Saturday, May 23, 2009

Where Everybody Knows My Name


Everyone should have a place to hang out, and in this digital age, people are spending more and more of their time hanging out online. What seemed inconceivable just a few years ago is now the norm. Many, if not most, people with computers and online access have a presence on not just one, but multiple social networking sites.

So, where do I hang out?  For keeping up with friends, family and former students, I visit Facebook every day. I'm sensing some pressure to join Twitter, but so far, have resisted that one.  I may get sucked in there one day just to keep up with my kids, but not yet. I haven't been able to figure out the attraction of tweeting. Maybe it has something to do with my not having a smart phone or being able to text at the speed of light.

It is on forums that I have met and made friendships with people all over the world who share a common interest. I hang out at the Aussie Ghosts forum, where we have been lucky enough to attract a really sweet group of people. Jemm, one of our moderators, recently put together this composite image of some of our active members that I think is really cool and I thought I would share it with you. 

Great job, Jemm.

Monday, May 18, 2009

S.M.A.P.I.S. Finds the Funny

There's a new ghost hunting team in town. S.M.A.P.I.S., The Southeastern Michigan Alliance of Paranormal Investigators Society, is in search of Grandma's urn. Ever since their leader, Rodger, heard his grandmother's ghost whisper Find us, in his ear, it has been their motto, and the source of the name of their show, Ghost Finders.

Rodger is a ghost hunter by night, plumber by day. . . . [he] prides himself on his almost completed book, The Search for Paranormal Phenomena: a Guide. He often quotes himself with relevant passages from it. He aspires to make SMAPIS a national venture, envisioning himself as the president of a huge, non-profit organization from which he makes a huge profit.
Hmm, sound familiar? A nice cross blend of Ryan and Jason/Grant.

Mary is an assistant fourth grade teacher by day. She works at a quaint public school in rural Romeo, Michigan. She is a true believer in all things paranormal.
Of course, she is. Cute as a button, witchy but with a clear complexion. I like her.

Simon is a Radio Shack manager by day. . .  the resident skeptic of SMAPIS. He tries to keep Rodger and Mary on track as they tend to think everything they pick up must be a ghost.
Every group needs one to give the illusion that real science is happening.

Randy works at the corner gas station by day and/or night. He is the official SMAPIS gopher, and supervises the setup and breakdown of equipment on location.
He's the comic relief, apparently. I wonder if he has any tattoos?

Visit their website to learn more about the team:

I'm not sure who is responsible for this, but they are having a great time spoofing the popular ghost hunting shows. I like the way they mimic the camera angles of the shows, that wide-eyed look from the night vision camera, the guys sitting around a table going over the evidence and saying, What the hell?,  one of them looking sincerely into the camera and telling the audience for the millionth time what an EVP is, etc. I realize there are some Republicans who still think that Stephen Colbert is one of them. But, those of us with finely-tuned funny bones get him, and we get this, too. Enjoy the show.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ready or Not

I was lying awake a few nights ago during that time between waking and sleeping when one's brain is on idle, but the engine is still running. I suddenly realized that the game of Hide and Seek is a metaphor for life. Not the game itself, just the part where the seeker says, "Ready or Not," just before coming after you to see if you are truly well hidden.

Life is like that. Babies probably aren't ready to be born and no parent feels truly ready for the birth of the baby, but it all happens anyway, Ready or Not.

Most of our life is like that. We rarely feel truly ready for anything, but somehow we manage to swallow our fears and take the next step, jump off the high dive, get behind the wheel for the first time, step out on stage and sing, all the while hoping for the best and praying we don't fall flat on our faces or make a terrible mess of things.

As is life, so is death. Ready or Not, it comes to us. Some people have the good luck to see death coming for them from afar with time to pack their spiritual bags for departure; others are caught mid step, disbelieving that they are not still there on the sidewalk on their way to work.

The best way to deal with death is to accept it as inevitable. Only then are you free to live.
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. --Mark Twain
Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live. --Henry Van Dyke

To live in fear of death is to live in fear. Who wants to live in fear? Just accept that you will die some day. Stop fighting the idea. None of us knows when it is coming for us. The best we can hope is that when it comes, we will accept it with grace as a transition, and not be one of the foolish ones wandering the earth not knowing they are dead. Just like everyone else, one day we will all get evicted from this body, Ready or Not.