30 January 2016

When it comes to people online, I can be fairly easy going. If I find, after knowing you for a while, that you made up a background story for yourself just to make online life more fun—and you don’t do it to for emotional or financial manipulation—I can shrug it off. I’ve known a few people over the years who have changed the details of their lives to make themselves more comfortable in chat rooms and interest forums, but they didn’t do it for any gain other than to have someone else to talk to. The person that stands out the most in my head is someone I met on Prodigy a billion years ago; “he” was actually a woman, but inverted the details of her life because she frankly did not want to deal with the way some men online behave toward women. She never asked for anything, never made up any horrific stories garnered to reap sympathy, never used personal tragedy for money.

She simply wanted to play online without being hassled. I get that. It didn’t bother me when I found out, because I understood it.

What I have a more difficult time shrugging off are the people who exist online to get something: attention, money, or both. Half the time I can’t figure out what it is they really want, but what they’re doing is several levels of wrong, and it’s hard to shrug off.

There’s a cat blogger who has created quite the life for herself online, even going to the extreme of sucking up pictures from random of other peoples’ kids and someone else’s husband, and presenting them to the world as her own. I’m guessing about 80% of the people involved in the Cat Blogosphere know that most of what she posts is complete bullshit (other than a couple of cats, we’re not even sure she’s had most of the cats she’s claimed to have) and I don’t think anyone would care…except that she’s taken money from us under the guise of some hard times (that some shrewd CBers have proven to be false) and she’s claimed to have had breast cancer (which I seriously doubt, given the details she provided.) If she’d just created this fantasy life, I would have uttered =meh= out loud, and moved on. But she didn’t: she took money and she played the cancer card.


Poke around online long enough, and you’ll find a plethora of similar stories, people who have this horrible disease and get others to host fundraisers so they can meet their rent, buy food, put clothes on their kids’ backs…and then they’re outed as being liars.

It’s a crime, you know. Some have been prosecuted, most have not.

The whole crapfest came to mind again today when presented with evidence that a 3 Day rock star—someone who has, through cultivation of a very large team of walkers and crew members—raised over $300,000 for the 3 Day. She’s done an incredible amount of good work by claiming to have had breast cancer multiple times and using that platform as the basis for her fundraising.

But…she apparently never had cancer at all.

And, you know, I could almost shrug that off. This is a cause that becomes so personal to a lot of people that it becomes a mission. There are, within the 3 Day community, a few people that I honestly feel have a calling to do this. They walk multiple events each year (some walk all of them, raising a minimum of $2300 for each walk) and they do it because they NEED to be a part of the process that eventually finds a cure.

I thought she was one of them.

But…but…but…other people, online and in real life, have held fundraisers for her, and she took the money. All the bits and pieces of fine details are not yet clear, but the big picture is this: she manipulated literally thousands of people into honestly giving a damn about what she was supposedly going through, she had people in emotional turmoil and agony over it, crying real tears, and more than once. She was fine with other people hurting for her, and she was fine with their efforts to raise money on her behalf, and fine with taking it.

And that’s where I draw the line.

Play the cancer card, take the money, and you’re quite the wretched person in my book.

I don’t know how she started down that path; maybe in the beginning it really seemed like a good way to fundraise for a decent cause. Maybe she never intended for it to go that far. Maybe all she ever really wanted was to cure a disease, and this was the only way she could think of. Maybe. Lots of maybes.

I’m annoyed by it all; I have no personal stake in her charade other than being a part of the same community, and being a face in the crowd that cheered her on as she created this amazing team of people and as she became a motivational speaker for the cause. I’m not broken by it, but I know others who are clearly gutted because they developed a real and personal connection to her.

There are a whole lot of totally gobsmacked people in the 3 Day community right now. They want answers, and those may never come. I have no idea what will become of the team she created, but I hope they stick together, change their name, and soldier on. I hope that their spirit isn’t broken.

For everyone else who takes up a cause—any cause—people who do this make it that much harder. Fundraising is already difficult, and when news like this surfaces it can make wallets snap shut with a loud pop, because potential donors can’t trust the information being given to them.

If you do this, if you lie about being sick for the sake of attention and money, you not only put yourself at risk for the repercussions, you make life that much more difficult for those caught up in your web and the people around them. You destroy trust; it’s the bridge that you not only burn behind you, but incinerate everything within a 5 mile radius.

