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Today in My History

2000: Doggone
2001:  Afternoon of a Squirrel
2002:  Life:    a Review
2003:  Stasis and Chaos
2004:  Yahrzeit
Police State
2006:  Ain't What IT Used to be Either
2007: Betrayed
2008:  Day of Silence


Books Read in 2009
Updated: 4/23
"A Thousand Splendid Suns" 

Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks

Home Remedies


Playtime from Bev Sykes on Vimeo.

and on You Tube

Look at these videos!
Gay Education
You Tube Symphony Orchestra
Kings Firecrackers
Ned's Birthday Video for Bri
Dog in Blue Sweater
What a Wonderful World

New on My flickr_logo.gif (801 bytes)

Bri's 1st Birthday

Mirror Site, for RSS feed:
Airy Persiflage

Bev's 65 x 365

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dardos.jpg (11615 bytes)
         Premio Dardos Award


25 April 2009

I am very bad person.

While I enjoy getting e-mailed things that let me know that someone I care about is thinking about me and sharing something funny or something sweet they have come across, I just hate it when I hear from someone from whom I have not heard in 30 years, who found my e-mail address somewhere and sends me some special prayer to say or quotation to read, or wish to make and then pass it along to 12 of my best friends within the next 5 minutes so that my life can be enriched. 

If I did that and passed things along to 12 of my best friends, I wouldn't have any friends any more.

The worst are the ones that tell you that you'll "laugh your head off" at what happens when you forward the message, entice you into forwarding the damn thing.  (Do you laugh your head off when nothing happens when you forward the message?  Because nothing ever does.) 

One I received recently said that every time the message was forwarded a flag or something was added.  Well, I was 99% sure that didn't happen, but just to see if maybe someone had developed some sort of embedded program that would let that happen, I forwarded it to myself. And, as I knew it wouldn't, no new flag was added to the message.

These damn things aren't as dangerous as the Nigerian potentates (or whatever is the country du jour) who want to share great wealth with us because we are persons of such high moral character, or obscure lotteries that we don't remember entering which we have apparently won (I can't believe people are still falling for that stuff), but my god are they annoying. 

The most annoying is that they usually come from people who are relatively new to the internet and are just discovering these things and don't realize that they have been around since God created the internet.

But the problem is -- what do you do with them?  They always ask you to share the messages with X number of your friends, including them so that they can know that you feel the same way about them. 

What I usually do is just send it back to the sender.   I never include a note because, well, the person I last saw 30+ years ago never sent ME a note either except this special message I was asked to forward. 

But I always feel bad about it because (a) I actually wouldn't mind reconnecting with this old friend, but I know I won't hear a single personal message from her (it's usually a woman, of course) and (b) I know this was sent in good faith and I don't want to make the sender feel uncomfortable.  So...how do YOU handle the situation?  And do you feel guilty about it?

And finally....if you are thinking about sharing your secret for eternal life, great fortune, other good luck or anything else with me, please don't.  Please, please don't.  I love you--but I just hate getting these chain letters.  Send me something to "make my day," but don't ask me to share it with anybody else.  Let's just let it be our own special little thing between you and me, OK?  Oh--and if you haven't seen me in 30 years, send a personal note along with it too.

Adele.jpg (7792 bytes)There was another shocker that Steve Schalchlin let drop without realizing it:  Adele Liotta has died.

I didn't really know Adele, but she was one of my Facebook friends.  I didn't even know how she got to be a FB friend until Steve wrote about her death and another of our mutual internet friends commented on it.  We were all part of the large Schalchlin circle.

But mostly I knew Adele as my Facebook Scrabble buddy (Joan is my Pixie Pit Scrabble buddy).  Adele and I played Scrabble back and forth ever since Facebook brought it back a few months ago.  I don't even remember if I won more games or if she won more games, but I enjoyed playing with her.

I went to her Facebook page and read her last status entry, which was chilling.  It was written on April 20 and said simply, "sick .. food poisoning, I think."  The next post on her wall was written the following day by someone who wrote "Oh Mammadele.  There are no words" and there follow a long stream of messages of love for Adele and condolences.  She was just 60 years old.  

This makes 3 of my internet friends (that I know of) who have died -- Denver Doug, Dougri and now Adele.  People I felt I knew on some level, but never met face to face.  People who were part of my circle of internet life.

Steve wrote an excellent entry about the death of Adele and the death of Dougri and how the internet is changing our idea of friendship and relationships.  And what happens when someone dies?

Most people who hopped on the information superhighway when the pavement was barely dry weren't old farts.  Even I was only a mere child of not yet 50 when I got my first modem and joined a local Bulletinboard -- and I wasfar older than anybody I met on the Internet for a very long time.

So we don't have a lot of old timers (by which I mean old in age, not only in internet years) and this whole business of losing people who have been in our lives daily, but whom we have never met, is something completely new.  We haven't quite figured out how to deal with it. 

Sadly, I suspect that this is going to be something that is going to evolve over time as, inevitably, we all start dying off.  Already my group of Women from CompuServe has made sure that we all have each other's contact information so that if we disappear, we know how to check on each other.  Walt knows what to do if something happens to me, and I'm sure people will, like Adele's friends, post messages on my wall to inform others on Facebook.

But this is where the internet is going to break new grounds in the area of grief.  We don't have any societal examples for how to grieve together for someone we've never met...but feel strongly about.

The closest was when Steve & Jimmy's good friend Dickie was dying.  We all loved Dickie but we were literally scattered around the world.   He had helped so many people and some had actually met him (I was fortunate to be one of those people).  While he was dying, we had what amounted to an on-line death watch followed by an on-line wake as we all shared Dickie stories and sat at our respective computers crying. 

We as human beings have a need to come together in grief.  It's why we hold funerals.  The Internet is going to have to figure out how to do that because as us old farts start dying off, the need is going to be there more and more often.


Tony09.jpg (84736 bytes)

This is in perfect keeping with my whole
comment about "internet friends," people who
are special to me, but whom I don't really know,
face to face ... today is Tony Kahn's birthday.
(whom I have actually met, if briefly)


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MILES TO NOWHERE:  104 miles

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