Candid Karina











{January 24, 2012}   Back To School…or not.

Yesterday, I accompanied a friend of mine, who is returning back to school as an adult, to the local community college bookstore, so she could pick up 2 text books.

 

I graduated college 15 years ago (gulp), and haven’t taken a single college course since.  I have more than once considered going back to school for a graduate degree.  Very recently I started really considering doing this, and have spent some time indulging my “what if” scenarios.

 

I haven’t quite figured out what graduate degree program I’m inclined to return for, so, until I figure that out, I’m still in the “thinking about it” stage.  I’m in no rush.  I have a great job, and if I decided to never go back to school again, that would be just fine.  I don’t NEED a graduate degree.

 

But I think I might want one.

 

So, I’m thinking about it.

 

But, back to the bookstore.

 

Initially, as we walked in, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia.  Oh, how I remembered those days, the first few days of class, when everyone rushed to the bookstore between classes, searching for the last “used” book on the shelf, standing in endlessly long lines…only to pay out a small (not so small) fortune for a book you might, perhaps, open twice during the semester.

 

AH…college book prices.

 

No, I don’t miss that.  The wave of nostalgia quickly turned into a wave of nausea, as I recalled the struggle, every semester, to come up with the cash to pay for the books I would need to use in the already paid for (dearly) classes I was taking.

 

As I stood in that bookstore with my friend yesterday, and looked at the two TINY books she was required to pay.  And looked at her total… $160.  FOR TWO BOOKS.  I found myself getting so angry.

 

These books?  What material are they made of that makes them so valuable?  How does a 100 page “booklet” warrant a $70 price tag (for the USED version)?  Does it hold the secrets of the universe within its pages?

 

And this is a community college, not even a private university, an ivy league school.  I can’t even begin to imagine the cost of those books.

 

I remind you, I haven’t been in school in 15 years.  I remember the cost of books being ridiculous then, and I suppose with inflation and the like, in comparison, the prices are much the same.  But, I couldn’t then, and I certainly can’t now, wrap my brain around these prices.

 

Higher education is already so expensive.  The cost of college books baffles me.

 

And I find myself questioning (not for the first time) how this is legal.

 

And then, to add insult to injury, you take this $100 book, at the end of your semester, and sell it back to the bookstore, and maybe they give you $15 for it.  Maybe they give you $5.  And then they slap a “used” sticker on it, and turn around and sell it for $65.

 

Again…how is this legal?  Why is this accepted common practice?

 

I’m baffled.

 

And I’m thinking perhaps Grad school can wait…I’m not sure I’m prepared to waste my hard earned cash on a bunch of text books just yet…

 

Maybe I can find a photography class instead.  I’ll happily spend that money on a new camera…

 

 

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{October 4, 2010}   So Many Questions…

Driving past a funeral home today, i saw they have this fancy electronic LED sign with a scrolling message.

So many questions from that observation alone…what? A funeral home? Why? Really? Huh?

But wait there’s more.

What caught my attention was not the sign, not even the message on the sign…which again, was mind boggling on its own:

“Flexable people don’t get bent out of shape”

What? On a funeral home’s sign? Really? But why?

But what caught my eye, as i’m sure it’s already caught yours as well, was the flagrant, big as day, in bright shining LED billboard letters, spelling mistake.

Flexable.

Not flexible.

Indeed…



I don’t watch commercials on television very often anymore, not since I got my Tivo box years ago. But now and again, I will. Usually, when I am in the middle of doing something else, often times in another room, so I mostly “hear” the commercial a handful of times before I actually see it.

I’ve “heard” the following commercial quite a few times in the last couple of weeks, and every time, I thought “well, that just doesn’t sound right to me”.

Today, for the first time, I actually saw the ad. What ad? This ad:



Nope, that just doesn’t seem quite right, does it? What message is being put out there? That it’s okay for a mom to “borrow” her daughter’s shirt without telling her, lie to her when she asks you about it, go behind her back to continue hiding the fact that you wore it, and then act like it’s HER FAULT she couldn’t find the shirt in the first place?

I’m not a mom, but somehow, I don’t think this is the lesson I want to teach MY KIDS whenever/if ever I do have them.

Not to mention the mom’s “you know that’s not my style” comment. Meaning what? That mom has this whole other personality, out with her friends, partying, drinking, in leather pants, that she hides from her daughter (and perhaps the rest of her family) as she sits at home in a grandma sweater with no make-up on?