Not everyone is outed (the cat blogger in question has never been publicly outed, but has been privately…if she was unaware, she’s probably figuring it out right about…now) and that’s where several levels of wrong exist: when people come to understand that there are more liars out there than they realize, their support ends. In the case of the 3 Day, this will probably cause a few participants to walk away.

I can’t blame them. It’s hard to walk 60 miles in 3 days when your soul is bleeding.

I will walk this year; the Spouse Thingy will walk this year. And I promise you this: I will not engage in emotional manipulation to raise the money for that. I may beg, I may offer to do weird and humiliating things, I will have prizes, but I will not lie about something so important just to call attention to myself and reap whatever benefits that might bring.

If you got caught up in any of it, I am truly sorry. But know this: whatever you donated, whatever tears you shed, however deeply you cared and how hard you worked to help her, it came from a very good place, and you deserve the karma that brings.

And people do actually do things like this: karma’s gonna bite you in the ass.

Karma always wins.


21 January 2016


♦ The treadmill. Why does the treadmill have to be so freaking boring? Even with the TV on…boringboringboring. Today’s 5-7 miles will be done one at a time. On for a mile, off for distraction, on for a mile, off for lunch…until I get the damned miles in.

♦No, cat, I am not making a lap right now. I am using the computer on it while I muster up enough maturity to get back on the treadmill.

♦ Having to wait for the delivery dude. He’s the reason I’m stuck inside. I could be outside, plodding through town while I pretend to jog but am really just walking. But no…they won’t just leave beer by the door without a signature. Sheesh.

♦Seriously, furball. Stop practically humping my head while you lounge on the back of the chair, trying to get me to make a lap.

♦ Politicians. Holy hell. Stop saying you’ll fix something, and freaking tell us HOW you’ll fix it. Stop blathering on about everything you think your opponent is doing wrong and start telling us what you’ll do right. Right side, left side, I don’t care…the campaigning sucks.

♦ STOP MEOWING, CAT! I swear to Bast, you talk more than an 8 year old girl.

♦ Memes offering up “less desirable” celebrities in lieu of popular ones dying. I hate that Alan Rickman, David Bowie, and Glenn Frey have died, too, but come on…these memes saying “take the Kardashians” instead are just mean.

♦ Jesus, cat…

♦ That I have no idea if I spelled “Kardashians” correctly. I either spelled out the Hollywood family, or the Star Trek Deep Space Nine bad guys.

♦Licking my hair is not going to make me cater to your whims, cat.

♦ We are out of tomato soup.

♦ Really, furball? You’re going to beat me to death with your tail? At the rate you’re going, it will take another 24.8 years of popping it against my neck for that to work.

♦ Ok, great, the delivery dude has come and gone and I am free to go about my business. But I just ate lunch and I know better than to try to do anything for an hour, and then after that I need to go grocery shopping and I’ll buy more than I can carry while on foot, so… blah.

♦ Seriously cat, I am trading you in on a new model. Get your damned nose out of my ear.


15 January 2016

A few months back, after declaring defeat in the 14-year long battle of Max in The Morning, I started going to bed at a normal-people time and getting up at Food O’Clock, which happens to be right around 7 a.m. My natural body clock wants to stay up until 3 a.m. and get up at 10, but I’m starting to get used to the change. Morning still burns, but I can deal with it, at least on the days when Max hasn’t spent the night wandering the house yowling at the top of his lungs.

Sometimes I think I should worry about that, but then I realize he’s always been a pain in the ass during the night, and has always coughed up a song or two, and does it loud enough to wake me up.

It’s like having a baby that wakes you up 2-3 times a night…for 14 years.

Anyway. I’ve been getting up in the actual morning, when normal people are awake doing normal people things. It really didn’t surprise me to discover I can get more done during the day, since my errand running and the like is no longer blocked by the frustrations of being night blind (oh, I’m still night blind…I just get things done before dark now.) It also didn’t surprise me to find a little extra energy, because I’m actually getting more sleep now than before.

But what has surprised me?

The hunger. I’m hungry all the time now. I was losing weight before; now it’s just stopped because I am so much hungrier than I was.

I used to have breakfast at 10:30-11:00, an hour after getting up and taking my meds. Now I’m struggling to get past 8 before having breakfast, which means I want lunch far earlier, and making it to dinner without a snack?

