yep, you heard it here. haha.

Though mom had gotten the house in the divorce (dad got the nice new tv, dammit), possessive Lyle had started his abusive schtick and manipulated her into giving up every asset in her name and being totally dependent upon him. He, in just maybe a short year, had isolated her from her old friends, talked her out of her personal assets, insisted she hang around with him and his bar friends exclusively, and all my older siblings smelled trouble quickly and were up and off to live with their father in California (they all have 1 father, I have another). I was actually ok with it when Mom & Dad got divorced…this still freaks out mom… at maybe only 7 or 8 years old I was mature enough to understand that there were problems that had nothing to do with me, that dad still loved me and I had already figured out on my own somehow that “dad” was not my “father” (my father is unknown). This came up because dad legally wiggled out of paying child support (easier than to do than now, I think). Though he had legally adopted me and given me a last name at around age 2, since he was not my biological father he was able to argue in court not to pay child support. I remember her pulling me aside one day to say “John’s not your real father” and I quickly replied “Oh, I know that” and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a woman turn more pale or look more utterly confused. Some things you just -know-, or at least I do, I can’t explain it. It had nothing to do with John (aka “dad”), I loved him much and he’s the only dad I’ve ever had…even if it was only for those first few years. But I knew.

I’m telling you this now because the first greatest moment of pure heart-stricken absolute soul wrenching heartbreak in my life was the day I found out that Leigh was going to leave, and I would have my big sister no more. Hell, my eyes water up just now typing this, still. I would suddenly go from 3 older siblings around to pull the neighborhood together and play with (Jackie the oldest was kicked out when I was very young still, on Whitton..but still had my brother and Leigh & Lore)…to being an Only Child. I was really very dependent on Leigh. She was my translator for the world of things I didn’t yet understand. Leigh payed attention to me, at least sometimes (haha). No one else did. They were older and involved in their own things. I don’t blame any of them. I don’t blame Leigh. She was still so young herself at the time…maybe 10, or 11? And needed to get away. It was obvious to everyone -but- deeply in love and manipulated mom that Lyle was BAD NEWS in all caps. When her friends tried to tell her, he isolated her from them. That’s just what they do. The others had a safe place to go, they needed to go. Their father would have them.Here is where I overheard a conversation that has been warm in my heart for all of time since. My 2nd-oldest sister Lore, a young teenager at the time, said “What about S—-i?? (me)…we can’t just *leave* her.”. Those overheard words have rung warm and beautiful in my ears all my life. Lore tried to stay, for me. She didn’t want to abandon me to my fate.

However, Lyle moved us into a teeny tiny house (now against all possible building regulations, I’m sure) that had a total of 4 rooms: a tiny kitchen, a bedroom off the side of that, a small front living room which would serve as Mom & Lyle’s bedroom (no door) and a tiny bathroom. Having successfully separated Mom from all her own people places and most of her things, and making her totally dependent upon Him for everything – the *real* abusive B-S started. Lore lasted only a few weeks, I think, before she had to go. In those weeks I recall her crying so much…crying every night, it seemed. She was heartbroken. How can you abandon your littlest sister to a life basically alone with someone you know is evil? Because you have to, you have to. I understood this even then, I agreed completely with Lore. She had to go, I couldn’t take her crying so much…such beautiful eyes should never cry so much. But she was agonized over the decision. As a young teenager herself, there’s only so much she can take, knowing she has other options…she had to save herself. And Lyle put us in a place from lower-middle-class to sudden abject poverty. The living conditions so sharply much worse. Lore can’t live like that. None of them should have to. I’m the only one who had no where to go. I was stuck. And really too young to be separated from mom yet anyway. [so I started life Middle Class in a brand new built home, dropped to Lower Middle Class, then into poverty and there to remain]. So after a short while of Lore trying to stay, some of her friends from California drove over to pick her up (Hansel and Gretal! Ok ok Hansel and his sister Hester – Ester? I dunno, we all called her `Gretal’ to her dismay anyway lol). Hansel was good looking and I had a little crush on him, that’s pretty much how I remember him. haha.

I start school part way through term at another new school, Mitchell. Again at first there was a scandalous teacher.

