Saturday, July 24, 2010

Today, just across the street from me, a man stabbed his girlfriend in the chest.

All I know is that the police finally caught up with the guy after he ran. I have no clue as to the girl’s condition, though, and I wish I did. 
I was working when it happened, and after the police and ambulances arrived, I had to go outside to get ice. I heard someone scream, in some kind of pain. At the time I didn’t know what had really happened, but now I realize it was probably that poor girl yelling. Never before have I wanted to help someone so badly, but there was absolutely nothing I could have done. I went back inside and hoped for the best.
The most disgusting part was how jaded everyone seemed to be by it. Customers would ask what had happened, and I would tell them. They would say “Wow” or something of the like, crack a joke such as “What is this, NYC?”, gather their things and leave. Even the kids, who for some reason were allowed to run around alone at 10pm, were strangely okay with the fact that there was an active crime scene across the street. A girl of about seven initially informed of what had happened. I commented on the police sirens and she calmly stated, “Oh yeah, someone got stabbed”, shrugged, and then left.
My drive to work for law enforcement has never been this strong. I never again want to be so near a tragedy like that and be completely helpless.
I have no idea how the girl is. I don’t know if she died at the scene, at the hospital, or if she’s still alive. 
All of this happened in a city I had previously felt safe in. I often work late and was never afraid to walk alone to my car. Hell, I sometimes took walks for a few blocks before I drove home. I think it’s safe to say that my attitude toward Johnstown has completely changed, even if only temporarily.


I don't know this girl. I don't know her name, what she looks like, who her family is. I'm not terribly religious. But I will pray for her. I will pray to whatever god she may happen to believe in, to the god that I believe in, and whatever else could have some impact on her. I don't know if it will do any good, but it's the only thing I can do. I hope for the best, for her and her family and friends.

Monday, July 19, 2010

In which souls are bared.

Ever since I finally landed my first real job, I’ve met so many amazing people. Some are customers, some are coworkers, some are superiors. Some I really look up to. Today, one of my favorite people to work with, a girl who is very happy, upbeat and incredibly smart, reached in front of me at the milkshake machine. I glanced down and did an almost literal double-take. Her left arm, inches from my nose, was littered with long, straight scars. Scars from razors. Scars from self inflicted pain.
Scars from cutting.
I was stunned. As I started walking away, I really began to think. This girl is an amazing person. She’s independent, works two very well paying jobs, leads an all-around healthy lifestyle, and inspires me on a daily basis. Judging by how faded the scars were, she has long moved on from her days of self-harm. Even so, the whole situation struck me.
I suffer from depression. While I have never hurt myself or those around me in any physical way, that doesn’t mean my condition is any less serious than someone’s who has done these things. Seeing those long-faded cuts on such a young and vibrant girl really hit home. As someone that struggles almost daily to build up the will to get out of bed and carry on my day as a functioning member of society, I know what it is like to be trapped with your own, not-always-so-pleasant thoughts. I know depression, I know sadness, and I know pain. I know how hard it all can be.
This is a post. A post commemorating the struggle my friend overcame. A post confessing things about myself that I have never said out loud. A post to let you know that everything will turn out right. You will overcome. It may seem hopeless, pointless, scary, or just plain horrible, but it will get better. The clouds will clear, the sun will shine, and the birds will sing. You will smile again, you will laugh again. There are people out there that love and care about you. I know that these words may seem like just that: pointless words. But I promise you, they are much, much more. They come from experience, first and second-hand. These words are here to spur you forward, to help you help yourself. These words aren’t trying to downplay what you may be going through. The reason for these words is a simple one: to help.
So please. If you are thinking about hurting yourself or others, stop. Pick up the phone and call someone you love, someone you hate, someone you don’t even know. There is help out there, even in places you least expect to find it. There is love, waiting for you to let it into your life. Stop. Breathe. Think.
There is always hope.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

This is a post about some things.

I'm bad at Blogger.
Like, REALLY bad.
You all always comment me and give me love, and I'm terrible at returning the favor. I love all of you, you're amazing people. I just am really bad at keeping up with everything. I do try to read every post you all make, but holy poops does it get overwhelming. I'm a very busy girl almost every day of my life, and Blogger has been rather rudely shoved aside.
Basically, the whole point of this post is a.) to apologize for my suckishness, and b.) to tell you how much you all rock. You're talented writers, photographers, artists, etc, and I appreciate the work it takes to do all of those things. I know that every post, drawing, painting, photo, EVERYTHING, takes time and effort, and every one of you throws yourselves into these things entirely. You're amazing.

I'm not trying to make excuses for why I don't comment a lot. I'm not trying to make you feel sorry for me. I'm not trying to fish for compliments. I'm trying to let you all know that you're absolutely incredible people.

Love and Cheez-Its,
Michaela.

Friday, July 2, 2010

"It’s football to you, soccer to me."

 Full article is here, but this is the best part:

Coupled with their team’s humiliating exit from the World Cup it might be another rude awakening to the Brits that soccer isn’t an American term, it is actually an English one. And it isn’t some modern fad that shows disrespect to the world’s most popular sport, it dates back to the earliest days of the game’s professional history.
Indeed, until the last few decades, even Englishmen would routinely refer to their favorite pastime as soccer, just as often as they would say football.
Clive Toye, an Englishman who moved to the U.S. and became known as the father of modern American soccer, bringing Brazilian legend Pele to play for the New York Cosmos, takes up the story.
“Soccer is a synonym for football,” said Toye, who helped launch the North American Soccer League in the late 1960s. “And it has been used as such for more years than I can count. When I was a kid in England and grabbed a ball to go out and play … I would just as easily have said: ‘Let’s have a game of soccer’ as I would use the word ‘football’ instead. And I didn’t start it.”
To trace the origin of “soccer” we must go all the way back to 1863, and a meeting of gentlemen at a London pub, who congregated with the purpose of standardizing the rules of “football,” which was in its infant years as an organized sport but was growing rapidly in popularity.
Those assembled became the founding members of the Football Association (which still oversees the game in England to this day). And they decided to call their code Association Football, to differentiate it from Rugby Football.
A quirk of British culture is the permanent need to familiarize names by shortening them. “My friend Brian Johnston was Johnners,” said Toye. “They took the third, fourth and fifth letters of Association and called it SOCcer. So there you are.”
So forget that English condescension and carry on calling it soccer, safe in the knowledge that you’re more in tune with the roots of the sport than those mocking Brits.
 What, bitch.