Saturday, February 05, 2005

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

So, instead of going to a party, a couple of teens decide to make cookies for their neighbors and get sued. The world is officially nuts. Something like this happens, you complain to their parents (or to the teens themselves, but perhaps with their parents present) and tell them not to knock on people’s doors and walk away so late at night. Thanks, but no thanks, please don’t do that again. You don’t sue them. Whatever happened to settling a disagreement out of court? Going to your neighbor’s house or picking up the phone and having a freaking conversation? Has the concept of community really deteriorated so much that we can’t even talk to someone without consulting a lawyer? Don’t we know how to interact with each other at all any more? So what’s next, people? A woman sues a man for sexual harassment because he holds the door for her? A child sues his parents for letting him have dessert? Pretty soon, we’ll be suing each other for invading our “personal space”.

And, yes, it was just the one woman out of at least seven people who received the cookies who sued. But it’s not just her. It’s her lawyer. And it’s the judge who handed down the decision. Really, there are much, much worse things those girls could have been doing at that time of night. There are also worse things they could have left on the woman’s porch. Rewarding this woman’s utter stupidity and paranoia just encourages more of the same – and discourages the kind of generosity these girls demonstrated. If doing positive things gets you into trouble, you might as well do the bad things. There is no point in being a decent person in a society that takes from the generous to give to the greedy.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

A Parenthetical Conversation

I’ve noticed since I started writing this blog that I use a lot of parentheses (you noticed that, huh?). Part of it is a reflection of my speaking style, which sometimes devolves into a series of asides, causing me to lose the original point (what point?). Part of it is my almost compulsory need to clarify (expound, delineate, ramble on about) what I’m saying since the written word often lacks the verbal and visual subtext present in face-to-face communications (see Community and Communication)(ha! Thought I was going to say something smart, didn’t you?) The rest may be that, sadly or otherwise, I’m used to having conversations with myself. (so very sad) Excuse you! (I’m excused.) Stop that! (Stop what?) You’re making unnecessary comments. It’s distracting. (Lenny Kravitz and Jimi Hendrix). What? (You were wondering earlier who the two singer/guitarists were whose names you never seem to be able to remember at the same time) What does that have to do with anything? (I don’t know. I’m just the parenthetical comments. Do I really have to be relevant?) Well, it would be nice! (:P F is for fire that burns down the whole town, U is for Uranium… bombs!) No! Don’t you dare get that song in my head. (This is the song that doesn’t end…) Would you like to take over? (No, no. I’m good.) No, really. You seem to want to talk so much. Maybe you should write the blog post and I’ll just jump in when I have something to add. (Um…) … (Hello? Main voice? Where did you go?) … (Ah, crap. Um… Hi there! Look, I think the main voice is distracted by the State of the Union right now. Maybe she’ll be back in a minute.) … (No? I can’t write and entire blog post! I’m just the witty comments and tangentially relevant asides! I need a main thread to bounce off of! Where did she go? I’m off to find myself. If I return before I get back, tell me I’m on vacation.)

She gone? Yes! Finally. I can write a few sentences without interruption. Now, where was I? Well? Where was I? I lost my place. Where did… oh, very funny, parenthetical voice. Fine. Be that way. I’ll finish this later…

Monday, January 31, 2005

What is a "Spak Kadi"?

So what's this "SpakKadi" that I put everywhere, including my blog? Astronomy is one of my long-lived hobbies. And I'm weird. So when it came time to pick a camp name in Girl Scouts, Space Cadet seemed the perfect choice. For some bizarre reason, some of the leaders couldn't remember a camp name "that long", so I told them to just call me "Spak" (since Spacey sounded too much like Stacey, one of which we already had). In high school, I invented my own language. In theory, it was for the characters in my stories. But it was more for my own amusement. Spak became "space". And, because it was my language and I could make stuff up, Kadi became "cadet". Hence, "Rantings of a Space Cadet" is at And, whenever I feel like maybe I'm not as weird as I think I am, I simply google my screen name. Who knew the SciFi channel bulletin boards kept posts that long?

Back Up and Running

Back up and running in my new apartment. It took two hours to set up my cable and internet, but Comcast's cable box is so much faster than my old Adelphia box. And I'm talking the digital cable box, not the internet. Scrolling through the guide is like scrolling through a webpage rather than flipping through a book with sticky pages. That's right, Adelphia. You lose.