Mrs. Marshall: I thank you for being a quirky, eccentric rich old lady who simply wanted to do something useful with her life. She was somebody’s wealthy widow and very eccentric. All the other teachers there would always gossip about her and gasp in scandal at the furr-lined too-expensive clothes and rich car she’d drive up in. She had a mink stole which never failed to cause general rich-person-disgust from the other teachers in this very poor district. She had decided instead of continuing her life of  idle luxury, though childless herself, she did love children…was charmed by us…we always made her giggle… she decided she wanted to be a teacher. I always thought it was kindof cool that this rich middle-aged woman wanted to come and teach poor children. She wanted to contribute in a more real-than-money way. She was, however, completely tactless…this was a very foreign world to her that she just kindof leaped into and I remember she was always in trouble for *something* – she’d get called out of the room often to speak with bickering other teachers. She managed to bounce around all their disagreements until the one fatal mistake she made: she lived in some apparently very notorious mansion and it came about that people really wanted a tour of it so she agreed. There was great excitement, even among the most pissy uptight teachers. Well, apparently during the school tour some of the kids wandered into the master bedroom, and some of the escorting adults followed, and there were mirrors on the ceiling above the bed. Whoops. Mirrors everywhere. Not quite “G-rated”, though we were young and clueless at the time, mostly anyway, the adults certainly were not. They threw a FIT. She got fired, or agreed to go amicably or something. I was actually out sick at that time and missed the whole tour completely (poo), but heard much about it forever afterwards from the kids that were there. I was distressed to see her go. Though tactless and clumsy in teaching she clearly had good will and would have gotten better, had she been allowed to.

Thank you to Mrs. Starr, for being the most pissy, uptight teacher in the classroom across from us that made us all appreciate Mrs. Marshall so much.

I have no real memory of who filled in for Mrs. Marshall, but I don’t think there was much time left in that school year. Actually I do remember there was some substitute or other teacher there or something that came in and would discipline students by smacking their fingers hard with a ruler. I remember this because there was this black girl, Kim, who thought it was hilarious. She’d talk in class or something and the teacher would get all mad and smack her hard with the ruler and she’d crack up laughing. She had a super infectious laugh and soon we’d all be laughing. The teacher would be frustrated until by the end she had to laugh, too. Kim was just so funny.

In 5th grade there was Mr. Dale Sanchez whom I have actually tried to look up and find, to send him a thank you. You’ll know more why, later. I do wish I could send him a thank you, wherever he is I would think he’d like to know one of his 5th grade students still remembers him warmly.

Times now were very hard for me, mom & I were suffering much abuse now at the hands of an alcoholic Lyle, and I became more and more withdrawn, spacey. Stunted. Mr. Sanchez knew that something was _wrong_. He tried politely, delicately, to inquire, to have the school nurse find some excuse to examine me for bruises (Lyle was a smart bastard and knew how to hit, where to hit and keep markings minimal), to try to ask the shy, withdrawn and quiet me “questions”. Keep in mind these were different times, now around the early 80’s, and in a very conservative state, and mostly abuse was still considered a personal affair to keep out of by all. “It’s their business” was the culture. But Mr. Sanchez didn’t like what his mind was telling him and so he’d try…try to reach out to me, to pull me out of my shell, to wake me and get me involved in life. He even questioned whether I might be epileptic at one point, because I’d get so incredibly spaced off, in my own little fantasy world, that they would all be at my desk, calling my name and I’d be paralyzed with glazed eyes spaced off, not hearing them. But I wasn’t epileptic, I was just suffering, is all. Those were hard times. He never gave up on me. Mr. Sanchez continued to try to reach out to me. He would be talking sharp and strong to the class, then take a very soft nurturing tone when he’d turn to me (when I was there enough to notice it anyway doh). He would give me what extra time he could to turn in an assignment, without penalizing me too much. He understood there were extenuating circumstances. He was also a funny, good-humored man who would get me laughing when he could. Try to draw me out of that shell. It kindof worked at little bit.

