Tag Archives: Facebook

Swap

Over the last year, I learned about this thing called “Swap.” It’s usually a Facebook group in your community that gives you the opportunity to buy, sell and trade stuff that you no longer want or need. I first heard about it when I went to visit a friend in North Carolina. She had just moved into a new home and we were sitting in her sunroom drinking wine. I was admiring the furniture she had in there so I asked where she got it, as I too was working on fixing up our own sunroom. And that’s when she told me about Swap.

So Swap has these great things and these stupid things that people are trying to buy and sell. I participate. I’ve tried to sell tarot cards, a bed frame, a cookbook holder, new baby clothes – a variety of different things. I’ve sold a few things here and there, not for very much, but it’s nice to know something you never used or will never use again can find life in a new home. Yes, I could donate it, which I do with so many things, but some of this stuff is brand new, never been used or taken out of a box so why not try and make a few extra bucks? I’ve bought things too. Only one actually, but it was a great purchase – a ride along car for my daughter for all of $10. Sure it was used, but no one knows the difference, least of all her, and I saved myself about $40, so it was a win-win. I’m sure I’ll do it again.

What irks me about Swap is some of the shit that some people try to sell. I know, I tried to sell tarot cards, but just hear me out. I don’t want to offend anyone. I know that times are tough for people and a good deal is hard to come by. But I’m not down with selling a potty seat or a kid’s toilet. I think it’s gross. I don’t care how much you bleached it or cleaned it; the amount you’re selling for and what I could buy a fresh one right out of the box for is incomparable. Just throw it out or donate it. Do you really need that $3 you’re selling it for? Hey, maybe you do, and if so, I’m sorry, I really am, but wouldn’t you rather have the tax write-off for donating it to Big Brothers Big Sisters or the Veterans Council than $3 lousy bucks? I’m sure you’d get a lot more ROI.

And before you go on about how we sit on toilets all day long in random places where random people have been and these little potties are probably cleaner than those, let me just say, for me, sitting on a random toilet is something I pretty much HAVE to do. And unless I’m in France, I don’t have to pay for it.

All in all, I’m a fan of the Swap. It’s a great way to get something on the cheap or simply get rid things you don’t need.  Some stuff is even free; people just want it out of their house without having to do the work (calling to schedule a pick up, putting everything together in bags or boxes, etc.). And if you can make a few bucks by selling old designer purses, furniture or gifts that you never really liked or used, why not. Just keep those potties to yourselves.

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Classmates Shouldn’t Drive You To Kill Yourself

I’m really disturbed by the Tyler Clementi story. Tyler is the Rutgers University freshman who jumped off the George Washington Bridge and killed himself because his college roommate, Dhaurn Ravi, videotaped him having sex with another male and broadcast it online with the help of friend Molly Wei.

It’s so sad that people would do this to another human being; humiliate and embarrass a peer like that. Was your life that uninteresting that you had to tape someone else’s sexual encounters? Did you really have nothing better to do? Was this supposed to make you look cool to your friends? Or maybe you wanted to make sure that no one thought you were gay too?

Whatever the reasons, it was wrong, and disgusting. And the fact that someone lost their life in the process makes the whole thing even more dreadful. Even if Tyler chose not to take his own life, this was a deceitful, sadistic act. I hope you both rot in jail.

When I was in school, people teased one another, we all did things we weren’t proud of, physical violence even came into play, but I don’t remember ever feeling so degraded or humiliated that I wanted to end my own life.

These days, going to school, growing up and dating all seem so much harder than when I was younger. I know I am showing my age here, but seriously, you shouldn’t be tormented by bastards and bullies while trying to get an education, meet new people and become a better person.

Throughout our existence, we’ll always encounter people who want to make our lives more difficult for no good reason. When those people get you down, think about Tyler Clementi and the countless other young people who died too soon because of public ridicule. And for those causing the pain, think of those you’re hurting and what the consequences may be. Life is far too great to take it away from others, or yourself.

Admit It, You Text While Driving

I’ll admit it, I am guilty of texting while driving. Well, actually, I USED to be guilty of texting while driving. I think I was more of a “texting while at a stop light” or “texting while in traffic” kind of gal, but when push comes to shove, I have to man up and admit to it.

I have full on stopped after my husband and I were in a car accident because someone was texting while driving. Everyone thinks that it won’t happen because you only take your eyes off the road for a mere moment, but that mere moment can have serious consequences.