Saying that what? A woman can’t be both a good mom, and have fun with her friends, wear makeup and look good?

I don’t know…I suppose whoever came up with this concept was going for some sort of sitcom humor, but…sitcom humor doesn’t work in 30 second spots, and it sure as hell doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that would inspire me to buy a product…


{January 28, 2010}   Not Always Bliss

Warning, I am about to step on my soap box…


The other morning, as I was perusing the FaceBook Statuses of my “friends” I came across this status:


shame on you America: the only country where they have homeless without shelter, children going to bed without eating, elderly going without needed meds, and mentally ill without treatment – yet they have a benefit for the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations,and I have to get asked to donate $ every where I go but yet wecan’t keep our own country right!! 99% of people won’t have balls to copy and report this!


I can’t even begin to tell you how much this particular post annoyed, angered and offended me.

I’m not close enough with this particular “friend” to engage in an all out “you are ignorant because” discussion on facebook, so I let it pass. And yet, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Later that day I went back to visit this particular individual’s page, so i could copy his status message for this post, and I happened to read some of the comments to his post. I was even more astounded and angered by the ignorance, and outright ugliness of some of his commenters.

It is amazing to me that in light of such a tragedy, with over 100,000 people having lost their lives, people can be so callous, so insensitive, so selfish.

Let me make something clear, I am WELL aware of how messed up our country is. I realize we are in the middle of an economic crisis the likes of which this country has not seen in an extremely long time (if ever). I realize there are thousands upon thousands of Americans without jobs, without health care, and even, yes, without homes.

I realize that something has to be done.

Don’t think that when I heard that the Hope For Haiti Telethon raised over $60 million dollars, I thought “wow, imagine if we could pool our resources to raise that kind of money for this country, for our economy”. Because, really, how amazing would that be?

But never, not for a minute, did I think that it was WRONG for us to be raising money for another nation. For a nation so much more in need. So much more in pain.

Let’s be honest, yes, there is poverty in this country, and I know there are areas in this country where the poverty is far beyond anything I can begin to imagine in my “world”. That being said, even in the worst areas, we have an infrastructure, we have programs, we have aid. I realize people slip through the cracks, I realize that much more needs to be done, but we have HOPE.

WE DO help our own country. I don’t know about you, and I certainly don’t know about the individuals posting on that particular facebook status, but I donate to charity, to American charities, whenever I can. I give goods, food, clothing, jackets, and money, whenever the need arises, whenever I get an urge to do something for someone else.

And there are so many wonderful organizations and programs you can join to help out. So many charities out there, reaching out to those less fortunate in this country.

Even in our toughest economic times, we are a rich nation, rich in generosity, rich in resources, rich in opportunity.

Haiti, on the other hand, is not. Even in their best times, outside such a tragedy, they are a nation with less. Less infrastructure, less opportunities, less hope.

So, we step up. WE, the INDIVIDUALS, reach into our purses, our pockets, and we give. Of our OWN MONEY. Of our OWN FREE WILL. We give.

And what could possibly be so wrong in that?

This particular individual who posted that status message calls himself a Christian. As a Christian myself, I find that laughable. As Christians, how can we speak against anyone willing to help fellow humans? Regardless of what nation they live in?

There is a difference between wanting to help your own nation, and criticizing it for helping others in the midst of unspeakable tragedy.

I wonder myself how much this individual, and those who commented with such ignorance to his post, have donated to ANY charity in the last month? Year? Lifetime? I wonder how much they have done besides bitch about the state of our economy?

I wonder, but I won’t lose any sleep over it…Because I know the rest of us are doing enough to cover the rest of them.

Ignorance…not always bliss, is it?



{December 18, 2008}   Seriously, I need to know

So, here’s the thing. When I said in this post, that I didn’t really care whether or not Blue actually called me, after the random pick-up at the mall, I was being honest.

I really don’t care either way. No, honestly, I don’t. I’m way too busy right now anyway, and well, the thought of having to go on an actual date just yet scares the hell out of me, so, I’m good with some random pick-ups and no follow through for right now. Less stress for me, if you ask me.

Oh, right, and just in case you hadn’t caught on yet, Blue never called. Even with the “three day rule” men seem to love to live by, he’s let that window open and close. Truth be told, I sort of forgot all about him until my friend texted me this morning with a “any calls yet?”

Hmm…nope, not a one.