Then we moved. Sometime during that year mom got up enough courage to leave Lyle. We very briefly moved to somewhere on the edge of Glendale and I was an utterly shy “new kid” at a school again. Mom had rented some run down kindof shack there but I liked it. We weren’t there very long, some associate of Lyle’s she had started flirting with, Jerry, had agreed to take her in and protect her. Jerry was a divorced family man, who had custody of his kids. Unfortunately by that time, tragedy struck his own family. Just as we were moving in, his graceful, beautiful, highly intelligent and much-loved 14 year old daughter, fell ill with leukemia and died in her mother’s arms (Jerry’s ex). I only knew her briefly before her illness, which seemed to claim her fairly quickly, but she was amazing. She was definitely the favorite of the family. So there we were with a devastated father, and mom still very much in love with Lyle. We had moved in with Jerry and were there briefly, I think only a matter of weeks. Some other school, new kid again, I mostly remember them as being incredibly stuck up. A nicer school and neighborhood than I was now used to and they didn’t like my all hand-me-downs don’t-fit poor kid wardrobe. Jerry had a daughter close to my age, Ramona, who was possibly the most annoying person I have ever met in my life. She was a complete spoiled brat, and though a little older than me would throw a very 4-yrs-old type temper tantrum anytime she didn’t get anything she wanted. Even in the light of Brenda’s (her sister’s) horrible death. Mona was spoiled and unmanageable.  The oldest, who was 17 I think at the time going on 18, Denise, was very nice and sweet. We got along well.

Anyway, we weren’t there very long at all and mom went back to Lyle. Me back at Mitchell, back in the class. What was interesting about that time was that everyone kept telling me (the kids at school) that while I was away there was some man that showed up…not Lyle…asking for me, saying he was my “father”. Wanted to see me. They all said he looked really downtrodden when they told him I wasn’t there anymore and they didn’t know where I’d went. I missed it. Bummer.

At the very end of the 5th grade year, we all heard the good news that Mr. Sanchez had got the job as Vice Principle at the Junior High, Isaac. He would start the next year. We were all very excited about this, so happy for him…we would be his last 5th grade class, then he’d move on to Promotion! Which he very much deserved.

6th grade was still at Mitchell and …Mrs. Karin? Oh I’m sad I can’t clearly remember her name because I was fond of her. She was a warm woman with a genuine interest in engaging us in our education. I remember she’s the one who figured out that reading to us for a few minutes after recess would calm us down and put us back into an open, learning mood…without it being flat “quiet time” like some teachers tried that would just sap the interest right out of the students. Instead of total quiet, she went for storytime. She took suggestions on the books. First we got read “Hey, Dummy” which I recall as a very good book. And then we got scarred. Some foolish person suggested “Where the Red Fern Grows”. She had never read it, but it’s supposed to be a kids book, so she was all for it. By the end chapters, it was so pathetically sad and heartbreaking that she couldn’t read it out loud, she’d start crying and it got passed around the room for people to try to read it. It was funny when some of the “macho” boys would give it a go, then start getting all emotional and have to pass the book off to someone else. We became this Oneness though of camaraderie  in all our determination to *finish* the damned book. I don’t think I’ve ever forgiven that author for writing such a godawful sorry sad tale that broke down our whole class, teacher included. Ugh. Quiet, calm post-recess time became `Ok, who’s feeling emotionally strong today and would like to give it a go?’ The teacher offered several times to just end the book but by that time we’d all got determined to hear the ending.

She was also late one morning with the funniest story. I still remember it, because the way she told it was so funny. Apparently on her way home the evening before, stuck in hard core traffic, her car’s horn suddenly became jammed and was on continuously. She was a very easily embarrassed woman, so the thought of this happening to her was funny in itself…then she described herself trying profusely to motion to the other drivers that it’s a mistake, it’s stuck and they just thought she was being more impatient and she said “on the other hand, though, people kept moving out of my way and I got home very quick!”. Hahaha. So she was late the next morning as she had to arrange a different ride.

Ah…how times change. Now they’d just shoot you for that. Not move out of your way… oO

Anyway, thus concludes middle school and the following year I’d be off to Isaac Jr High, which incidentally was just across the street from Lyle’s hubble (instead of the 1.5 mile walk to & from school alone I’d been doing all this time). And I was so happy and excited to get to see Mr. Sanchez again, in his new gig! How cool is it to get a favorite teacher as your new vice principle?? Cool cool.

