Interrupted with hope

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UPDATE: Tonight, February 14th, Frontline (on your local PBS station) is airing a special about ‘The Interrupters’. I hope you’ll watch it or record it to watch later.

One night, while driving in my car, I tuned into National Public Radio’s Fresh Air. Terry Gross was interviewing Steve James and Ameena Matthews about the documentary film titled “The Interrupters”.

Directed and photographed by Steve James, and produced by Alex Kotlowitz and Steve James, “the documentary tells the moving and surprising story of three dedicated individuals who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they themselves once employed. These “violence interrupters” (their job title) – who have credibility on the street because of their own personal histories – intervene in conflicts before the incidents explode into violence. Their work and their insights are informed by their own journeys, which, as each of them point out, defy easy characterization.” [The Interrupters’ Press Kit.]

Though I heard this particular radio program days ago, the story is in my heart and on my mind. Continue reading

Addictions. One year later.

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Addictions come in all kinds of flavors. That was the title of a post I wrote a year ago today – March 30, 2010. As my 40-day journey without Facebook and Twitter continues, (I’ve reached the halfway point) I am no longer able to deny the fact that I was (ahem, am) addicted to those social media outlets. Conversations of rationalizations continue to pop up in my head, “You could just log on for a second. See if anyone has sent you an important message. You don’t want to appear rude by not responding, do you?”

Nonsense. Continue reading

Oh me, oh my! What alot of distractions go by!

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Dear Blogary,

My head is pounding, my body is tense and my mind is overwhelmed with random thoughts, anxieties and nonsense. I read a quote this morning, “Don’t tell me that worry doesn’t do any good. I know better. The things I worry about don’t happen.” I find that quote very funny, as I can relate to worrying. And really, I don’t think the quote has anything to do with this post. I’m not sure what my topic is for this post.

Blogary, according to my cycle calendar, I am in the two week crazy period. Perhaps the head is pounding due to PMS. Perhaps the head is pounding due to the overwhelming sense of stress I feel. Perhaps the head is pounding due to the tension. I haven’t a clue. And, when I try to sit in silence, my mind does not cooperate. I am trying to figure out what is getting to me so greatly, but seriously – the voices will not hush.

I had a moment of clarity, as I turned on Good Morning America to watch the cast of Modern Family. I love that show. The chemistry on that show resembles the chemistry of The Carol Burnett Show. Gosh – if Modern Family was a live show, it would be incredible! Perhaps Carol will guest star on Modern Family w/Tim Conway and Vicki Lawrence. Oh, they could appear as the “Mama’s Family” characters. ACK. I must Tweet the cast and creators to share my idea.

[Note the sense of ‘urgency’ to share my Modern Family idea with the world. Much like the urge to Google something instantly, when you are curious about this or that thing.]

In other news, or simply because I find it hard to stay on any one thought for a prolonged period of time, I’ve received some feedback from my arguing post. It’s nice to know my posts are being read. In addition, it is nice when folks take the time to express their opinion. Thanks folks! I hope you’ll continue to check my blog and read a post or five. And as always, comments are welcome.

The radio is playing in the background, TweetDeck is open on my laptop and beeping every time a new Tweet is received, my instant messenger application is open and notifying me of instant messages and I have two email applications open and receiving emails. Distracted much? Stimulated much? Is it possible my multi-tasking is a source of the tension, headache and stress? Naaaaah.

Blogary, why do some people boast about the fact that they are able to multi-task? And, why do we feel the need to multi-task? I love writing, yet I find I become distracted by checking the blog stats to see if anyone is reading. I love reading Tweets, yet I find myself replying to tweets with utter nonsense, and then I find myself checking to see if I received a response from my response. My email is open all day – Monday through Friday, and I spend countless minutes/hours refreshing to see if I have received any emails. Multi-tasker or obsessed? Or obsessed with multi-tasking?

Blogary, keep in mind, I work from home. In a feeble attempt to rationalize my many open applications, I mention the fact that my boss frequently uses instant message and email to reach me. But, let’s be honest, the majority of the applications open on my laptop are used for personal reasons. The addiction and distraction is maddening. Happily, I am becoming less and less active on Facebook. I still update  my status, but I don’t actively participate in posts, etc. as much as I have in the past. (Well, not every hour of the day, anyway.)

While I believe the many computer applications I use create a bit of tension during my day, I am also feeling anxious about other things. We received Joe’s paperwork for the Montessori school. Woo hoo! As I type, I have butterflies of excitement in my belly. Then I immediately switch to tension, as I wonder what I will do to ensure we have the money needed to keep Joe enrolled in the private school. I will get a second job, that fact is for certain. But, until I focus on the job search, the anxiety comes and goes fairly regularly.

Much like my eating issues, I find when I panic about us not having enough money, I go through a spending splurge. It’s like the minute you start a diet and crave all the crap in the world. Well, we really need to watch our pennies, and finding restraint to buy the littlest thing is driving me bonkers! And, these are things I would have no interest in buying, if I were not stressed and anxious. Case in point? Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream. Ok. That’s not true. I’d buy that stressed or not stressed. Fortunately, Ben & Jerry’s was on sale today; not that I bought any – or did I?

I should probably hold off publishing this post until Friday, due to the randomness of my thoughts. Meh. I won’t wait. Goodness knows, I’ll have no problem being random come Friday. And, while I am being random . . .

Twitter is truly addicting. Addicting and amazing. I am amazed how celebrities will respond to the ‘Tweets’ from non-celebrities. I have received a few direct messages from folks who are in the public eye. And, I admit, I find getting a direct message from a celebrity is a pretty cool thing. Twitter has a way of bringing folks together and generating a sense of normalcy. Normalcy is not the right word, and really – I find Twitter encourages stalking, to a point. Still, having someone ‘famous’ respond to me about what I tweeted makes me think of them as just another person – no better, no worse. In addition, because I am able to reach out via Tweeting, I feel as though any pedestals I may have had them on are gone, because these folks are just normal folks. Well, Cher is still on a pedestal.

Anyway, I think I am done here. Perhaps I should try to ween myself off some of the open applications each day. Right. I’ll start that the day I give up Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. No worries, I’ll tweet, email, update my status and send out an IM when it happens! Stay tuned.

Love,
Me

Addictions come in all kinds of flavors

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Aside from a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance, Merriam-Webster defines addiction as the quality or state of being addicted. It frustrates me when words are defined as another form of the same word. That said, ‘addicted’ is described as one having devoted or surrendered to something habitually or obsessively. Continue reading