Homeless bars

In the 5th grade I was a bike riding maniac. I only had one gear on my Raleigh dirt bike, but that did not stop me from conquering any hill Kansas City had to offer. I would ride to school whenever the weather would allow, which was partially because I loved to ride bikes, but also because I felt pretty cool pulling up on my own mode of transportation as other kids were getting dropped off by their parents.
Across the street from my elementary school there was a large park, Loose Park, and one day as I cycled by I noticed a homeless man on the corner asking for change. Being a 9 year old from a nice area of K.C. I had not seen many people living on the streets. I rode over and gave him $10.
I know what I would have done with that $10, bought baseball cards. What I didn’t know was what that gentleman would do with it. I had hopes it was to buy food, or some other necessity. Unfortunately I don’t think that was the case.
Walking from the gym back to Mr. Walker’s classroom later that day I saw the man from the park, on school grounds, being taken away by police. I don’t know exactly what happened, but I did hear that he was drunk.
From that point forward I decided I would never help people.
The End.
That is not true at all.
Actually what I did learn from this, but certainly not at age 9, is that while money is tangible, it is an unknown. I like conclusions.
Heifer international and Kiva are two of probably many organizations that allow you to choose where you money goes. If you want to buy a Llama for a family so that they can make clothing and blankets in order to provide a family income, then you can do so. It’s not as conclusive as donating your own time, but at least you know where that dollar is headed.
I want to be able to do this with my tax money. We all pay taxes and make our checks out to the I.R.S., tossing our hard earned wages under the giant umbrella of “government”. What if we could pick exactly where our tax money went instead? You could choose education, or safe roads and bridges, social security, whatever you want. As the necessary amounts are filled for these respective government agencies, they would be removed from the selection list. So if you are late filing your taxes, then the taxes you owe will likely go to something you don’t want your money to pay for. I would guess I.R.S. bonuses would be at the bottom of that list. I am about to pay my taxes (late), and while I believe this yearly activity is a necessity to keep up the infrastructure we have, thus creating opportunities for everyone, I want to know that money isn’t being wasted. Unfortunately, I know that it is.
Billionaires complaining about the amount they pay in taxes and holding money offshore is offensive and unpatriotic. None of these Americans would have the wealth they do if they were not born into a society that was set up to support their endeavors. If Steve Jobs was born in Guatemala, his life would have obviously been different. He wouldn’t have had the opportunities he did, Apple wouldn’t be here, and everyone at Apple that is cheating money from the US government would likely not be anywhere near where they are today. However, because our government wastes money so blatantly, this rant is passionless.
I try and keep granola bars in my car for the sole purpose of handing them out to homeless people at stop lights. It feels better than giving away money. I uncreatively call them “homeless bars”, which as a term by itself sounds like something totally different. But this is what I want to give my government, something that I know about and think will do good. Not just money so they can get drunk.

Facebook-ing

Email changed the world. It changed how we do business, communicate with each other and send information. Facebook essentially took email and added a few features, one of these features being accessibility. This access allows us to be part of each others lives without ever directly communicating. Which, if this were 20 years ago, would be considered stalking.

“Wow Greg your new baby is gorgeous!! I also loved your Mexican vacation pics!”
1993
“What the fuck Alex? I haven’t talked to you in 2 years, those photos are in my bedside table. WHAT THE FUCK ALEX!!!??”
2013
“Hey, thanks Alex!”

I really like the idea of Facebook, I like having a group of friends that I can catch up with and avoid the simple chat. I know what you are doing for work, I know what is new, so when we are on the phone or get together maybe we can get a little deeper. I mean how is life, really?
I also like Facebook for people to express themselves, share interests or promote things they enjoy or are a part of.
Here is why I don’t like Facebook: It’s fucking stupid. Kidding, kind of.
About a year ago I purchased the domain name www.worststatusupdates.com. I haven’t done anything with it other than tell a few people my intentions of setting up a site dedicated solely to horrible statuses, statusi, stati…. that other people have written. So these friends have sent me some really ridiculous statuses, I mean, really ridiculous.

The majority of these “worst statuses” come in the form of a rant that expels massive amounts of personal information and has no semblance of punctuation.
I am certain you all know what I am referring to, and I guess I am just saying that I don’t get it.
We are allowed to select who we want to be a part of our own weird little worlds. These are called relationships. And while I have pretty much all of my best friends as Facebook friends, I feel like it would cheapen our bond to let other acquaintances in on the same communication.
There are levels to all relationships, and my worries are that as we continue down this social media binge our willingness to divulge intimate thoughts and events to a wide array of people blurs those lines.
Along with every other teenage girl, I recently took the test asking “what is your love language?”. I fell heavily into the “quality time” category. Meaning I value quality time over gifts, touch, affirmation or acts of service (i.e. folding laundry or picking up my favorite juice as you walk by the store). I like spending time with people that I like, forming a relationship unique to us and learning from each other. If every relationship is the same then we might as well all be flat. What I mean by that is we all interact in different ways. Without trying to connect and intertwine, we are just two flat surfaces, walls if you will. I think of my relationships more like a climbing wall. It is rare to find someone that climbs to the top the exact same way.
I write this with the next ironic move being to post it online and probably onto Facebook. While this may seem hypocritical, I did say I like people to express themselves. And yes, that sentence is extremely defensive.