Miley Cyrus Singing

Yeah this is quite lovely. Cyrus covering Lana del Ray’s Summertime Sadness.

Miley Cyrus Singing

Avoid Sexual Assault? There’s an App for that!

Today on Twitter, I found out that Health and Human Services has released two new apps to fight against sexual assault. You can read Good magazine’s story on these apps: Essentially the apps let you call your friends or 911 when you’re feeling like you’re in a bad situation.

I found this is of particular interest, because for years I’ve toyed with this idea of an anti-attack app. How does my idea differ from the released apps? Noise. I guess the use for my fictional app is when a man or woman is walking alone at night on the street. Maybe you’re a little inebriated, maybe you’re just not physically intimidating and the next thing you know you’re a little nervous about where you’re walking. Why not hit a button that lets out a low whistle that draws attention to you. Loud enough for people to be like huh, what’s that? And try to find the source. Suddenly, people are keeping an eye on you. Witnesses can’t (shouldn’t) say they didn’t see you go by. Ideally the noise would become a learned sound – like the ding of a text message or start of an apple computer.

And when you’re really panicked – why not hit a button that yells Help and has a little siren? The benefit is that if you are attacked, an attacker now has to handle both you and your phone. Toss your phone and the perp now has two situations to deal with. Maybe it can’t turn off without the password in case the perp tries to steal it.

In my mind, I thought including some sort of noise alert alarm would be clutch in an anti-assault app. Especially because women as a whole are taught to be quiet, to not draw attention to themselves, etc. Let the phone do it for them. And when put into a position where you can’t be vocal even if you want to, let the phone do it for you. Will people use the button to call wolf? Maybe, but maybe it’ll be like calling 911, people know you don’t use it unless you mean it.

The app would obviously have a 911 option. I also think it should have some sort of “Open/Safe Areas” map. If you end up on a street you don’t know late at night, you could click this and it would direct you to the nearest open public location through verbal commands, so you don’t have to have your phone out. That way you can get some place safe and take a few minutes to look at a map, call a friend or cab, etc.

MY dad told me a story a few years ago about how a woman was walking home and got nervous, so she called her boyfriend. Well, that didn’t help anything because the man following her, grabbed her hair from behind and raped and killed her. I guess my point is – pretending to be on the phone with your friend, or being on the phone with your friend is NOT a safety measure. If anything it’s a false sense of security that is just going to split your attention.

Anyway, that’s my ramble…

Avoid Sexual Assault? There’s an App for that!

Daily Delight #31

“people need not fear the unknown if they are capable of achieving what they need and want.

we are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world are written by the same hand.” – The Alchemist

My life is changing and it is a beautiful thing.

Daily Delight #31

Dog Tales

Warning: People sensitive to stories about dogs dying, you might want to skip this one.

I wouldn’t call myself a dog person, I don’t have (or want) a calendar with dogs on it or a picture of a dog on a mug, but I do love being around a cool dog. My sister’s family has a dog, Pepper, who unfortunately is pretty neglected now that S and J have two toddlers. So, I’ve been spending a lot of time with the dog and giving the dog a lot of love. It’s fun, but I also think it’s partly out of guilt.

See, when I was in third grade, my dad got the family a puppy. Sunny was a lot like Pepper, a black mutt, mostly lab, a runt. And I really liked playing with Sunny and having her around, but unfortunately, she was not an inside dog. And as a result, my time spent with her was limited and eventually became none. And there’s two reasons why I feel really terrible about leaving my dog outside to weather the storm so to speak.

