There is so much I wanted to write about this week that I hardly know where to start.
My son, my sunshine, just got a good job in the corporate world. Having worked in that world, I am scared for him- oh not like I was scared for his life when he was in Iraq- more like scared for his soul. Those corporate jobs will eat you up and spit you out. The survivors and the people that thrive in that arena have to be able to outfox everyone. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t placate the right people- I was a born rebel- a maverick- a teller of truth no matter what the consequence. I still am.
He should be okay though. I know that military training; that special brand only the US Marines dish out will serve him well and the two years stationed at Annapolis, where diplomacy was essential even though they had authority to shoot and kill gatecrashers- that training will be especially useful.
And this is not very parental, but I hope he doesn’t lose his little craziness to the big old corporate monster. I like that part of him.
My friend Renee sent me a message this week that a friend of her son’s was missing in Sonoma County. Now I have to say, I usually keep an open mind about these things. I have known more than a few women who have actually run away from the husband and kids for a weekend without as much as a phone call just for the sake of sanity. But my instinct told me this was not the case here. I posted the missing woman’s picture on my facebook page and so did several of my friends and Renee’s friends too.
We had coast to coast coverage and a post from Renee’s son Dominic stating only “it does not look good” that made me think I don’t care if I repeat myself every week- or every day. I don’t care if you are 4 or 104. You really need to be careful and pay attention to your surroundings.
It turned out better than I thought it would, the woman was found, in a hospital, after being kidnapped and held for two days. I don’t know the details, and I don’t need to- here is what we need to know. She will be okay. She did not die. She was not paying attention to her surroundings.
I sleep with a lethal weapon – no not my dogs- although good money would bet on Toshi to go for a throat. I have a combat knife (I won’t say exactly where I keep it), which belongs to my son, that I know would easily kill a 200 pound man. I never liked knives, but honestly, I have never heard of anyone accidently stabbing them self to death- whereas you can’t say the same about guns. Could I actually stab someone up to the hilt of that knife? Yes.
Here are some basic safety guidelines to keep in mind: (Taken from the Humble Police DEPT.. Humble TX.)
Strategies for Avoiding Sexual Assault
Awareness and assertive behavior may be your best defense against becoming an "easy victim."
Walk confidently, directly and at a steady pace.
Real anger instead of fear may not be expected by a would-be attacker and may throw him off-guard.
If approached by someone you sense to be a potential threat, try to stay out of his reach.
Report suspicious or criminal activity to the police immediately.
If you feel you are in danger of being attacked- try to escape the situation by running away from it if you can.
Head for a well-lighted place where you think there will be other people who may be able to help you.
Try in any way you can to attract attention to yourself. Scream. "CALL 911!"
Take a self-defense course.
Trust your instincts. If a person, place or situation makes you uneasy, leave or change it immediately.
Use common sense. If it seems risky, it probably is.
Have good locks (dead-bolts are best) installed on all doors and windows and be sure to use them.
Be sure you know who you are opening your door to. If a sales or repair person is legitimate, they will not mind your asking to see their identification and confirming their identity with the company they represent.
If a stranger comes to your door requesting assistance (e.g. to make a phone call, car trouble, etc.) offer to call the necessary people for him. Do not make yourself vulnerable by opening your door to a stranger, especially if you live by yourself or are at home alone!
For women who live by themselves, never advertise by listing your full name in the phone book or on your mailbox. Use instead your first two initials, or even add another name.
Be cautious about revealing any personal information over the phone.
Draw your curtains or shut your blinds at night so people on the outside cannot determine who is in the residence.
Do not hide a spare key in obvious places such as under the mat, in a potted plant, or the door sill, etc... Know your neighbors.
In Your Car:
Always be sure to lock your car doors, whether or not you are in the car. Always check the floor and rear seat before getting into your car.
When returning to your car, make sure your keys are in your hand, ready to unlock the door and turn on the ignition. They can also be used as a weapon, should that become necessary.
If you suspect that you are being followed while driving, keep on going -- do not stop and pullover until you get to a place that is well-lit and where there are other people to assist you. If practical, drive to the nearest police station and tell them you are being followed.
Avoid parking lots and gas stations that are poorly lit.
Do not pick up hitchhikers nor accept rides from strangers, particularly men.
If your car should break down, or you are in a fender bender, raise the hood and remain in the car with the doors locked until the police arrive. If someone should stop and offer to assist you, roll down the window just enough to tell them they can be most helpful by calling the police for you.
Keep your car well-serviced, with good tires and plenty of gas. This will greatly reduce your chances of being disabled on the side of the road.
On the Street:
When walking alone, act self-assured and confident that you know where you are going.
Walk on the traffic side of sidewalks, not close to alleyways or bushes.
If you suspect that someone is following you, cross the street or walk quickly to a well-lit, well-populated location.
Wear sensible clothing and shoes which allow you to maneuver or run.
Don't load yourself down with packages, bags, books, etc... You will appear vulnerable for attack.
Stay alert and aware. Turn around and look at whoever may be behind you.
If you walk or jog for exercise, try to vary your route or time on the street. Predictable behavior is risky.
If You are Raped:
Go to a friend's house or another safe place where you can get emotional support.
Go to the nearest hospital. DO NOT douche, bathe, shower, eat, drink or change clothes before you go.
Report the rape to authorities (this does not mean you must proceed with prosecution).
Seek counseling. Even if you don't report the rape or press charges, you should contact your nearest rape crisis center for information about counseling. Their services are free and confidential.
Know that it is not your fault. You did not do anything to cause it and you are not to blame.
If you are raped and you live in Marin call: Rape Crisis Center of Marin
|Noodle in better days|
I’m really sad to report my Noodle still can’t open his mouth. Tomorrow he is going for an x-ray. He is still eating via syringe- he has lost a lot of weight, even though I am feeding him at least ¾ of a can of food twice a day.
I chop up his pills and grind them to a fine dust that I mix with a little food and put in his syringe. Most of the time I think he gets all of it but sometimes it dribbles back out and is lost. He has been on antibiotics for 3 weeks, pains pills for 3 weeks, muscle relaxers and steroids for a week now. Every day I tell myself he could wake up and be better in the morning- but so far he is the same. A sweeter dog never lived. I wish I knew what to do for him.
I had an old friend in town that wanted to see me this weekend. Someone I really haven’t seen for 35 or so years and whose life and mine have gone in fairly separate directions. But I was not willing to leave my dog to fit his schedule- my dog, who has never left my side in 10+ years. These dogs, my boys, have been my constant companions for so long, through so many things-so many hard times, losing them (last year Smokie) is beyond horrible. I’ve been teary all weekend, trying to keep busy cleaning or writing, but I keep tearing up when I think of my little Noodle. These dogs have made me a better person.
So that’s it for this week. So much, I needed to share it- purge it. Sometimes I think I am cruising and not letting life touch me- then I realize I’m just so used to it I don’t really feel it all the time. I’m feeling it this week- so thanks for reading.