But again, I’m okay with this. As Pamela so eloquently put it in her comment to my last post, “biting fingernails worrying about Karina flirting with the next Ted Bundy… shiver shiver shiver.” He could have turned out to be a real weirdo, so no huge loss for me here. Also, as Frigga said, “I love getting the random ask-out”. Seriously? Good for the ego.

That being said, however, I need to know. I need to know why it is that men will do something like put themselves out there, risk the embarrassment of potential rejection, to ask for your telephone number, and then not call. Seriously??

I mean, this is not anything new, and this is probably exactly why right after giving him my number I said “I don’t even care if he never calls”. Because I sort of already knew odds were he would not. Because, men? They do this. And we women? We expect this. It’s just part of the age old dating phenomenon, isn’t it?

But still, I just don’t get it. Is it really just the thrill of the conquest? And if so, wouldn’t it be an even bigger thrill to follow through? No? Perhaps not.

Hey, whatever the case, I’ll take the boost to my ego knowing that I am again among the troves of women out there giving out their phone numbers and never getting that phone call.

I’m already doing better than I was doing this time last year.

But really, seriously…why bother guys?



That, is the question I pose to you today, my friends.

Wordless Wednesday is below this post, by the way.

But, moving on…When I listen to my car radio, I flip radio stations around a lot, so I never even know what station I’m listening to, until something catches my attention. Well, driving in this morning one of my currently favorite songs came on the radio. “Rockstar” by Nickelback. If you are unfamiliar with the song, here’s the “uncensored” version of the video here:

So, here’s the thing. Listening to it on the radio this morning, the word “drugs” or “drug” were edited out of the song. So was the word “asshole” but okay, I get that one. But I’m curious about the choice to edit the word drugs/drug out, when the context of the song first of all makes it obvious what it is that they’re talking about, and second, isn’t so much glorifying the drugs as it is making fun of the whole “Rockstar” image. Or maybe I’m wrong in my perception of the song. I know the first time I hear it, I loved it for it’s implied irony, but I can see how it could be taken literally as well. Still, when did the word “drugs” become an obscene word that needed to be “bleeped” out, in a song that contains lyrics such as “we’ll all stay skinny cuz we just won’t eat” and “join the mile high club at thirty seven thousand feet”. Never mind that the words “gonna pop my pills from a pez dispenser” were left intact. Where do we draw the line? This from the same radio station that plays “U + Ur Hand” by Pink. I’m just saying.

It’s not that I’m advocating drug use, or songs that promote it (although, I’m still not sure that’s what this song is doing), but I’m just curious why the choice was made to censor those particular words in this particular song. I’ve actually heard this song censored on other radio stations as well, one of which also plays songs such as Pink’s or other even more explicit lyrics. But when the lyrics are sexual in nature, for some reason, the censorship doesn’t seem as important. In fact, I’ve heard conversations by the D.J.s on both these radio stations that are a whole lot more offensive than the lyrics to the Nickelback song. So, why this choice to censor?

I’m just curious to hear from others if you’ve noticed the same thing with this, or any other songs on your local radio stations? I’m pretty sure MTV also censors the video, but since I can’t remember the last time I actually saw a music video on MTV, don’t quote me on that. But the images? Such as the one of the girl in the bathtub? NOT censored.

So, take a look at the lyrics below, in red are the words omitted from the censored version, and then, let me know what you think. I will be back to check comments throughout the day, because I want in on this discussion, so come back and see what people have to say if you’re curious:

“Rockstar”
I’m through with standing in line
To clubs we’ll never get in
It’s like the bottom of the ninth
And I’m never gonna win
This life hasn’t turned out
Quite the way I want it to be
(Tell me what you want)
I want a brand new house
On an episode of Cribs
And a bathroom I can play baseball in
And a king size tub big enough
For ten plus me
(So what you need?)
I’ll need a credit card that’s got no limit
And a big black jet with a bedroom in it
Gonna join the mile high club
At thirty-seven thousand feet
(Been there, done that)
I want a new tour bus full of old guitars
My own star on Hollywood Boulevard
Somewhere between Cher andJames Dean is fine for me
(So how you gonna do it?)
I’m gonna trade this life for fortune and fame
I’d even cut my hair and change my name
[Chorus:]
‘Cause we all just wanna be big rockstars
And live in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
We’ll all stay skinny ’cause we just won’t eat
And we’ll hang out in the coolest bars
In the VIP with the movie stars
Every good gold digger’s
Gonna wind up there
Every Playboy bunny
With her bleach blond hair
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar
I wanna be great like Elvis without the tassels
Hire eight body guards that love to beat up assholes
Sign a couple autographs
So I can eat my meals for free
(I’ll have the quesadilla, on the house)
I’m gonna dress my ass
With the latest fashion
Get a front door key to the Playboy mansion
Gonna date a centerfold that loves to
Blow my money for me
(So how you gonna do it?)
I’m gonna trade this life for fortune and fame
I’d even cut my hair and change my name
[Chorus]
And we’ll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary and today’s who’s who
They’ll get you anything with that evil smile
Everybody’s got a drug dealer on speed dial
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar
I’m gonna sing those songs
That offend the censors (Karina’s Note – Ironic?)
Gonna pop my pills from a pez dispenser
I’ll get washed-up singers writing all my songs
Lip sync em every night so I don’t get ’em wrong
[Chorus]
And we’ll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary and today’s who’s who
They’ll get you anything with that evil smile
Everybody’s got a drug dealer on speed dial
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar

Discuss.



On the Yahoo Home Page today: Leona Helmsley’s Dog gets $12 Million in her Will.

Seriously??

And it appears that two of her grandchildren get NOTHING. How great do they feel knowing they were outsmarted by a Maltese named Trouble?

The rest of her grandchildren, will get $5 million each. Not that this is a drop in the bucket, but…Trouble still out-inhereted them too.

Even her chauffer got a bit of the pie…but really, all he got was a $100,000 slice.

Trouble still wins!

Leona Helmsley was famous for saying “Only little people pay taxes”…I wonder if dogs do?

For Wordless Wednesday please scroll down. I also just answered some interview questions posed by my friend Frigga in this post. And don’t forget to comment and let me know if you’d like me to interview you!!!



Headline on Yahoo News this morning: Keith Richards Admits that he DID snort Dad’s Ashes.

BUT, he has come out to say, he did NOT mix them with cocaine as originally reported.

Of course not. And that, my friends, makes it all okay. After all, he didn’t do the drugs, he just snorted his dad’s ashes.

Wait, let me repeat that one more time, just so we’re clear…HE SNORTED HIS FATHER’S ASHES.

Seriously? Seriously.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Scroll down for much lighter fare, also known as my obsession with Corey Haim.



{August 6, 2007}   Hello Officer – SERIOUSLY?

This is going to go under my “favorite news items” folder:

Bad Thai cops to endure Kitty shame.

BANGKOK, Thailand – Thai police officers who break rules will be forced to wear hot pink armbands featuring “Hello Kitty,” the Japanese icon of cute, as a mark of shame, a senior officer said Monday.

Police officers caught littering, parking in a prohibited area, or arriving late — among other misdemeanors — will be forced to stay in the division office and wear the armband all day, said Police Col. Pongpat Chayaphan. The officers won’t wear the armband in public.
The striking armband features Hello Kitty sitting atop two hearts.
“Simple warnings no longer work. This new twist is expected to make them feel guilt and shame and prevent them from repeating the offense, no matter how minor,” said Pongpat, acting chief of the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok.
“(Hello) Kitty is a cute icon for young girls. It’s not something macho police officers want covering their biceps,” Pongpat said.
He said police caught breaking the law will be subject the same fines and penalties as any other members of the public.
“We want to make sure that we do not condone small offenses,” Pongpat said, adding that the CSD believed that getting tough on petty misdemeanors would lead to fewer cases of more serious offenses including abuse of power and mistreatment of the public by police officers.
Hello Kitty, invented by Sanrio Co. in 1974, has been popular for years with children and young women. The celebrity cat adorns everything from diamond-studded jewelry, Fender guitars and digital cameras to lunch boxes, T-shirts and stationery.

I love it! I mean, seriously, talk about creative management! Seriously…think about any cop you’ve met over the years that has been arrogant, or on a power related ego-trip. Now think about them going into work and being reprimanded by their boss and being made to wear a Hello Kitty armband all day. SERIOUSLY, can it get any better than that?


Um…actually…we’re going to be calling them BOYS until they prove themselves otherwise.