1. Because I was still perfectly content to go over to my friends’ houses and play with their dogs. My friend M, had two amazing, pure-bred golden retrievers. And I remember once, we were just hanging out sewing and watching t.v. and I had literally just sat petting the dog for 40 minutes. To the point that my hand was covered in a thin film of dust and oil, not to insinuate that her dogs were dirty, hardly, but rather to just point out that I was really petting that dog. Oh that sounds terrible. But ya know what I mean? I was just content to sit and hang with the dog. And in high school or college (?), I even dog-sat my friend J’s dogs for a week while her family was out of town. I walked them twice a day, fed them, etc. They were awesome dogs, I don’t know what breed, but J would call them Korean fighting dogs. They were lean and mean and pure white. Oh, here’s a photo – thanks Wikipedia – they were Korean Jindo dogs.

And I would love to get a dog like this in the future. But see the guilt? Here I am hanging out with dogs, even taking care of them at the most inconvenient times, and I don’t even go outside to play with my own dog.

2. My final encounter with Sunny was very strange. I went home to my parent’s house and when I got out of my car, Sunny barked at me, which is weird, because I’m not a stranger, and I couldn’t remember the last time she barked at me. So, I stood there for a second wondering if she was going to keep barking, maybe it wasn’t me. But we have a big pine tree in our yard, so it was blocking my view to Sunny’s dog house. I thought whatever and went inside.

A little while later, my dad came inside and we talk for a bit, then he asks me if I noticed anything different. “Like what?” I said all puzzled. And goes on to tell me how last week he had Sunny put down. (Yup, he’s telling me this a week after the fact.) He tells me that he took her to the vet and the vet said she was in a lot of pain, and by this point she was pretty old, etc. etc. My dad went into the waiting room, paced around, and gave it a lot of thought. He went back in and told the vet okay.

My dad tells me that they laid Sunny on a thick comfortable blanket, that all the women in the office came in and petted her. My dad said it was the most attention Sunny had gotten in years, and her tail was just a-wagging. They all stayed with her, rubbing her belly and neck and behind the ears, until Sunny took her last breath and the light in her cataract-ridden eyes went out. He brought her home and buried in that blanket in the field next to our house.

My dad’s telling me this, getting a little worked up himself. My dad’s a hunter and has always had a good relationship with dogs. Dogs being a hunter’s natural assistant. But it hasn’t always been roses. Some of you may have read the short story I wrote about my dad, when he was in his early thirties, having to shoot his dog Lady because he couldn’t get her out of neighbor’s chicken house. Yup, true story. Heartbreaking right?

I’m blown away when my dad tells me all this. Mainly because I swear on all things I could possibly swear on, that when I went home that day, Sunny barked at me. I believe this like there is nothing else to believe in. And I can’t believe that he waited a week to tell me. He could have called me up that day. I’m only like 10 minutes from the vet’s. But in retrospect, I understand why he didn’t. Quite frankly, for 5+ years, I acted like I didn’t give a damn about that dog.

Hence, why when I see Pepper spending all day locked inside, ignored, I can’t help but try to rub her head and scratch her neck whenever I can. Sunny, to a certain extent, had a lame existence with only momentary bursts of happiness and fun. I hate the idea of another dog going through that. It’s the one reason why I can’t get a dog while I’m still living in an apartment, no matter how much I want to. I just think it would terribly unfair to the dog. I even considered asking S and J if I could take her on my road trip but that would probably be more than I could handle. Pepper’s a good dog, I’ll miss her. That’s her below.

Dog Tales

And I’m Back

Today was the first day in the past week, week and a half that I’ve been rearing to go. And I like it. I’m not in a high gear, I’m just normal, functioning gear. And it feels good. Up since 8am and I’ve done my laundry, written my letter blog post for Tuesday, made the rounds through my Google reader and planned for the day ahead. My day ahead includes: practicing softball, finishing two school projects, doing some freelance work, finishing my website design, and hanging out with A. And getting breakfast–aack, it’s almost noon and I haven’t even eaten breakfast, this is absurd!

I reread my last post and it all felt very true, but it didn’t feel bad. I feel like a little bit of personal growth just happened. I suppose everyone needs to feel bad to know what feeling good is right? True enough, but here’s to not feeling bad for at least a few more months.

And I’m Back