Not happening. Or if it does, when dinner rolls around I want to eat everything in sight, and then want dessert…which I used to eat, like, never.

These days, I think I would eat the soul of crying toddler if it was sweet or satiating enough.

The easy answer would be to follow my hunger cues and go back to my old schedule…but come summer I want to be up and outside while it’s still cool, and when you sleep until 10 a.m., outside is not all that cool around here. I have lots of training coming up, and it would be nice to get it done when it’s not 90 degrees of ohhellno.

So clearly, I need to go back to school, get a degree in biochemistry or agricultural medicine or whatever, and develop a line of tasty, filling, calorie-free foods so that I can still get up in the morning and eat my way through the day.


Because honestly, I think that would be a whole lot easier than developing some self-discipline and embracing the idea that being hungry for an extra hour is truly not going to kill me.

It might, you know.

It really might.


10 January 2016

My goals for the Hot Chocolate 15K were to have fun with it, and to not die. I did not count on developing the sinus infection from Hell and the dizziness it would bring. I did not count on the complete lack of training in the week and a half leading up to it, because of said sinus crap. I can't even roll over in bed without the world spinning around me (and while I have to admit, it's kind of a fun feeling) which is not conducive to walk/jog/crawling 9 miles. When you run, your nose does, too...only mine isn't running, all that gook is just flowing into my ears.

So between the lack of preparedness in being able to meet the pace, and the real chance I would face-plant right there on the Great Ocean Highway, we bagged the race today and opted to go shopping yesterday instead (hey, we each saved over $200 on the hotel rooms. So we spent it.) But...BUT...I am making up the mileage today, but in chunks that my spinning head can manage.

I hit the outlet mall this morning while it was still mostly deserted, and pounded out 5 miles, with a short break in there somewhere to get some tea (tip: don't try to powerwalk with hot tea in hand, even with a lid on the cup. It still comes out of the little hole) and after my lunch has settled, I'll do the rest, probably on the treadmill but maybe not. It's only 2:10 right now, so I'll have enough light if I want to head out in the next half hour.

The only thing I'm disappointed about is not showing up for the race. I wanted to be there, because it's freaking San Francisco, and walking there is always amazing. But that's it...not worried about upsetting anyone else, the lost entry fee, not getting a medal. I'm doing the miles anyway (even though I told DKM yesterday that I wouldn't. I got up this morning and it was like, hell yes, I'm doing 9 today) and I'm doing it at a pace I can handle, though quicker than I'd like, and in chunks that don't have me pushing through the dizziness.

What I truly do not what to do is risk an injury that will keep me from making it to the Pixie Dust Challenge in May. I honestly felt like going to the Hot Chocolate today was setting myself up for something stupid, and I really, really want to nail the PDC and make Tinkerbell my little bitch.

In fact, I'm looking at the events I've signed up for already, and pondering thinning the list, just so I don't push too hard and miss the two things I most want to do: the Pixie Dust Challenge (10K Saturday, Half Marathon Sunday) and then the San Diego 3 Day. I may (probably will) dump the Avon walk. I haven't made it to one yet, so why break that streak? It's what I do...register, plan, and then not participate. I might as well plan on not participating, and saving those training miles (not to mention the fundraising. I really don't want to bug people to raise that much, especially since The Spouse Thingy is walking this year, too.)

I think my charity events this year will be St. Baldrick's and the 3 Day...anything else I do will be for fun.

St. Baldrick's is at the end of next month...first person to donate $300 gets to pick the color I dye my hair for it.

Remember, this happened last year.

Splotchy green scalp.

It could be even weirder this year...


6 January 2016

Even though the Avon Walk is 7 months away and the 3 Day is 11 months away, my brain is already engaged trying to come up with some creative and fun ways to fundraise. There are a few decent (I think) things percolating in my head, but I won't get around to really working on those until next week.

To start though...I'm doing a t-shirt fundraiser; I set a goal of 50 shirts, but only 16 need to be sold in order for it to print, and as of right now, only 6 more sales are needed.


This is also the jump point for the couple of other things I have planned...stay tuned, you can earn a pink belt. Or be in a book.


(ok, *I* want a shirt so I need 16 to sell. 50 would be super spiffy, but I'll be happy with 16.)

Clicky here.

It runs for 15 more days. That's it.