A few days ago, I was ticked…no, not ticked, I was spitting angry. About a week ago I wrote about how a unique concept for a group was stolen from me and how it made me feel and then I look at my new group dealing with pop culture and a member whom I was suspicious was plagiarizing his articles was. Seriously dude, if you are going to copy and paste articles with a pop culture theme that are not your own, posting them to a pop culture group and assuming that some people in said group don't read Perez Hilton, is a bad idea.
In the past I would have given him a warning and let him remain in the group, but then I thought about all the times I have been nice to people by giving them the benefit of the doubt to have to admit later that it just gave them license to do whatever they did wrong yet again. So after leaving some boldly typed comments on his articles I booted him permanently from the group. That felt good. I then published an article with connections giving links between his "work" and the posts by Mr. Hilton. This didn't feel as good, but I was on a roll. Oh, and in between I dropped a line to Perez that he might want to take a gander at the articles. Listen, you don't want to p*ss off a mother hen when she is protective and proud of her group. Since that time I have calmed down.
For one thing, I shouldn't have dragged poor Janna into the mess. You see, last week she posted an article for Resurrection Sunday entitled 'This One's For You!' Okay, now you have to lean in close because I don't want to shout this, I'm a Barry Manilow fan. Not a huge one mind you, but enough that I would see him in concert since I have never seen him before. Well, lucky for me I had cancer and had to endure winter and spring sessions of chemo last year! As it so happens one of my friends, who is a breast cancer survivor, wanted to celebrate the end of my chemo with a Barry Manilow concert. (She and I, to the mortification of her children, have been known to pop in a Manilow CD when traveling on Interstates to give impromptu serenades to the fruits of her loin as they are trapped literally in the backseat.) Since a friend had taken her to a concert to celebrate the end of her chemo it was important to pass along the tradition, thus if you live in the Kansas City area and are ending your chemo treatments…hey, the concert is on me! Unfortunately, I only heard 'I Write the Songs' from a cell phone my friend held up during the show so I could hear.
It was the last day of chemo and I was all jazzed, as jazzed as one could be knowing that for the next eight or so hours I would be hooked up to a drip and sitting at an odd angle while watching a portable DVD player that didn't have enough extension to be plugged into the outlet properly. I wanted the nurses to say such encouraging things as "We, will really miss you!" "You have been such a ray of sunshine!" "How thoughtful of you to bring muffins and homemade earrings!" Oh, I had the whole fantasy worked out. It was going to be a fitting end to a long journey. Of course I am as cheerful as one can be when I get the blood work back and informed that chemo was going to have to be delayed for one week because I didn't have enough, I forget if it was red or white blood cells, but I didn't have enough of one of them. What this meant was that I would be sick the weekend of the concert.
What I still find to be a wonderment was that there were times I would go into chemo feeling horrible just knowing that I would have to wait a week because my blood wasn't up to par and then to my surprise I was given the thumbs up for chemo. Thus I was really bummed because hey, she got really good seats and it was such a nice gesture and so forth.
Well, I don't know about you, but it seems as if I always have a residue of feelings when I come upon the year anniversary of something important. I haven't kept the dates straight, but I'm close to the one year anniversary of my last chemo and to really mark the occasion, I'm seeing Bill Maher tonight as a Christmas/Birthday gift from yet another friend. Get this – Bill Maher and Barry Manilow have the same initials. Thus I feel as if I am finally getting the graduation chemo party that I was too sick to have.
What does this have to do with Janna besides the obvious? Well, if it wasn't for Janna posting that article all of this wonderment and excitement I'm feeling right now wouldn't be. Since watching her YouTube link I have been singing 'This One is For You' and I'm thinking back to all the blessings I have experienced due to the cancer and the chemo. Although I wouldn't wish cancer on anyone, it has been a fairly lovely experience finding out how caring and amazing people can be.
To add to the perfection I am feeling now, I am back to my blonde self. For awhile I was a redhead, which I suppose I wanted to do because I thought I would look too punk as a blonde with short hair. Now my hair has grown back to the point that my bangs are in my eyes and I can tuck my hair behind my ear. All of my life I have had long hair, except for the time I was three and it was fashionable to give little girls those horrible bowl cuts. So those who know me well can testify that dealing with the foot long scar down my middle has barely made me life an eyebrow (which for awhile I had to draw on and it made my look like a Picasso painting because apparently I can't draw two semi-circles alike) but my hair…damn, losing your identity is much harder.
During and after the chemo I had my wig made of real hair of which I never became comfortable about shampooing. Yet, even when it was noticeable dry, as in don't even think about smoking near it, it looked like me. Since my hair has been growing back I have spied a stranger in the mirror. For the longest time I wore hats that made me look like a fat British cabby back in the days when cabs were pulled by horses – that was on my good days, on my bad days I simply looked like a turtle. Now though I'm singing a different tune. Granted, I still have my turtle moments, but it is getting better. If I try real hard I can actually pull my hair into pigtails which I'm chalking up as a win. Further, I am feeling great, which with luck will continue (you never want to be too confident because that's when you are stricken by lightening).
So despite wanting to draw and quarter the plagiarizer that I caught the other day (oddly more for the fact that he polluted my group with his dumb paste and copy crap than the actual plagiarism) I have learned that the Gather I left might (or might not) be the same Gather community I returned to. I probably should have flagged the articles (I didn't even think about that option) and I should have contacted Gather management (I didn't even think about that option either although if I had thought a little harder I might have). I'm keeping the article up for the simple reason that people have put some thought into their comments. There are still some other issues I would like to address but as the clock ticks I realize I won't have the time to do so today. You know why of course? I'm off to celebrate!
Westerfield © 2009