April 30, 2015

Old People's Tricks

The doctors say you only have a short time to live.
Your relatives have you marked down as the next funeral to attend.
Your family decides the flowers for your funeral and an “affordable” casket,
But you feel you should do your old body a favor and have one with cushions.
Your grandchildren have their eye on what ancient artifact they want.
Though Little Jimmy can’t decide among your wisdom teeth or gall bladder stones.
You make out your will with a couple witnesses at your side.
You talk of death as the next step,
But you know deep down this is all a lie:

I can see it from your mischievous grin and the scoff in your eyes.
I once saw that look in a child superhero’s face in a photo album.
Now a more wrinkled face, that child still likes to play tricks and pull practical jokes.
You put us in suspense with your heart attacks and strokes,
But you keep hanging on by a single thread.
You live in a feeble shell, but your mind is as quick as lightning.
I know a tree just like you; each year the old branches die,
But the hardy roots always shoot forth new life.
I know this is just another joke, so Grandpa, tell the truth.
You know you’ll never die. You’re immortal, always catching a second wind.
And I’ve decided I wanna be just like you when I grow old: a kid again.

"Me and My Grandpa Walking" by Sarah Finucane
(Not my real Grandpa)

My paternal grandfather experienced several major heart attacks, strokes and surgery. But he kept hanging in there for about eight years. It seemed he couldn't die. My grandpa reminded me of a tree in my front yard that shriveled on the outside, but the roots never died. Every spring new shoots came up. While I was in college, he passed away. I couldn't go to his funeral because of classes, cost, and the long distance. I've been sad about that, but I got to see him alive only a few months before. Now he watches out for my cousins
on my mom's side.

April 16, 2015

I Got a Creepy Message

"Face of the Man" by George Hodan
So, I'm careful about who I accept as a Facebook friend, but I wasn't too concerned about Google +. I added a person to my circle because I'm building my audience on my social media platforms (except Facebook). Well, this man sent me an interesting message. It screamed stalker creepy to me. The man may not be a stalker, but it still matches what a predator might send. I'm especially aware of this after reading Anna Salter's book on predators.

Hello dear, how are you today? I got attracted to your picture and wish to be your friend, however thanks for accepting my request and I promised you won't regret meeting me, I must confess you are looking beautiful, as you can see my name is [John Doe]; [50+] years old from [city, country] but I am currently in [state, country], professional in [profession], on photo with my only son, unfortunately my wife passed away two years ago, though I'm not here for relationship but coming across to your beautiful picture has giving me a good reason to love again and I will appreciate if you can give me a chance. I believe age different and distance can never be a barrier in relationship as the most important is love and understanding to see what fate has in stock for us, kindly reply through your contact email to my private email address [email]. I can’t wait to know more about you as well as telling you more about myself. Note that stable communicating is the only key to every successful friendship. I’m sure you would find me interesting if you give me a chance. Looking forward to hear from you. Take care and stay bless, truly. [John Doe]

Okay, let me break down the scary aspects of this message:

1. He has taken a singular focus on me like I'm his next target.

2. Trying to engender trust with "You won't regret meeting me" and "Note that stable communicating is the only key to every successful friendship." You have to build trust over time and not with flattery.

3. FLATTERY saying "confess you are looking beautiful." His NICENESS does not equal TRUSTWORTHINESS. Ted Bundy was nice.

4. My profile states I'm married, so that should be a signal to not communicate.

5. Unsolicited, and has nothing to do with what I post on my Google+ account. He should go to a dating website if he's really interested in a relationship.

6. Plays the sympathy card: widower with child. Guess who else played the sympathy card? Ted Bundy.

7. Age gap of 25+ years. Age gaps can indicate a predator. Think of teachers who target their students. Even a 90-year-old can still rape somebody!

8. CHARMING. Predators charm people with their likability. For some reason, we think likability means trustworthy.

9. I don't know him; he may be a 14-year-old or a 80-year-old woman.

10. After my cousin read this, she pointed out that it's probably a phishing scam. The bad grammar may indicate that.

Of course, I blocked this guy. I also learned my lesson not to add anyone to my Google+ account who I don't know. I just figured he wanted to follow my writing. Next time, I'll be more careful.

April 03, 2015

Every Six Months, LDS General Conference Rolls Around

"Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square"
 by kennejima
General Conference is held in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah on the first weekends in April and October. Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints preach from the pulpit for five two-hour sessions. We learn about Jesus Christ, family, and many other topics.

Reasons I Don't Go to the Physical Conference

As a rule, I don't attend the actual General Conferences even though I have lived in Utah about 25 out of my almost 32 years. I have been on the outside of Conference sessions many times because I was too young, babysitting, or hanging around. I've never had an insatiable desire to attend a meeting because I can enjoy listening on the couch or running errands. If I wanted to go, I'd have to find tickets. Too much of a bother. Besides, I'm usually napping during the afternoon sessions because of the brain dump (never staying up too late).

Why'd They Change Daylights Savings Time to March and November?

I miss that the time change is no longer on these leisurely weekends. Of course, I'd ban the time change on the principle of man messing with the sun and circadian rhythms. Politicians are crazy passing daylight savings time every year.

Announcements and Answers

I look forward to new announcements, but that rarely happens. I was excited when President Gordon B. Hinckley announced the Monticello, Utah temple, the first mini temple. I lived only 21 miles away as a teenager and young adult. I was married in this temple. Other temple announcements are fun to hear too. Sometimes, I hear answers to prayers or receive comfort.

Now I'll see what this next Conference holds...more or less the same.

I wrote more about General Conference for NewsCastic, "LDS General Conference Weekend: 7 Traditions and Annoying Aspects."

You can go to lds.org to listen this weekend.

What do you enjoy/dislike about General Conference?