Gabrielle Union has finally spoken about that nude leak and she says she did nothing wrong. In an essay she wrote for the December issue of Cosmopolitan the Being Mary Jane star points out that if the stolen photos had been of non celebrities then the media and the Internet would have been full of outrage. She may well be correct in her assumptions. Certainly the hundred celebrity women who were targeted by the hacker were all famous and the vast majority received the helpful advice that they should not have taken nude photos of themselves.
I was not going to do a post today. I have been doing on average two a day for a while now and thought, ‘what the heck, I can take a break now and then, can’t I?’ The obvious answer being yes as I don’t have to sing for my supper to any man or woman where my blog is concerned and I was a bit busy today trying to get my financial affairs in order.
I set aside an entire day to call the folks I owe money to and explain that the old solution was no longer viable and that I was having to re-do the whole thing. I found myself giving the “Reader’s Digest” version of my last year over and over. The amazing thing was that not only did it get easier each time but I found I was still able to laugh at my “overabundance” of bad luck last year.
I think the thing that made it that little bit easier to chuckle at my current dilemma was the kindness shown by each and every one of the people I talked to on the phone today. One young man took severe umbrage at the fact that my pension was going to be so tiny.
He was so upset that he began to search the internet for help for me and find numbers of people to call. I assured him that I was doing all that already, but he still felt the need to help. Now here’s the amazing bit; this young man works for a collection agency that took over my debt problem from couple of major credit card companies. The company responsible for making sure I pay the money I owe.
I was flabbergasted and touched. This fellows show of empathy and humanity really helped me; more than I can say or even try to explain. I thanked him for his concern and his help and offers of further help. I hung up the phone at the end of our business in a much better mood. I actually felt chipper (an old-fashioned word I know, but damn-it it fits) and gave thanks once more to a young man named Stuart who cared.
But that’s not all. Everyone I spoke to today reacted the same way. Each and every company I spoke to responded to me and my situation with a wealth of empathy and understanding and well wishes. I was complemented repeatedly on my ability to laugh at my bad luck and I had one or two other folks who also wanted to help by making sure I was speaking to the right people.
I had made these same phone calls in the beginning of December with the news that everything should be sorted out by now via an agreement written by a financial company. Unfortunately, before the middle of December everything changed when I found out that I no longer worked for the Ministry of Justice and was being medically retired. Once I received my paperwork verifying the result of my meeting with my number one governor, I decided I needed to call the debt charity folks and see what I could do.
These charity people were also very helpful and assured me that bankruptcy was not an option just yet. They explained that my circumstances were way too up in the air and that it would take the court at least a year to make a decision. They gave me great guidelines on what to do and a timeline to do it in. The helpful chap also gave me his personal phone number to contact him on.
Needless to say, I’ve had an uplifting of spirits in the last 48 hours and it is thanks to the charity folks and their positive attitudes and the brilliantly helpful and kind customer service representatives I spoke to today.
I sat here waiting for tea and I realised that the kindness shown to me today did not just surprise me, it shocked me. I thought of an old Glen Campbell song called Try a Little Kindness and it began a sort of loop in my head (it’s still playing now) and I then thought of Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire and her “relying on the kindness of strangers.”
I then decided I had to post about my day and the unexpected delight of it. The kindness of these total strangers; people who did not know me and really only knew what I had told them. People that get these sort of phone calls all too often in these financially stressful times; probably so many times that they must tire of it. Yet the folks all offered help, well wishes, and most importantly a final message of intent.
The intent to provide further assistance if I need it.
I had a lot of calls to make today and I really dreaded doing it. But the positive and caring response I got from each company’s representative made the chore less difficult and a lot less embarrassing.
I’ll leave on a positive note and a thankful one. Thanks again Stuart and all you other folks who made an old man very proud to be part of the human race once again.
I sit here with the silence of the house ticking like a murmuring death watch beetle and I rack my brain on what to blog about today. I’ve already cheated a bit by just posting my 2012 statistics up that WordPress so helpfully provided me with this morning and not wanting to be too lazy, I’ve decided that I need to do a “proper” post.
As usual, I do have a blog-post that I should do, that lovely chap Rich over at Sunday Night Blog has nominated me for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. I will do a proper thank you to Rich, but I wanted to do a link to his site just to show that I had noticed and do appreciate his thoughtful kindness.
