xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: August 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Parents on Facebook: Beware of reddit

Many of you guys know that I read reddit but for those of you who don't even know what I'm talking about, reddit is an incredibly popular website where people, called redditors, post images and links for other people to see. Posts are then "upvoted" or "downvoted" and the popular ones move up in the ranks for more people to see while the unpopular ones disappear forever, never to be seen again. When redditors post links and their links are upvoted, they receive what is called karma, which is a number next to your name that shows other redditors how popular you are.

For example, here is my karma.

Yeah, I'm kind of a big deal.

But actually, no I'm not, because reddit karma is totally meaningless.

I like to say that I love reddit but I hate redditors. I look at the funny pictures of cats but I try to stay far away from the comments, because redditors are complete assholes. They are selfish, they are unbelievably mean, they care about themselves, they don't give a shit about you, they know more than you do, and they have absolutely no problem with telling you all of that. The average redditor is a 20-something man with no kids and is a parenting expert. You know the type: they know how to parent, and the actual parents are all doing it wrong. And... like I said... they are incredibly mean about it.

There's a rising trend of late for redditors to take things they've seen in their Facebook feed and upload it. Other people's information, other people's pictures, it's all fair game when you're trying to win karma. Reddit actually has a policy (one of the five rules that they have) that you're not allowed to post somebody else's personal information or link to their Facebook page, but there's nothing stopping anybody from taking screenshots and uploading them to imgur, or of outright stealing other people's pictures.

The reddit post that inspired me to write this post is called "From my FB feed: HELP ME! Tomorrow is school picture day and someone is INSISTING on wearing what he believes to be the coolest outfit ever. All efforts to convince him otherwise or to make slight modifications have thus far been a complete failure..." A (probably) 20 something man stole a picture of somebody else's child, copied and pasted what the parent said about their kid, uploaded it for the world to see, with the intention of calling out their parenting and having a little reddit circle jerk about that person's questionable choices. And boy did it work! This post hit the front page and this redditor got a lot of karma for it.

And when I say "for the world to see," I really mean it. Popular posts on reddit are viewed by multiple millions of people. Even unpopular posts get thousands of views, but reddit links have been known to take down entire sites because of the sheer volume of traffic they generate. So, here we have a redditor, who has taken a picture of somebody else's child and made it so that child's picture was viewed by millions of people. And do the parents know this? I wrote to him but haven't heard back, but I can't imagine that parent would have given permission for this. (If I hear back after posting this, I will update).

Now, I'm sure critics of this post will cite the copyright offender's battlecry "if you didn't want something to be shared on the internet then you shouldn't have posted it on the internet," but we're talking about parents posting pictures of their children to their own Facebook wall, with the belief that their picture will only be viewed by their friends and family. You can have your privacy settings locked down as tight as possible, but one of your "friends" can still take your pictures and use them however they want. It's not an issue of Facebook privacy policy, it's not an issue of reddit privacy policy, it's an issue of people being assholes and exploiting your personal information for a meaningless number on a website that doesn't matter.

I am incredibly disturbed by this and I'm writing this post so that parents on Facebook are aware. There's nothing Facebook can do, there's nothing reddit is willing to do, the problem lies between people and whoever their FB friends are. And so I want you to know that you need to be really careful about who you are friends with on Facebook, because you have no idea what people are doing with the information you post to your wall. Scrutinize your friends list: how many 20 something men with no children are in there? How many of them are assholes who don't care about your privacy? Find out. Unfriend them before a picture of your kid goes viral, because by then it's way too late.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

All Moms Do That

HAHAHA! Do you see how clever I am? It's a play on my series All Kids Do That! A series I wrote because people always say "Oh, all kids do that" when you talk about your autistic kid's quirks and things! I'm so funny!! And really really tired, it's been an incredibly long day, this, now the night before school starts, but I wanted to get this out tonight otherwise I probably never would.

Tomorrow is Child 1's first day of middle school, you see. I've, perhaps, mentioned at some point that this event makes me slightly apprehensive slightly. Just slightly. Only a little. See, I was bullied in middle school and it's always been this representation in my mind of a part of childhood where absolute fucking torture happens. So, I would naturally be ever so slightly concerned about the welfare and wellbeing of my unbelievably sweet and meek autistic child, who possesses absolutely no social ability whatsoever, who will bust out with the most random recitation of whichever particular Go Animate video happens to be on his mind at the moment in response to a question, and who, by nature of his diagnosis, has a 63% chance of being bullied while he's there.

So, I'm just a tad bit uneasy about the whole thing. Just slightly skittish. A bit peckish. That might mean I'm hungry. Okay, that too, then.

