My uncle passed away yesterday, a few days after a sudden illness left him in a coma. We were hoping a recovery would be possible, but eventually we realized that he had no brain function. He lived several states away from us, so my family won't be able to make it there. My mom is devastated. She hadn't actually seen her brother in over 20 years, but was planning on visiting this spring.
Thanks to Chuck for sending lots of news today. It's like he somehow knows when I'm going through hard times and sends me plenty of news for you all.
Also, yes, I know, my life is crazy and it seems as though as soon as one thing is dealt with, another occurs. That's the way my life always has been. I really don't know anything different. To be completely honest, this year has been the most thus far I've ever gone through. I feel like losing my mind. At the same time, however, I can look around and realize that it isn't just me dealing with this sort of catastrophic autumn. Everyone I know is dealing with hardships that they wouldn't normally face, and all at the same time. I stepped into my professor's office yesterday to let her know what was going on with my uncle, and after she hugged me and handed me tissues, she commented that "Everyone seems to be going through rough times right now, and all in strange ways. You've just got the worst of it." Another teacher said, "You've had the worst semester I think I have ever seen in all the years that I have been teaching and in class myself. This world is attacking you, my friend."
All I can say is "Yeah, I know."
But I'm dealing with it the best I can. My life is not nearly as hard as those people who live in Gaza or Somalia or Syria. When I start getting too far down, I remember that it could be much worse. I could genuinely be in fear for my life every minute of every day. I don't live like that. It gives me perspective. I also give myself time to break down. On occasion I will get so frustrated and afraid that I will leave school, go back to my apartment, lock myself in the bedroom, and scream and cry and lament for myself, my brother, my mother, my wife, and anyone else I know going through tough times. A little self-pity is allowable, as long as you keep it in check and maintain perspective. I almost never actually cry, so if you know me personally and see me in tears, it means that something is seriously wrong.
Let's get to the news for you guys, mostly provided by Chuck. I'm going to keep it short. I've ranted a bit already, and I'm very sad right now.
-- [Chuck] Everyone is tired of Monsanto, from farmers to consumers. The corporate giant sues anyone they can, provides GMOs that we can't tell are safe, poisons drinking water and the air supply, and disrupts ecosystems. We need to do something to stop them. Avaaz has a petition going that demands the closure of Monsanto and that the giant be charged for their crimes against the environment and humanity.
-- [Chuck] The Keystone Pipeline XL has been disrupted again, as 40 protesters burst onto the scene yesterday morning. Some locked themselves to machinery, others formed a human wall to stop the machinery from moving, and a few others climbed trees to set up a high-rise blockade.
-- [Chuck] Do you have the new iPhone? It may not be as cool as you think it is, says this site. Apparently, workers are being forced into overdrive for production of the new phone, and student workers are not being allowed to attend school so they can reach production levels necessary. Go here to tell Apple that it's time to follow the rules and do things ethically.
-- [Chuck] Solidarity with Gaza. (Photo.)
-- [Chuck] Here's a satirical response to Texas concerning their petition to secede from the USA. It's quite funny.
-- Here's a not-so-satirical response concerning Texas' petition to secede. While it isn't humorous like the previous one, it does make some good points.
-- [Chuck] Lastly, watch this video. In the state of mind that I'm in right now, this video helped me feel a lot better. It's amazing in its own right.
To contact me, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
P.S. If you email me, please put something about Occupy in the title so I recognize your intent. (Except for you, Chuck. I recognize you anyway.) Otherwise, I may not catch your message.