Anyway, mayhaps I will continue this tale another time, maybe not. Who knows. There is still much teacher-thanking to do, for the rest of the years, and Mr. Sanchez plays yet another role. But this is long and I’m fresh home from working all night, so I’m very tired.

Be well.

Gypsy Gies.

Dying ignored & the Indifference of a broken race.

Posted in Commentary, Uncategorized on April 27, 2010 by gypsygies

This has been my argument for nearly 30 years. Ever since the day I was forced by my mother, to not intervene. The human race is lost.

My mother and I were walking late at night…2am, fleeing the abusive boyfriend. She had us walk 2 miles to a family friends house because she had no car without him. I was actually quite excited to be up, and outside in the fresh night air (as we have since learned I have a strong affinity with), on a school night. We stopped by a surprisingly busy 7-11 because mom needed cigarettes. Outside there was a drunk homeless lying on his back, choking on throwup, dying. Everybody stood back, passed by, some watched. Did nothing. I kept saying to mom “We have to help!” and her reply was “don’t get involved, don’t get involved, let’s just go”. I tried to go to him but she was physically pulling me away, holding me. I understand that she believed she was protecting her 10 year old (?) daughter. But instead, that moment caused my irreparable harm. By the time we had gotten only a little ways away the man had stopped moving. Completely. Such complete stillness in what was before a living being I had never seen. Watching that man die in a busy parking lot full of people who not one of them…not one…would simply go over and turn the drunk over, or call the police…no one, caused such great harm to me. No one cared enough about their fellow living being to overcome their own personal aversions. “Christian nation” my ass. Most people have let centuries of false prophet’tering fill them with so much fear and hate they no longer have any concept whatsoever of what it is to simply be a good human being. The deadliest, most evil trait in Mankind is indifference. ‘Don’t get involved, move along’. That day I made a vow to never, ever, be like that.  I will not allow myself the comfort of walking away when someone is seriously and obvious in need.  I don’t care if I’m late to work, having a bad day, in an unfamiliar place – these things do not compare to the value of a life, or the value of my soul in peace knowing I did what I could. I understand this means I might die horribly intervening. But to do anything other is more wrong, and I wish people understood that. I really do. How can anything at all ever get better, with everyone walking away when they need to stay?

I felt a similar disgust one day in Portland, Oregon. There we all, the hundred strangers and I, spent an hour together at the bus mall downtown five days a week waiting. There were various regular homeless people around. They seemed nice enough to me. Gave them what I could, talked with them. I’ll never regard a homeless person with anything less that what I regard you with. All beings deserve basic, common respect. I live perpetually on the edge of homeless myself and even if that happens I will demand the basic respect I give. It is simply the right way to be, regardless of situation. Then one morning there were police by the homeless hub – the bank building across the street from the bus mall. One of the men had died there, homeless in the street, soaked in his own piss. What angered me was the reaction of the regulars around me – *suddenly* they were all concerned for the man, so so many of them saying they had NEVER seen him before “who was he?”. There was DRAMA now, it was socially acceptable to take an interest now, so the crowd grew a heart. A heart that wasn’t there in any previous day – I was furious. I ended up reaming someone out saying “YOU SEE THIS MAN EVERY DAY DON’T ACT LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN HIM BEFORE IN YOUR LIFE!!!”. I was so mad. We all saw that man every day. No one would interact. Take an interest. Now that he’s dead? Oh he’s suddenly *a human being*. Now we can care and be concerned that he was homeless. Now it’s sad instead of pathetic and deserved. The sheer self-absorption of people in their own every day, to the detriment of those around them, just wounds me in some way.

Don’t misunderstand and think I’m saying everybody has to go out of their way, every day, use all their own days to help another. No. All I ask is people to at least care. And that’s what fails. People don’t even give a shit until it’s socially acceptable to. Indifference is King.

~ Gypsy Gies.


Homeless good Samaritan left to die on NYC street

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In this frame grab from an April 18, 2010 surveillance video  obtained and released by ABC, is shown a pedestrian approaching a  homeless man, lower rig AP – In this frame grab from an April 18, 2010 surveillance video obtained and released by ABC, is shown a …

By DEEPTI HAJELA, Associated Press Writer Deepti Hajela, Associated Press Writer Tue Apr 27, 12:42 am ET

NEW YORK – The homeless man lay face down, unmoving, on the sidewalk outside an apartment building, blood from knife wounds pooling underneath his body.