Yeah. So, today we go there and we take our tour, we met with our new case manager, we walked around the classrooms, we met the teachers, it was a lovely visit. While there, I was chatting with one of his new teachers, and I mentioned my oh so casual not a big deal nervousness about the whole thing, and her response? "All parents are nervous about tomorrow."

Yeah. All parents are nervous about tomorrow. All parents are probably feeling that slight bit of apprehension as their child embarks on this new journey. All parents are feeling a little uneasy about a new school, about their child making new friends, about their child doing well academically. All parents are nervous.

Are all parents hyperventilating? Do all parents have to pull over while driving their car because of the panic attack they're having about middle school? Have all parents been just on the verge of bursting into hysterical tears this past week?

Are all parents sure they're sending their child off to a cesspool of evil? Do all parents envision their kid getting laughed at, and pushed, and called names, because he is so, so, SO obviously different? Have all parents been unable to sleep for weeks because they lie awake imagining the kind of heartbreak and pain and hurt and fear their sweet boy might experience at the hands of other kids?

Are all parents doing that? I'm willing to bet good money that not all parents are doing that. I'm willing to bet that the nervousness they feel is absolutely fucking nothing in comparison to what I'm feeling. I know, you're going to tell me it's going to be okay. You're going to tell me how freaked out you were on the night before you lead your child off to the slaughter, and look! No problem. You're overreacting. You worry too much. He'll be fine.

He'll be fine.

Actually he probably will be fine, but telling me all of that is perhaps the least helpful thing you could say to a person at a time like this. I'm sure he'll be fine. But I'M not fine. And don't tell me that I should be, or that I'm like everybody else who is also slightly apprehensive, because I'm nothing like them. This is nothing like that.

It's cool, though, because he'll be fine. And all parents are nervous.

I also want to take a moment to link to the most amazing blog post I've ever read, written by my friend Bec at Snagglebox, about the worry we parents have about our special needs children. It's not about middle school, it's about adulthood, but her kid is only a few years older than mine is, and MAN does she nail it with this post.

But all moms worry.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Spotted in Berkeley: CHICKENS!

I saw this guy this morning, a block down from where I saw the sign last week

and if you compare him to the sign I saw...

... that's a totally different chicken.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Spotted in Berkeley

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Let's play "Find the smell" !

"Something stinks in the bedroom. Go find out what it is and make it go away."

"Oh, great. You have to help me find it."

"Hell no, finding stinky things and making them go away is a man's job. I'm just a dainty lady, I can't get myself all mucked up."


"Yeah, whatever. Go find it, stink boy."

"Fine. But, hey. You did recently blog about mice."

"Yeah! Go find it so that I can post a follow up."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Walking in the streets of my town

I've been doing a lot of walking lately. It's that funny kind of speed walking where it looks like you're repeatedly punching yourself in the face. I don't know exactly how fast I get, because I have yet to find an accurate and reliable pedometer (like that one that reported I walked 3 miles in 45 minutes and my average speed was 6 mph. Now, I'm no accountant or anything, but I'm pretty sure that math is wrong) but I can pretty much guess. Regardless of my actual speed, however, I'm still walking faster than anybody else I encounter on the sidewalks of this town.

There's nothing quite like walking faster than other people to make you really, really hate other people. Moreso. I've gathered a small list of the kinds of people I encounter on my daily struggles up and down the hills of Berkeley. What you're seeing is what I see, artistically reenacted.

People in love

Yeah, I don't care that you're two men holding hands and walking down the street; I'm sure you're very happy and whatever. I could give a shit that you stop to kiss each other and do a little bit of snuggling, I care that you made me break my fucking stride to go around your little street lovefest. MOVE!

"Nice" people

Excuse me, do I LOOK like I'm in the mood for a casual chat about my progress? Do you seriously think I'm going to stop what I'm doing to answer your fucking questions? NO. GO AWAY. And, really, this is just "look at the fat chick actually working out!!" voyeurism, anyway.

Clueless, selfish, fucking assholes

I shit you not, this happened to me just this morning. There are three of them and ONE of me. They're taking up the whole fucking sidewalk and does that donut bitch even move aside for me? NO, she just looks at me with that stupid fucking face (that I borrowed from reddit). Apparently she expects me to step into the gutter so as not to disrupt their casual stroll up the hill? HELL NO. So what did I do when I got up to them? Yeah, you guessed it, I fucking shoulder slammed her out of my way and continued on. Enjoy your donut, fattie! (MmMmmmm. Dooooooonuts.........)

This one is, no question, the worst

No explanation necessary.

This is the guy I like

He sees me, he steps aside to let me pass, we all go on our way. No chatter, no obliviousness. THANK YOU.

Although, this one is my favorite

Ahhhhh, nobody. Perfect.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


I totally drew this. I even used a "how to draw
a mouse" tutorial. I am THAT good.
We have 4 cats. You might have already known that. Particularly if you know me on Facebook, I spend a good deal of time talking about and complaining about my cats. (Shut UP, Cactuspants!)