For those who don’t know yet (and really, how could you not, I shout it from the rooftops most days), I’m single and damn comfortable and happy with my “singledom”. However, as I’ve stated in here recently, after being single for the better part of four years (hmmm, quite possibly longer), I’ve decided to enter the dating world once again. I’ve figured what the heck, let’s give this love thing a chance one more time. Besides, my life isn’t nearly busy and crazy enough, I need to add some more drama and turbulance to it, so why not add men back into it…um, I mean boys…

So, it is with this mind set, and my newly slimmed down (and still slimming) and toned up (and still toning) body, and an attitude ready for adventure that I’ve begun smiling at complete strangers. And it is also with this new perspective that I decided to make a semi-move on someome that had been lingering in the background for several months now.

This is the particular boy I want to talk to you all about today. We’ll call him LawBoy. I have known LawBoy for almost 8 years now, he was a lawyer at a lawfirm where I was a paralegal in one of my past jobs, before coming to this job. When I started that job I had a boyfriend, and I can’t remember if LawBoy had a girlfriend or not, but we became friends. He’s a good guy, funny, smart and was a good person to bounce stuff (such as “Do you think this jerk is cheating on me?”) off of. Because we worked together, there was never any intention on my part of “hooking up”, it would have been weird, I sort of worked “for him” on certain cases, and I’m SO not into that whole “dating the boss” thing. He wasn’t my boss, but he was my superior of sorts. Anyway, I’m getting off track here. Point is, we never dated, and never really showed an interest in doing so. We were friendly, in and outside of work, we hung out, but never in a romantic way. When I left that job, we stayed in touch, and have kept in touch off and on for the last 4 years. He had a pretty serious girlfriend when I left that job, and to be honest, I’ve never asked whether or not they’ve broken up. However, conversations have led me to believe that he is now single again. For the record, he has not asked my relationship status of late either.

So, now you have the background. Let’s move to the present situation.

Within the last year or so, he started randomly text messaging me. Random notes, such as “what’s up” or “what are you up to tonight?” or “How are things”…just random. At this point, we’d sort of lost touch a bit, weren’t emailing at all, and hadn’t had a telephone conversation in at least a full year. I thought the messages to be random, but hey, we’ve always been cool, so I didn’t think much of it. I would text back with the same sort of messages. The random part of it would be that I’d get a message on a Saturday night, for example, that would say “What’s up?” and I’d reply “not much, heading out, you?” and he’d reply “yeah, heading out too”…and then I’d not hear from him for another month or two. Random, right?

As I was not in the mindset to deal with men…uh, boys…I never really gave it much thought. Then, a few weeks ago, I sent him a random text message. Truth be told, I was bored silly one afternoon, and sent random text messages to just about everyone I know…he just happened to be one of them. I’m pretty sure my message was something along the lines of “What’s up, stranger?”. It was his reply which started off the whole next part of this story: “Not much, I would like to see you”.

Now, I know I’ve been out of the dating scene for a while, and I also know that we are just friends, and friends can want to see each other…but hey, I sort of giggled a bit when I read that. Hmm…could there be a spark there, a bit of an interest? Mind you my friends had been telling me for months (every time I’d get a text message from him) that he was into me, so the fuel for my suspicion was there. Well, I decided to roll with it. Some messages back and forth and I suggested we do drinks some night. He agreed that it sounded fun…and then proceeded to fall off the face of the earth for another week or so.

A few more text messages later, and I decided that texting is a pain in the arse, and asked for his new e-mail address…figuring conversation and plans would go much smoother that way.

So, I send an e-mail, he reads it (I love read receipts) and proceeds to take 3 days to respond. And when he does respond, it is with a short few words, which really, he could have just texted me. By now, I’m getting annoyed, and being fully reminded why I don’t date. But, I’m resillient, and still, this is a friend who I wouldn’t mind catching up with, so I try ONE MORE TIME, and send another e-mail, this one more detailed, asking what he’s been up to, how life is, how’s work, etc. and tell him a bit about my summer, what’s going on, etc. He reads it.

2 weeks later, no response yet. And I decide that whatever it was that made me giggle, is SO gone. I hate mind games.

And then I get a text message from him on Sunday “How’re you doing? You out and about?”

SERIOUSLY?

For the record, I don’t even really care anyway, I’ve lost interest…I’m too old and too happy being single to have to be the one doing the chasing. And no, I haven’t replied to his text yet, I’m not really sure what the hell I’m supposed to say now. I’m really just curious on how it is that others will interpret this situation…call it a study in human behavior…which is what I’m pretty sure my venture into dating this go-round is going to completely turn into.

So…discuss…what’s his deal ladies? (and gents, your input is certainly welcome as well)



et cetera