One person passed by in the early morning. Then another, and another. Video footage from a surveillance camera shows at least seven people going by, some turning their heads to look, others stopping to gawk. One even lifted the homeless man’s body, exposing what appeared to be blood on the sidewalk underneath him, before walking away.

It wasn’t until after the 31-year-old Guatemalan immigrant had been lying there for nearly an hour that emergency workers arrived, and by then, it was too late. Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax — who police said was stabbed while intervening to help a woman being attacked — had died.

“I think it’s horrific,” said Marla Cohan, who teaches at P.S. 82, a school across the street from where Tale-Yax died. “I think people are just afraid to step in; they don’t want to get involved; who knows what their reasons are?”

Tale-Yax was walking behind a man and a woman on 144th Street in the Jamaica section of Queens around 6 a.m. April 18 when the couple got into a fight that became physical, according to police, who pieced together what happened from surveillance footage and interviews with area residents.

Tale-Yax was stabbed several times when he intervened to help the woman, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. She and the other man fled in different directions, and Tale-Yax pursued the man before collapsing. Authorities are searching for the man and woman.

A 911 call of a woman screaming came in around 6 a.m., but when officers responded to the address that was given, no one was there, police said. Another call came in around 7 a.m., saying a man was lying on the street, but gave the wrong address. Finally, around 7:20 a.m., someone called 911 to report a man had possibly been stabbed at 144th Street and 88th Road.

Police and firefighters arrived a few minutes later to find Tale-Yax dead. Officials say they’re not sure whether the man was still alive when passers-by opted not to help him.

Residents who regularly pass by the same stretch of sidewalk, in a working-class neighborhood of low-rise apartment buildings and fast food restaurants near a busy boulevard, were unnerved by the way Tale-Yax died.

“Is anybody human anymore?” asked Raechelle Groce, visiting her grandmother at a nearby building on Monday. “What’s wrong with humanity?”

In the urban environment, it’s not unusual to see people on the street, sleeping or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

But even assuming the person they’ve just passed is drunk, instead of injured, is no reason not to notify authorities, said Seth Herman, another teacher at the school. He remembered calling an ambulance when seeing a man who appeared to be homeless on the street, with a beer bottle near by.

He called 911, he said, because “I felt it wasn’t my job to figure out if the person was drunk or actually hurt.”

Groce agreed.

“I just think that’s horrible, whether you’re homeless or not,” she said. “He’s a human being; he needs help.”


Associated Press writer Colleen Long contributed to this report.


Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on March 15, 2010 by gypsygies

So, I finally stopped saying “Luck of the Irish to ye!” when I realized the Irish…have shitty luck.

I mean, seriously…anybody who’s ever been betrayed, shit upon, put upon, Starved, conquered, had their religion stolen from them…and then brainwashed into thinking it’s what they Want? Oh and let’s not forget getting them arguing and killing off each other about that religion so they don’t really have anything left over to deal with the actual oppressors…yeah, the Irish have the shit luck, man. Infamously, even. You’d have to have never opened a book or watched a movie to not at least have *some* impression of a put-upon Irish.

So I stopped saying that, realizing it’s like a curse instead…like if you’re mad at somebody you might say “Fuck You! And Luck o’the Irish to you as well!”  Yeah. _Take That_ asshole.  You’re a shithead having a nice day? Take some Irish luck, eh? haha.   ;’)

~ Gypsy, proud part Irish and still get excited about St. Patrick’s Day (despite the history of it).   =D

crazy moi?

Posted in Commentary, Uncategorized with tags , on March 4, 2010 by gypsygies
Est soy Loca/Ya soshla s uma/crazy moi…?

I remember watching some Vin Diesel action flick (triple x?) and being startled at one point to realize that a stunt they were pulling off as crazy-intense-action scene…is actually something I’ve done. “Huh.” To the immortal dumb 20-something I was…seemed to make sense at the time: changing drivers at some 85 mph on the Interstate. In fact, I’ve done both ways at separate times…crawled into the drivers seat while someone else slipped out, and crawled out of the drivers seat once while someone else slipped in. For the life of me, I cannot remember why we couldn’t stop at the time, or rather…while changing drivers while speeding down an interstate seemed more convenient than simply pulling over. See: “immortal dumb 20-something”.