Cats are hunters by nature, and cat owners know that their hunter buddies like to catch their prey and then bring it into the house as an offering of love to their owners. They will leave dead birds or mice or whatever, sometimes on your pillow, which is some kind of love gesture because they think they're feeding you or something. I don't really get how that works, but whatever. Just go with me on this one.

MY cats, however.... well, they're pretty lame. They're shitty hunters, they don't enjoy spending their time stalking prey in the tall grass, they mostly just like to lie around being fat and lazy (what a life). Actually one of my cats has some kind of cat OCD and she likes to catch and kill plastic bags. It's a typical day in my house to hear her yowling this weird little yowl of hers while she carries a plastic bag up the stairs and deposits it at the foot of my bed. I guess that means she loves me? Like I said, I have no clue. Cats are weird.

Occasionally, however, one of my lame, lazy cats WILL catch something. But because they're not hunters (and because they're weird and lame and lazy) they very rarely actually kill it, but they do bring it into the house. And then lose it behind a chair or in the bathroom.

And then suddenly we have a live animal, usually a mouse, terrified out of its fucking mind and stuck behind a chair in my goddamn house.  A good hunter would continue to hunt and trap that thing so they could kill it, after a prolonged period of torture, and then leave it on my pillow as my prize. But what do MY cats do? They stand there for a bit before saying "well, fuck this. I guess that thing is gone now" and then go back to their spot on my bed to lie around and lick each other or whatever.

Which leaves the humans to deal with this tiny stranded animal that's now camped out behind the chair in my living room.

Okay, so... here's the thing about me. If you've read my blog or know me online, you might think that I am a brave warrior mom (not the Jenny McCarthy kind of warrior mom, the good, sane kind of warrior mom) and you would pretty much be right. I'm not afraid of much. I've dealt with spiders, and roaches, and lice, and fleas, and ringworm (which is not actually a worm but it fits well into this list of things right here). I've handled raccoons and possums (kind of). I've been puked on, and pooped on, and peed on. I'm excellent during a crisis, somehow I get really calm and go into "deal with shit" mode, like the time I ran an almost passed out over my shoulder Child 2 into the ER while wearing my pajamas. I've stood up to bullies, I've spoken at school board meetings. I've advocated all the way up to the Superintendent.  I get shit done and I'm not often afraid. But if you put a live mouse in front of me? I immediately turn into a sniveling, scared little girl.

I'm not kidding, I'm like that stereotypical picture where all the women jump onto the table because there's a tiny little fuzzy mouse running around, and scream at the men to take care of it. I will RUN the fuck out of the room, and to safety, to get away from the goddamn thing. Hubs is astonished, every time. "it's just a mouse!!" he'll say. Yes, it's just a mouse, and I am so motherfucking freaked out by that thing, I will scream at the top of my lungs at just the sight of it. I'm not kidding. I SCREAM!! But only the live ones, because I have no problem dealing with the dead ones.

I have no idea what the deal is with mice and me. Probably somebody will suggest that I do some aversion therapy to deal with my problem, but NO THANK YOU. I have no interest in dealing with my problem. Let's just let hubs take care of those things while I stand on the table and scream.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Okay, let's try this again

Back in January I wrote a post about how I wanted to get back to blogging. I was going to post something every day and it would be complete shit but you guys were just going to have to deal because I wanted to start blogging again and you have to suck before you can be good. Writing is a muscle, I opined, and in order for it to work properly you have to give it regular exercise. You can't just stop writing and then wonder why you're all writing flabby. You're flabby because you've stopped working out. If you want it to be healthy and awesome you need to keep working it.

So, that was my plan. At the time. But then I ran into some things I wasn't expecting: a big bearded bully.....  a massively painful loss.... and things got a little sidetracked. My plan to exercise my writing muscle fell by the wayside and I was, once again, writing flabby. Moreso.

Not only that, but I've been paying attention to exercising other muscles lately: butt, legs, arms, heart. I've been working out, which is time consuming, and while I do tend to write my best posts in my head while I'm nowhere near the computer, I also lose everything once I get in front of the computer.

For example, I've been wanting to write a post about mice for weeks now, but I just can't DO IT. I try to get it out of my brain but the best I could do is this piece of shit:

Sup? I'm a mouse. Squeek.

Okay, I just got a phone call and totally lost my train of thought. This writing thing is HARD.

Anyway, I'm going to try to do this again, exercise my blogging muscle. Hopefully it will become nice and firm eventually, but in the meantime? It might be pretty lame here for a bit, so please bear with me.

I suppose lame is better than no posts at all, though, right?

That's a cricket.