Thursday, October 28, 2010

How many Degrees of Separation before you don't give

It always warms my heart when I see the kindness of friends on the internet. People I never met in person will respond to a need from someone they know only through me.

We saw an outpouring of help for our friends in New Orleans, just because they needed help. When I made an appeal for a kidney donor for a young man I never met, the response came from a friend of Rose's sister's daughter. (How many degrees is that?) And some of my friends who don't know Pat, responded with YU-GI-OH cards for her grandson in Hospice.

I'm asking again. My friend Deb Zacher is my muscle coach, the one I call Brunhilda, as in "that woman hurt me." Her friend Brenda Brown needs a cancer treatment that her insurance won't approve. Read Deb's blog here and do what internet friends do.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Day for Good Karma

Did you ever feel like you were overdue for something good to happen. It's been one of those years for me.

Today was going to be my "Day Off." I had no appointments, so Sweetie and I planned to go to the State Fair. But Tuesday, I learned I had to take my sister to the Dentist. My 84-year-old sister and her 91-year-old husband moved to Raleigh to a retirement home earlier this year, largely due to my insistence. So guess who gets to take them to their appointments.

So I scheduled it as early as feasible to allow the old folks to have breakfast and be ready for me to pick them up. The dentist is five minutes from their retirement home, but the office is on the second floor with stairs on the outside of the building. I usually park in a handicapped space at the foot of the ramp, so my sister can use her walker. Brother-in-law, who is less steady on his feet, but refuses to use a cane or walker, would probably try the stairs, but it would take half an hour. I have a placard for handicapped parking that I only use when transporting them. This time I forgot to hang it on my mirror.

After I had been sitting in the waiting room, while Sis was in with the dentist about 15 minutes, a woman comes into the office, looks around, and asks me, "Did you park in the handicapped space down there?" I say yes, and she says, "You forgot to put your placard in the window. You need to go get it...quickly." So I go immediately and hang the sign on my mirror. Within less than a minute, a police car comes cruising through the parking lot, stops behind my car, checks the handicapped placard, and moves on down to the middle of the next section, where he stops.

When I go back to the waiting room, the dentists' receptionist tells me what happened. Someone in the one of the offices near where I parked called the police, but one of her co-workers heard the conversation and came to tell me. Apparently she has helped others like this before.

My first thought was, "What busy-body has time to call the police when there are plenty other empty handicapped spots available?" Then I thanked God for the other busy-body who took the time to run and tell me. Then I had to wonder if the local police don't have anything better to do. When we finished the appointment, the police car was still there, and stayed while I helped my old folks into the car, and exited the parking lot in the other direction.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Second Chance at Happiness

Second Chance At HappinessSecond Chance At Happiness by Sherry McFarland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sherry McFarland tells a good story. It's a little bit "School Daze," a little bit "Why Did I Get Married,"... HBCU gets married. It kept me turning pages until the shocker in the middle of the book.

The story took me back to a more carefree time in my life with an ensemble of characters I liked, even the flawed ones. I found it elegant the way Sherry bridged the gap between "Urban Fiction" and "Christian Romance" without being raunchy or preachy.

A first person fictional narrative can be tricky. How does the narrator reveal the things she isn't supposed to know? Sherry does it by switching narrators. It would be smoother if she did it without repeating everything. Still, I laughed, cried, and had my heart lifted with the life of Nina Simone.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Happy Birthday to ME!!! I never thought I would live to see 65. Thank you Lord for all you've done for me!!

As you see, I am wearing my Birthday Suit! Age has its privileges, and an old broad like me ought to be able to do anything she wants on her birthday.

At the beginning of the year, I said I was going gray. It was my intention to be there in time for my new Driver License. In North Carolina we renew every 5 years on the 5-multiple birthday. So it's official!!

And how am I going to spend my day....a mammogram and a bone density scan....WHOOPEEE!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Social Network

The year was 1986. (Mark Zuckerberg was two years old.) I was honored to be sent by my company to CADRE, the National ADR Users Group meeting. ADR was swallowed up by a bigger database company a few years later, but at the time, I considered myself the data bigot, the one in charge of relational database design. I had come up through the ranks as a programmer, my coding days were over, but I was still, the super-geek, super-geek. (Apologies to Rick James.)

The keynote speaker at CADRE that year was Bill Gates, a senior citizen at age 30, and he talked about his new operating system, Windows. The audience was other main-frame geeks like me, who were fascinated with the future of PC development as described by Gates. We had not even heard of the internet yet. I remember Bill Gates was a nerd, but he had a certain charm, a self-deprecating humor, that kept his audience enthralled with his vision of the world to come.

Fast-forward to 2004, the Harvard dorm room of Mark Zuckerberg. If you believe the movie which claims to be fiction, he's the ultimate nerd with no social skills, no scruples, no morals, and after building a site with 500 million users, has no friends.

I thought I was going to get a nap during the's been one of those weeks when I couldn't get a nap. But it kept my attention every minute. And who else was in the Friday matinee, but other old geeks, probable Facebook members like me. I suppose some might have been wondering how they missed the chance to be a billionaire.

If you've seen the trailers, you know the movie chronicles the building of Facebook, intertwined with the depositions of the lawsuits that follow. Did he really stiff his best friend, his only friend, who put up the start-up money? They settled the lawsuit with an undisclosed amount. And did he really print those business cards? (Apologies again to Rick James)

I've seen a few interviews with Zuckerberg, and Jesse Eisenberg who plays him, has him nailed...the obsessive talking, the fidgeting, the lack of

Justin Timberlake was impressive as a sleazy Sean Parker, the founder of Napster.

I give the movie three stars.