I recently came across something else it hadn’t occurred to me was so `crazy’ until someone else described it so: jumping a train. This was more a matter of necessity in Grinnell, though. There’s a train that runs right through the middle of the college grounds there…very very rude, really, in my opinion. So if you happen to be late for some reason, which is also a standard at Grinnell, jumping the train, crossing to the other side of it, then jump-rolling away = perfectly sane. (right? ;)

It’s a strange light to think back on things from – suddenly occurs to me how wild-seeming some of the things I’ve done is, even though we were never really thinking that at the time. I remember scaling a bank in Grinnell late at night once, because it has a famous “jewel box” window in it that’s very beautiful and we all took turns climbing the bank at like…3 or 4 am and snapping pictures of ourselves posing in the middle of it. It was someone else’s camera, though, and now I’m sad I never got around to getting a copy of that photo.  

We also broke into ARH once, a campus building, late at night. We had run off earlier that afternoon to do god knows what, then when we were coming back late that night, Henry realized he’d left his book bag…with the homework he needed, sitting on a bench inside. He was absolutely adamant that he had to have that book bag that night – though the rest of us were sure then & now he just wanted to see if we could break into ARH. There was an open window on the second floor, and it was decided Aletha could make it through it. My job was only to climb up a little and provide a “stepping spot” (with my knee) for Aletha on the way up. Of course, Hen crawled on up after her anyway and in they went. Back out a few moments later, with huge grins and book bag in hand. It’s not about damaging anything or being a nuisance…it’s about just seeing if you can do it. Simple and “harmless” unless one of us falls and breaks ourselves…which was a very real possibility. And there was, even, a moment of discussion about that. We really weren’t sure whether or not Aletha (or Hen for that matter!) could make the climb – we couldn’t fully see what was on the other side to come down with, and didn’t think she could come down the way she was going up. And I’m even afraid of heights and somehow I’d do this shit…cling to the side of a building and let someone step on me. Immortal, dumb 20-something, yep. All the way.

And that doesn’t even count all the stupid shit I’ve done that “seemed like a good idea at the time” but immediately recognized (er, ok post-turnout of situation) was maybe not-so-smart. That category includes things like knocking myself unconscious after failing to cross a ravine on a fallen tree. I woke up to a terrified boy scout face because this kid was sure he’d found a dead body. Apparently, the boy had seen me climb up on the tree and start to cross the ravine…then when he glanced back I was NOWHERE. I was basically fine, which was incredibly lucky. I wish I could say that was my most embarrassing moment, but I’m sure it’s not. Of course, these were the times I’d show up on campus with an ear-to-ear grin, but trying to look calm, cool and collected. My friend C would see that grin, and instantly say: “Oh god, what did you Do?“…which would turn my face bright red and send me into hysterical laughing. He got good at waiting patiently until I could regain myself, so he could hear about it and laugh too.

Of course these days I’d like to think I’ve gained some wisdom (or at least some caution). I can hope, anyway. I’m fairly sure Fate was only kind to my young 20-something because she was somewhere laughing her butt off. By a few years later Fates’ amusement begins to wear off and you suddenly become ‘mortal’. Damn & Blast! It’s true that I’m still physically unable to stay on a nature trail…but at least I’m more cautious (I think). I find myself wondering, suddenly, if Henry’s still alive? I lost contact with him long ago…he had left college to run off and be a bicycle courier in San Francisco, because he’d heard it was crazy adrenaline fun. According to Henry’s source, the sole objective of the SanFran auto traffic was not to get anywhere, but do to everything possible to stop a bicycle courier from living long enough to make a successful delivery. The goal of the bicycle couriers journey was, of course, to test your basic survivalist instinct. Off Hen goes. “So Henry”, really.

Target, Everywhere

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on March 2, 2010 by gypsygies

Saturday June 17th, 2000

Today I’m having one of those days where you know that there is something in the back of your mind bothering you…but you don’t know what. It’s like something that I must have passed by, and then got distracted by life, and it just seated itself somewhere in a corner to wait. So I am aware of something “disturbing” me that I need to think about, but the day has been so long and I’ve been busy and now I no longer remember what it was that caught me. Residue from my day in the world, I suppose. Sometimes that’s randomly damaging…breathing in the world. There are days when it seems that everything will be alright eventually with this Race…we’ll get it figured out that we can’t teach Hate and expect to be a functional society and, as Julian of Norwich once said: “All shall be well.”. Then there are days when my eyes see too much, even though they were trying to look at something else.

