Friday, October 28, 2011

The "New Normal"

Dave and I thought that after the wedding (in JULY!) we would settle in to a new normal, life would calm down and we would be happy newlyweds enjoying life. We thought, we'd move downstairs into a larger condo, to accommodate all of our junk, and provide a more suitable guest room for our parents to visit. We thought we would get a new great dane puppy and enjoy the beauty that is puppyhood. We thought new normal would be wonderful.

But things haven't calmed down, we haven't settled in and lately neither one of us has been all that happy. We got into the new condo, which we love-- and now are faced with the fact that our landlord is putting the building up for sale-- which means we can either buy the place or hope no one else will. We got our precious puppy, who is finally doing well after two months of being very ill and stressing us out both emotionally and financially. And, I was sick for over a month with bronchitis that just won't go away-- I'm still suffering from a lingering cough. I started back to school so my weeknights are filled with class, and my weekends are full of homework.

Since we got back from the honeymoon-- life has not adjusted into the new normal we thought we would have. Perhaps the new normal is this-- life constantly surprises you and for every moment of peace you get, there are three moments of stress, arguing and major decisions to be made. So basically, the new normal is the same as the old normal.

Here's to major changes not making a major change after all.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Human Look at a Terrible Accident

Those of you who know me, realize I am from Zanesville, Ohio. Today, the news has been plastered with ongoing press conferences, and articles relating to an unfortunate situation regarding the escape of several exotic animals. 


 News Coverage: 

The sheriff who issued a shoot-to-kill order after dozens of exotic animals — including Bengal tigers, mountain lions and bears — escaped from an Ohio farm defended his decision Wednesday, saying "we were not going to have animals running loose." 

Sheriff Matt Lutz said the owner of Muskingum County Animal Farm near Zanesville, Terry Thompson, appeared to have set the animals free and then taken his own life.
  "It is still, still not a completely secure area," he said.

The sheriff told an afternoon press conference that as many as 56 animals on the farm may have been set loose. Authorities tracked down and killed 48 of them: 18 rare Bengal tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, three mountain lions, two grizzlies, one wolf and one baboon.

The animals were buried on the Thompson's property at the request of his wife, the sheriff said.

Read the full Story Here

Perhaps this is not the time to mention this, but I knew Terry Thompson and his wife Marian personally. And I have always, and will always remember them as good caring people. They are eccentric, yes-- but that made them even more interesting. I loved the time I spent with them, their horses and their animals. It is a cherished memory from my youth, and I believe I have developed my own unconditional love for animals as a partial result of their influence.

Despite the terribly unfortunate accident involving various wild animals last night/today in my hometown, I have to say that he was a good man with a good heart. Yes, he did things that don't make sense to us, but he did it from a place of love for the animals. I assure you he did not set them free as an act of vengeance-- but rather an act of desperation. I agree that that law should not have allowed this to happen in the first place-- a private property owner should not be allowed to have wild animals-- however, in this case, T was trying to help. He saw himself as a caring person who had the space, some knowledge and the resources to care for these animals that would allow them to be saved in the long run, rather than given to the "highest bidder" at an auction where any number of unfortunate outcomes could occur.

The pictures of the dead animals are horrifying. But you can tell they were well fed, healthy animals.

The outcome of this was unfortunate, but I don't want to forget that the Thompson's are people, good caring people who were mixed up in more than they could handle. All of the slander on Facebook from my high school "friends" makes me angry. This was a serious, unfortunate accident involving not only several animals but also a human being. Posting pictures of dead animals, or of trick bears, or of The Lion King superimposed over Zanesville is in bad taste.

This Lion King Photo is particularly bothering me because in the past, when the Thompsons operated a horse farm, and were friends with my family while I took riding lessons there, they acquired their first exotic animal-- a lion cub-- Simba. I met the cub, it was well cared for and at the time the only large cat they had. I thought it was strange, but after seeing the care and understanding the reasoning first hand-- I shrugged it off as T being T-- eccentric, but caring. Obviously, as time has moved forward, I have lost touch with them, and things have escalated to a point of no return-- but I truly believe that he had a good heart, and his reasons for having these animals were grounded in love and respect for all animals.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I think we're dealing with a sociopath

Yesterday in my small office (5 of us were in) someone used the common microwave, burned something awful, created a terrible burned toast smell in the office, attempted to "clean up" with no success and then, LIED about it. We polled the 5 people present and everyone said they had nothing to do with it. Continuing into today, everyone claims they had nothing to do with it, offering long stories of their innocence. Why would you lie about this, unless of course you are a sociopath.

Basic profile of a Sociopath:

  • Glibness and Superficial Charm

  • Manipulative and Conning
    They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

  • Grandiose Sense of Self
    Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

  • Pathological Lying
    Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

  • Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
    A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

  • Shallow Emotions
    When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

  • Incapacity for Love

  • Need for Stimulation
    Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

  • Callousness/Lack of Empathy
    Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

  • Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
    Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

  • Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
    Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.

  • Irresponsibility/Unreliability
    Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

  • Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
    Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.

  • Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
    Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.

  • Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
    Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily. 

  • In a related note, after reading this profile I am completely convinced that one of my co-workers is dangerously close to the edge of becoming a serial killer.  (though not nearly as intelligent as the famous Hannibal Lecter) Probably the same person who is lying about the microwave.
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