Archive | February, 2013

5 Facebook Posts That Make Me Stabby

18 Feb

Someday, you are going to hear shattering glass and a primal scream, followed by the sound of my MacBook Pro shattering on the back patio — all because I just can’t take the Facebook stupid anymore.


Oh no, it’s not you. You’re fine. It’s those other people.

The ones who post things like this:

1. Repost this picture and get a free MacBook Pro, iPad, Pair of Tickets on Southwest, Boob job, date with Justin Bieber… etc.

Listen up. No one is giving you cool stuff for posting crap on Facebook. That is not how the world works. If you want a MacBook Pro, iPad, or cool vacation,  GET A JOB. If you already have a job and you can’t afford that stuff, get another job. Or, eat macaroni and cheese and stop going to Starbucks. But stop announcing your lack of a work ethic to your friends by incessantly posting stupid things to our news feeds.

2. Giant pictures of things you want to win.

For heaven’s sake, stop entering that damn contest for free boots that makes my Facebook feed look like a 4-H Convention. You don’t need free boots, you need someone wearing a pointy pair to give you a swift kick in the butt for cluttering up everyone’s Facebook feed.

Ditto for that stupid “Women Get it Free,” page. You do not need 100 free laundry soap samples. Go watch “Hoarders” until the feeling passes.

3. Sappy Quotes Attributed to Famous People Who Never Said Them.

My favorite of these (and by “favorite,” I mean “the one I hate the most.”) that’s going around is a speech supposedly by Bill Cosby called “I’m Tired,” where he blames all the problems of the world on African Americans, lazy poor people, drug addicts, Muslims and global warming activists.

Let’s be honest: the reason white people like to post it is because they can pretend it’s not because “Oh, a famous black person said it, not me. So I cannot possibly be racist for posting this.” But Bill Cosby didn’t give the speech. And it is, in fact, racist.

4. Any of the “Like” this picture if you want to save of baby kittens, hate cancer or love Jesus.

Jesus doesn’t need a million likes on Facebook. You save baby kittens by getting your cat fixed. And cancer sucks in a million ways,  but all the Facebook clicks in the world don’t change that. They will not bring back precious lives lost, or speed up a cure. Offer to drive a friend to chemo, donate real money. Care instead of clicking.

5. Anything you could have just checked before posting

Privacy warnings, political diatribes… you name it. Before you share your outrage, make sure you have not gotten your panties in a twist over an imaginary injustice. I will be the one to rain on your pity parade. Not because I like being right (although it IS kind of awesome), but because I believe truth is important. You can get so distracted by made-up horrors that you don’t even see real hurts, true ways you could make a difference.

What makes your top 5 list?

Love Letters from the Fifth-Grade Hallway

14 Feb
Valentine Poem

Valentine Poem

Valentine’s Day in fifth grade can be a treacherous affair.

Budding hormones + sugar + social ineptitude = conditions for a perfect storm of drama and hurt feelings.

But sometimes, the the middle of all that, something perfect happens. Like a Valentine acrostic poem from a usually rough & rushing boy who today, spent a morning making sure his heart was perfect, and his words carefully outlined in red.

And oh, those words.

Just in case you’ve gone until now on Valentine’s Day without anyone wishing you love, let me share this perfect thought, penned by 10-year-old poet in a room smelling of chocolate kisses, magic markers, and growing up too fast:

No one is left out.
Today is the day of love –
I love you.
Nice day to love each other,
Everybody needs love.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Gorilla My Dreams

12 Feb
The One and Only Ivan

Photo courtesy: The One and Only Ivan

I read Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan over the summer, devouring it in one sitting on a family camping trip. Then, I handed it off to my teenage son.

He read it in one sitting, too — staying up late into the summer night in his sleeping bag in the attic sleeping space above the den where I was bunking on the sofa. For hours, we had a call-and-response conversation about the book — I would hear him laugh or sigh, and whisper up the stairs “what part are you in?”

Finally, I braved the rickety stairs and perched up next to him, the book becoming a bridge where we could sit side by side, dipping our toes together into the refreshing and deep waters of the story.

On the bumpy off-road adventure that is parenting a teenage boy, I cling to rest stops like that one.

This week, The One and Only Ivan won the Newbery Award for the “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children,’ a recognition well-deserved.

The story of Ivan, a silverback gorilla who is making a life living in a run-down shopping mall, is heartbreaking and hilarious and triumphant all at once. Applegate masterfully tells the tale in the voice of Ivan himself, and it is his plain-spoken, wry humor (and talk of making poo-balls for annoying onlookers), that keeps the story from turning saccharine-sweet.

Worth reading and sharing, it’s a book next on my list of classroom read-alouds, and at the top of my recommended list. Just don’t blame me if it keeps you up giggling, sniffling, and eventually cheering late into the night.

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