Like earlier today I was in a Target shopping center, and this incident occurred: there was a small child and a young mother shopping nearby me. The child had, at some previous point, picked up an empty bar from a metal rack that some employee must have left laying around…and was playing with it. The mother did not care, simply told the child here and there “get over here” when it strayed too far. The child was singing into this metal bar, then trying to eat it (child is about 4 yrs old), then started randomly smacking things with it…like a sword. The child is hitting clothes, other racks, shoe stacks, poles…everything, and the mother does not care, just pulls the child along. Then the child randomly, just a normal tap-everything-around-you-swing, hit the mom’s leg with it (not hard, just a tap). The mother *instantly* flew upon the kid in a rage, no blink time inbetween, hit the child really hard and started yelling “Don’t You Hit ME With That! I’ll Hit YOU! You Don’t Be Hitting ME…” etc as if she were in the midst of some street brawl with a long held enemy. All that street attitude and tough-talk and hitting the child back. I didn’t even have time to react, no-one did. The sheer speed and rage of her return would be enough to make the child, any child and many adults, start crying in shock. And then there was the violence of the blow. Of course, the child fell to its knees and started balling. This made the mother more angry because, I guess, the child was not simply a cart to be dragged along but a living thing that would react, and it only intensified her yelling. She noticed me then, my disapproval, and yanked the child to its feet and hurried off to some other area.

The sad thing is, I see this kind of thing all the time in the public areas surrounding me. It seems so violent to write it, and it strikes me as so, but yet we all pass by it all the time. Mothers in grocery stores dragging their children through the aisles…paying no real attention to what the kid is doing until it forcefully disrupts their concentration and then all is a moment of fury. They never seem to realize why the child is reacting the way it is. It stuns and amazes me that they do not recognize that a child is a Child and it is NOT a full-understanding adult human being. The child does not yet have experience with the world, and this is the experience you are feeding it. Children react to emotions, and if you direct a strong emotion towards a child, the child will form a response based on the positive or negative stimulus it’s being given. The child’s reaction is Not random. We, as adults, however, must be aware that the longevity of our experience with the world affects our many current trains of thought, and that if we react so strongly negatively to a moments disruption in our minds, the child will not instantly follow and our actions will appear random. I am not saying that any child does, or does not know what it is supposed to be doing or not doing…I make no excuses there…but I am saying that we have no right to throw a whole life’s frustration upon anyone at any moment…especially a child who will have no idea what’s going on. A 4 yr old can not (or at least should not have to be able to) say “she’s having a bad day and that’s why she reacted so strongly”…the child sees mommy in a rage directed at him/her. It’s frightening. I can not be convinced that such parental reactions can be the correct response to disciplining any child…because at that point the child is just scared and insecure and it seems to me all other information gets lost in its shock.

I do not expect every parent to be perfect, never be tired or grouchy, always even and justified. However, I do expect the Effort. Hell I know sometimes *I* yell at my cat when it doesn’t deserve it…but I will catch myself and not carry on with it.

And…as a populace…I expect us (myself included) to find a way to make this social norm be known as disapproved and not have to stand for the abuse of our airspace and person — when you throw disrespect and abuse upon another in my vicinity you are also throwing disrespect and abuse upon me. I do not wish to have this with me today. I just wanted to shop.

I can not understand how anyone could not care about how the people in our world are being taught to be. We are building people and these children affect the other children they go to school with, and they grow into adults and then we have to deal with them and all the traits that they’ve developed. If you desire to abuse/disrespect yourself that’s one thing and I have nothing to say about that. But when you disrespect others, even your own children, eventually Other People have to deal with them and then that affect the World. this is not just of concern to me. I disapprove not only out of sympathy for the child developing but also out of social concern for our Race. We can not continue on this path forever. Raise frightened, confused little beings taught to react with fury to their days’ disruptions and expect the world to turn out A-OK.