But the silence surrounding me is a little un-nerving. Usually if I am alone in the house, I have the next door neighbour’s kid running up and down the stairs and across the first floor (that’s second floor to you relatives of Uncle Sam) in his concrete over-boots. His shoes must be made of concrete because he is a little teeny chap who cannot weigh more than a couple of stone (if that).
*a stone, by the way, equals 14 pounds*
And yet this one little chap sounds like a herd of elephants thundering in stampede across the floors and up and down the stairs whenever he is at home with Mum or Dad. The fact that the house next door is empty is a blessing, just one that I’ve only had the pleasure of when Meg and I first moved in here. And before you ask, yes we were here before the heavy footed neighbours.
Meg has gone off somewhere to celebrate the New Year with friends and I am left to my own devices. Re-reading this last bit makes me feel like I should be fiendishly rubbing my hands together whilst hatching some world dominating plot. But, no; this is me I’m talking about here. I have no immediate or long-term plans to take over the world. I have no wish to do so and, more importantly, do not have the capability to.
So I have reverted back to staring silently (there is that wonderful word again) around the living room and wondering if I really should think about taking down and packing up the Christmas decorations that were only put up on the 23rd of December or if I should get the Hoover out.
*again for those relatives of Uncle Sam, Hoover equals vacuum cleaner (which I’ve only now just discovered that I have been misspelling for a lot of years)*
Since cleaning up or pulling down decorations both require something resembling physical effort, I have decided that I will do neither. I will instead finish up this blog post, edit it and publish it. That is about as taxing as I want to be taxed. This being the last day of 2012, I don’t want to ruin it by being too over industrious. So instead, I’m going to reflect, only in the most broad terms possible, over my year.
The year has been a very strange one.
It has been a year of injury, pain, surgery (times two) and rehabilitation; along with discovery and shocking revelations. It has also been a year where I have worked hardly at all. There are those I work with who would claim that I don’t work when I do show up, but that is another story. Counting the time before my work injury and the time I spent “returning to work” I have only been “at work” for just under two months this year.
But 2012 has also been a year of meeting new folks and making new friends, Marilyn, Gary and Tyson just to name a few. There are loads more friends that I’ve met via the auspices of WordPress and their wonderful blogging community. I have been blessed with support and well wishes from lots of you and that has helped me to get through the more “agonising” and maddening aspects of my year.
2012 is also the year that I finally realised that my daughter Meg was a grown up. She stepped up smartly to the plate, bat in hand and hit a home run with how she dealt with my near death and all the vagaries that went with it. She has also been there to help me deal with the work side of things and its ensuing trauma.
The most amusing aspect of this entire year (apart from the amount of time it took me to realise that I was having a heart attack while smoking three cigarettes and drinking two cups of coffee) is that I had my heart attack while I was returning to work. A scheme that allows you to increase your work week hours on a steadily increasing rise. Deliciously ironic.
When I was told I was going to receive an ill-health retirement certificate, apart from being shocked (I’d been told you had to be practically dead to get a medical retirement certificate, which is what an ill-health retirement is) I already felt that I’d pretty much already been retired for the whole damn year.
Of course that was on full pay. Now of course, when the dust settles, I’ll be on less money; a lot less money. I am still reeling over the ill-health retirement deal and scrabbling around to find out what I am entitled to. When I called the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) the earliest they could see me was the 15th of January. Rather than panic, I’ve been doing the, “I’ll just ignore it and it’ll get sorted when it gets sorted,” approach.
I’ve not ignored it completely though. It interrupts my sleep on a regular basis in the form of disturbing dreams. The last of which had to do with living in the world’s largest cardboard box and getting into a tizzy about where all the furniture was going to go.
It is nice to know that on the last day of 2012, I can take a break from spinning all those damn plates and not care when a few of them come crashing down to the ground. Like Scarlet O’Hara says, “Tomorrow is another day.” But in this instance tomorrow is not just another day, it’s another year. A year where my son is going to be marrying his beloved (lovely girl) and “good Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise” Meg and I will both be attending.
It is nice to have at least one thing to look forward to in the New Year.
Until then, or at least for the rest of today, I am going to put off doing anything that could possibly be related to work or industry. I’m going to procrastinate my way right up to the New Year.
I am going to leave you with Happy New Year Wishes just as soon as I’ve finished my cup of coffee.