While at a stop sign, conversing about the evening’s events, there was a heavy impact, “BANG!” We were fully slammed  by a pick-up truck. We made sure we were each OK and then proceeded to find out what happened. The driver ran out of the car and declared, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, it’s all my fault! I was texting while driving.”

We were blown away that the driver would even admit to that, but even more so that the impact was so heavy. The car we were driving and the driver’s car were stuck together, forcing a tow truck to pull us apart. The driver’s insurance will likely go up, the car has to be repaired, we felt some slight, uncomfortable back pain for a few days, and it threw a wrench in the entire evening. Thankfully no one was hurt, but was all this really worth it for 15 words of nonsense?

Apparently there is a law in something like 14 states, including New Jersey, that bans texting while driving. I never see it enforced; in fact, I see the people (cops) who are supposed to be enforcing the ban actually enabling it, it’s out there and getting more and more traction as more accidents and fatalities occur. At the end of day, think twice about sending that text message to your buddy or updating your Facebook status while driving, at a stop sign or sitting in traffic. It could turn out to be the worst message you ever send.

Michael Jackson Makes Me Wanna Dance, Not Cringe

I grew up listening to Michael Jackson. “Thriller” was my first album. It’s hard to remember what an album is in the days of digital downloads, iTunes, iPods and the like, isn’t it? 

I was sitting in my living room, watching the evening news when I heard MJ had a heart attack. Minutes later, there was breaking news that he was in coma. And before I knew it, the newscaster was practically breaking down on air, announcing the news of his death. 

I was baffled. Michael Jackson, DEAD? No way. But then I jumped online and it was everywhere, within seconds. The amount of information pumping into the web was astronomical. I was by myself when I heard the news and I had to tell someone – this was monumental. My husband was at softball so I texted him. I called my mom, both at home and on the cell phone she never turns on with no luck. I even called my dad, who is just getting into the pop culture scene and has a recent fascination with Susan Boyle, but couldn’t reach him. I finally tried my brother, who is out in Oregon working as an extreme sports camp leader. There was no way I would get him on the phone, but I had to talk to someone and since he is separated from society, he likes to know what he is missing. The last person I expected to talk to, I reached. 

So we shared the moment of MJ’s death 3,000 miles away from one another. I told him everything that happened on the news. How it almost felt like a 9/11, with breaking news alerts and non-stop coverage; and it had only been about 15 minutes or so since the news broke. I told him how the news anchor couldn’t hold herself together; how she fumbled words to the next story and had to apologize to the audience. She even went so far as to say,”I’m not reading that.” It was so bizarre. Since  there wasn’t much communication out in the Oregon wilderness, my brother became the conduit of the Michael Jackson death news. 

I finally spoke to my parents. My mom was at Sam’s Club – she said random people were stopping each other, talking about what happened. We talked about how weird he became and what a sad life he had and about his amazing dance moves and music and how crazy it was that all these celebrities were dying (Farrah Fawcett died earlier that day and Ed McMahon earlier in the week). 

Throughout the night, I watched endless coverage of MJ. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. Granted, I am a news junkie, but this was something different. I must have stayed up until 1:30 a.m. (remember, I am unemployed).

I jumped on Facebook and every post was about Michael Jackson. People said they found out about his death through Facebook. How crazy is that? That is the world we live in now; where you hop online and immediately find out who died, what major world event happened or that your best friend had a baby or got engaged! It’s great, but also kind of sad. 

I got pissed off when people started making those little boy jokes about MJ and some people went so far as to say that he deserved to die because he was a child molester. Hey, I think all child molesters should burn in hell, but I felt people were missing the bigger picture here. 

Was I a super Michael Jackson fan? No. Am I jumping on the Jackson bandwagon because he died? No. He was just this iconic figure I grew up with. My mom and I listened to his tapes in the car and I danced around my bedroom to his albums on my very first stereo. In amazement, I watched him moonwalk across the stage with a glittery white glove. I learned how to play “We Are the World” on the piano. I was glued to the TV screen when “Black or White” debuted during primetime on every major network television station. 

When I think of Michael Jackson, I don’t think of this crazy, whack job who touched little boys and went from being a black guy to a white guy. I see an amazing musical icon who lived a seriously damaged life. Did he look weird? Sure. Did he have issues? Um, you bet. But you know, I wasn’t there, I don’t know the details and frankly, I don’t care. What I do know is how his music makes feel. To this day, it makes me want to dance and have fun and just feel really good. And it changed the world. And that is how I will remember the King of Pop.