Friday, October 31, 2008

FaceSpace and the art of Sharing too Much

"So, here’s my question to the world: should a parent be a Facebook friend to their child in college? Should they want to? Or, as HJB tells me, ‘just trust that they will figure out the things that they need to learn, just like you did in college. AND stop looking at her Facebook!” I KNOW this. I say these things to myself actually but the fact that other people have access to my child’s site and I don’t and that I have reason to believe that they are sharing themselves with the world in ways that isn’t a good idea still bother me. If you see what your college age child has on Facebook, do you talk to them about it?"

~from another blogsite

I do believe this will be the generation with the most documentation on their actions, ever. They take cameras everywhere, and they post those pictures for ALL the world to see. The kids are free and open with their communication about, to and with each other.

In a year, when Bug wants that prestigeous internship with Chef "I'm better than you", He's going to be looking at MySpace and Facebook, and whereever else he googles her from, to see if she's responsible enough to work in HIS kitchens.

I am friends with my Bug (my college age child) on any site she's on. - and I have made a few comments, but not many. Mostly its in the name of protecting her REPUTATION, and I do try not to comment on her activities. I was in the Armed Forces overseas at a young age, so I know what trouble is, but we were cognizant enough not to document the insanity.

I do believe I have a responsiblity to point out that she's damaging her future, but I can't MAKE her change her bevavior, and if that is her choice, they are also her consequences. (one of the hardest life lessons I have to teach my Bug)

It would upset me if she blocked me. But I'd see that as a sign that maybe my approach to communication wasn't working, and I needed to find another route. But it's an excellent question... in an age where our children are broadcasting their lives for everyone in the world to see (including scary stalkers, perspective dates, employers and random assholes on the internet) Why is it that we, as parents, are left out? It's okay for Bug, myself or anyone else, to publish any random thought on the net, but it's not okay for us to sit down and discuss the things that are out there for public consumption?

My mama always told me that the best way to keep a secret was to tell NOONE. And if I didn't want my private life made public, I needed to keep it private... I post a blog, but I make certain that anything I post won't embarrass me, or anyone I love if they were to happen to stumble upon it. That's one of the reasons very few people I know IRL know this blog exists, but I'm still excrutiatingly careful about what I post.

Where is the answer to this one?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

We have No Control

From the local newspaper close to the Mason-Dixon:

Local teens killed in crash

Two local teenagers were killed in a single-vehicle accident on Meetze Road Wednesday night, according to state police.

Virginia State Police Sgt. Les Tyler said the wreck occurred just east of Turkey Run Road at approximately 9:40 p.m.

Brian Michael Jacobsen, 17, of Nokesville was driving a 2005 Ford Taurus eastbound on Meetze Road when he entered a sharp right hand curve. The vehicle went off the left side of the road and Jacobsen over-corrected, Tyler said. The Taurus then went off the road to the right where it struck an embankment, struck a tree and overturned, the sergeant added.

Jacobsen and a passenger, Eric Richard Unger, 18, of Warrenton, both died at the scene from injuries sustained in the wreck, Tyler said.

Both teens were reportedly wearing their seatbelts. However, Tyler said the speed limit in the area is 50 mph, and the “maximum safe speed” entering the curve is 45 mph.

“We feel excessive speed is the main causative factor [in the accident],” Tyler said.


I knew this young man - Eric's sister hung out at my house more weekends than I can count for a few years. She and my Bug were "bff's" (for as long as that lasts with teenage girls) In fact, when I sent the Bug off to spread her wings, Eric's mother and sister were there at the Big Confusing Airport to watch me cry.

This was a good kid. His parents did everything they could to instill in him how to make GOOD decisions, and I think he worked pretty hard keeping up his end of the bargain. Eric will be missed by many people in the county. My heart goes out to his family, and that of the other young man killed Wednesday night. I can't even begin to imagine getting that knock on the door. We have no control over our kids after a certain age. We can't keep them safe, we can't protect them. We just have to let them go. And in this case, the Unger family did all they could and sometimes SHIT just happens. That's the part of life that sucks. This young man had a good life ahead of him, and it ended all too soon.

When Bug called to tell me about this, all I could do was tell her I loved her.

There, but for the grace of the gods, go I.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Hobbies - and other misadventures

So on the weekend following my FINAL trip to do more repairs on Casa Mason-Dixon, there was a storm a-brewing off the coast of my new home state. In a total act of rebellion, WNB and I, along with two of his friends (or rather, his BFF and BFF's girl) all packed up and headed to the mountains for some... (GASP!!) camping.

Not only did we camp, my first foray into the wilderness since I was forced into the woods while at Parris Island, we hiked. About 7 miles all told, I think. And I was amazingly unphased by this sudden onslaught of exercise.

This was my first trip to an area I have come to develop a love/hate relationship with. Pisgah National Forest - Grandfather Mountain area. The hike is easy to moderate, and has some beautiful waterfalls on it. One of them is at an angle sufficiently steep to set off my latent acrophobia, but both Mason and I did an excellent job of overcoming some of that initial panic.

You just CAN'T see over that edge... which was sufficient impetus to freak me out!
I know, I know... perfectly good helicopter, NO PROBLEM.

We did about a million water crossings - ok, it was only 10, but still. I have discovered I have the balance of a toddler. I fell in the water at least twice. Too funny. Water in the shoe, on my pants, my shirt... you name it. Oh, and I did a LOVELY butt slide down the hill. So I was wet AND looked like I'd dropped a load. All in front of people who are very close to Mason, and I had met less than 24 hours beforehand.

No bumps, no bruises, only a pair of feet in desperate need of a pedicure. (I am NOT high maintenance, I swear) It was wonderful new adventure, for certain.

We spent Sunday afternoon at a winery with snacks and some pretty good (and inexpensive) wines. Waldensian Winery is not an estate vineyard, they import from the New York region, but they do produce very drinkable wines, if you don't mind your vino on the slightly sweet side.

We came home to a hot bath (thank the gods for Mason's garden tub), some great memories, and the lovely soreness that accompanies great exercise.

Catching my tiger by the tail

For the past (almost) two months I have been residing in the Queen City. My WNB (wonderful new boyfriend) whom shall be referred to as Mason, convinced me that trekking up and down the interstate with gas prices rising astronomically was a bad way to date. And... well, we were losing a LOT of sleep... so I've transplanted myself from the Triad to the City of 1000 Churches. I'm still searching for gainful employment, but it seems I've settled on the city of my basketball nemesis for the continuation of that search. Convoluted, I know.

In the past few months my stress level on the employment conundrum has risen to levels I haven't felt since I was dealing with the divorce. The good news is that I have had some interviews for positions that I could really sink my teeth into, and a few I could do in my sleep. And THAT means there is light at the end of the tunnel. I interviewed with the Big Furniture company that sold nothing but chairs 100 years ago, the people who design faucets to build homes around, and Tony Stewart's (#20) bearing supplier (yes, really... there is such a company) - I've had more phone interviews than I can count, but invariably have been either uninterested in the position or they considered me overqualified. How exactly, do you dumb down a resume to GET a job, knowing if you do so you will a) be untruthful about your abilities and b) invariably bored with the position? Ah... things that make you go hmmm.... in the exciting world of unemployment. It'll come - it's just not the right time. And I'll keep telling myself that, until it DOES come.

I'm still living without all of my "stuff" - which makes one just that much more stressful. Silly things like my favorite winter coats (yes, that's plural) and my CD collection... and well... the things that I love in general, (which is why we keep that crap to begin with, right?)

And I still need a life, a social life, that is... before I make Mason absolutely insane.

So, on with the catch up - there are adventurous tales to be told.