- Oh, procrastination, come dance with me! (magicandwriting583.wordpress.com)
- 2013 (chloeteo.wordpress.com)
- Procrastination (chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com)
- Now (yzawuthrich.wordpress.com)
- Waxing and a lack of stationary (iamajezebel.wordpress.com)
- FreeAgent Friday – the procrastination issue (freeagent.com)
- Procrastination Nation (erikachristakis.wordpress.com)
- Kevin Bacon Seeks Generous Procrastinators (examiner.com)
So according to certain “scholars” the world is going to end tomorrow. Or, I guess more accurately, in about 6 ½ hours (give or take a few micro-seconds). But the six some odd hour’s thing is just a guess since the Mayans did not actually say when on the 21st the world was actually going to end.
Now don’t get wrong here, I am not thumbing my nose at the Mayans or the scholars who “deciphered” the calendar that suddenly stops on the 21st of the 12th 2012. I will have to admit that I don’t care enough to spend too much time searching the net for additional references to the day the world ends. I probably should though just to be on the safe side.
I don’t want to wake tomorrow morning and waste my time being superior and doing the “See! I told you this was a load of bull pucky;” only to have everything blow up in my face at noon or twelve midnight of the 21st of December.
If these ancient Mayan’s were so clever, why did their civilization collapse? Oh sure, a 200 year drought may have had something to do with it, but, they also could have been overthrown by folks who did not fancy being the latest sacrifice to the Gods they worshipped.
In fact, if I have the “facts” straight, their wonderful calendar does not “state” that the world will end on the 21st. It just does not go beyond that date. There could be a lot of different reasons for this.
- They could have gotten tired doing all that etching in stone and laid down for a rest. While they were resting, the civilization collapsed and no one cared about finishing the calendar.
- Maybe the royal Mayan calendar maker died (or was sacrificed) and they could not find another one.
- They might just have gotten bored. After all some new neighbours might have moved in next door and they needed to make them feel welcome.
- Last, but not least, perhaps they lost their version of the Abacus they were using and they didn’t have enough fingers and toes to finish the calendar.
But seriously why does anyone believe that an ancient civilization could tell when the world was going to end. I’m pretty sure that the lack of dates past a certain time does not indicate the end of time or dates.
Folks have been saying that the world’s going to end a lot. Okay, most of these folks are religious cranks that usually belong to a cult and believe that angels are going to descend in a space ship and take them to heaven. Of course not all cults believe this, some just think they need to be at a certain place or they’re going to miss the “heaven” train.
Talking to a bank teller today, the subject of the world ending tomorrow came up. “Well, if the world’s ending tomorrow, I’d better wish you a happy Christmas now.” He was laughing when he said it. After we finished laughing at his funny remark I wondered if I still needed to send out Christmas cards this year. I could always send them late with the excuse that I wanted to save money on the postage, especially if the cards would never get there anyway.
But on a different note altogether, I saw somewhere that it was being predicted that the world wasn’t going to end tomorrow, but that all things electrical would cease functioning for three days.
I’m still not sure where this one came from, except I know for sure that it would not have been from the Mayans. Unless of course they really were that advanced and had written on their calendar that electricity would not only be invented, but, that it would be down world-wide for three whole days starting on the 21st.
Now that would be impressive. Not enough for me to believe it, but enough for me to give the Mayan’s more credit for telling the future than I have so far.
Still, if by some chance they were right, I’ll never know and that is how it should be. If we all knew when world was going to end I believe that we would all be a pretty miserable lot.
But if you don’t hear from me after tomorrow…
- Mayan Calendar Kerfuffle? Please! (justificationbygrace.com)
- Dec 21: End of Mayan Calendar, or End of the World? (themoderatevoice.com)
- December 21st 2012 – 7PM (allthatsevil.wordpress.com)
- The end of the world in December – or again not ? (travelnews2010.wordpress.com)
- BEST OF THE WEB: It’s smart to take all date-specific predictions with a spoonful of cynicism: 2012 ‘End Times’ prophecy corrected by Mayan priests (sott.net)
- Mayan Calendar Means I Don’t Have to Shop for Christmas (nonsensetomomsense.com)
- 2012 – Re: Nasa releases Mayan apocalypse video 10 days early (disclose.tv)
- Mayans Calendar How it Works (dmohankumar.wordpress.com)
- Mayan scholar refutes Dec. 21 apocalypse prediction (newsfixnow.com)
- Mayan Calendar Ending Party or December 21 2012 End of the World? (doctoramarthacastro.wordpress.com)