21 August 2013

3 Rules For Courteous Borrowers

The Borrowers
It's unusual that I have something that someone wants to borrow, which is fine by me as I've often found that lending is really a synonym for giving away, and I don't have much extra stuff to just give away.

But yesterday, my co-worker Norm approached me asking for a BIG FAVOR. Norm and I don't have any relationship outside of work, and not much of a relationship inside of work ... unless you consider me making fun of him behind his back a relationship ... so I was a bit surprised when he asked me if he could borrow ...

Wait for it ...

My car!

Norm and his wife carpool to work. His wife drops him off here, then goes on her merry way.

Well, it seems Norm forgot his script at home yesterday (Did I mention he's in community theater?) and last night's rehearsal was for Act 2, Scene 2, and he wasn't "off book" yet so OH MY GOODNESS I NEED TO BORROW YOUR CAR AT LUNCH SO THAT I CAN GET MY SCRIPT AND MEMORIZE MY LINES BEFORE REHEARSAL!!!

I had a difficult decision: allow Norm to borrow my car, or listen to him piss and moan about not being "off book" all day long. The former seemed the much less painful option.

Knowing Norm like I know Norm, I had no expectations of anything more than a "Thank you" once he returned my keys, even though it is 30+ miles round trip between work and his house. Unfortunately, I was spot on with that assumption.

Had I borrowed someone's car? I'd have returned it with more gas than it had in it before I borrowed it, and would have likely sprung for a car wash too. At the very least, I'd hand over $10 to cover costs.

Not Norm.

I think I'll provide him a copy of my 3 Rules For Courteous Borrowers next time:

  1. If you can't replace it, think twice about borrowing it - I wasn't too worried about this aspect. I have insurance on my car,  Norm has insurance on his cars, and I know where he lives/works. But this is still a good rule.
  2. Don't put people on the spot - Although Norm prefaced his request to borrow with, "If you say no I'll understand," asking really bordered on inappropriate. The world was not going to end if he didn't get to practice his community theater parts prior to rehearsal tonight. No one's life was on the line. And yes, I realize that I could just as easily have declined to loan him my car, but the ownness for courtesy is on the borrower, not the lender.
  3. Return borrowed items promptly in the same or better condition than when borrowed - Whenever you are borrowing anything, someone else is doing you a favor. For the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, return the item in at least the same condition as when you borrowed it. Gas in Illinois is $3.69/gallon. My 6-cylinder car gets 25MPG. Put $5 of gas in the damn thing before returning it!
Do you lend things to friends/family/co-workers? Do you borrow from those same people? What are your expectations?

20 August 2013

"I think writer's block is simply the dread that you are going to write something horrible." - Roy Blount, Jr.

(Photo via MartinaK15 on Flickr)
I don't know if what I have is writer's block - unless you are defining it like Roy Blount Jr. - and even that isn't totally accurate.

I always said that I write for myself. That this is the place that I sort the thoughts in my head by putting them on virtual paper. This is still true, but a few things have changed.

I have an attentive, stable, and loving partner in my life. I now have the ability to talk to a real person who cares about helping me sort through the thoughts in my head. Someone who doesn't belittle or condemn me for not having it all figured out. A partner who offers me honest and helpful feedback. The healthy relationship that Mike and I have had for almost 2 years now has impacted my need for this blog.

It has also impacted my blog content.

Because I respect Mike (something I was lacking with husband), I do not write about him here unless he knows that I am writing about him here. Although far from perfect, my life is manageable now, and not the train wreck it once was (I know that fact is disheartening to a handful of you). Who wants to read about happily ever after?

Am I right??

Then there's the dreaded "V" word - validation. Let's just say that when you are posting half-nekkid photos of yourself each week, validation becomes a non-issue. Remember when blogging was one of the few viable forms of "social media"? Now it's easier to keep in touch on Facebook, write a 140 character "blog post", or to call the reblogging of large quantities of meaningless and unimportant media images, thoughts, and music selections a "blog".

Quite frankly? These days, it seems the average attention span can't handle much more than that anyway.

I appreciate every comment I get, but traffic has decreased (understatement) and I'm not sure that I write about anything relevant to what was once my reader base. Commenting takes far more time than clicking on a LIKE, a FAVORITE, or a HEART. Blog posts require the reader to actually be an active participant.

I've got plenty to write about, I just don't know if it's anything anyone wants to read.

Maybe it never was?

If you are still active on your "traditional" blog, what keeps you going? How do you stay relevant, or does relevancy even matter to you?

08 August 2013

Further education ...

scares the shit out of me.  I’m not good at failing, which is why i’ve always went with what comes easy to me.  Yanno, Sports, Music, Math….things that come naturally to me, i don’t need to muster much effort or internal motivation.  I’ve always been pretty intelligent, and through the years, did minimal work and got by.  it has bothered the fuck out of me for the last decade.
I never pulled an all-nighter in high school or college, I was never cramming for a test or exam, i chose a path based on ease.  Don’t get me wrong, I also chose a path that i loved every second of - the 5 years i spent in undergrad were amazing, I sang every day, i got unlimited studio time, unlimited voice lab time to perfect what i loved.
I still feel like i cheated myself. I don’t think i’ve ever pushed myself.  i don’t think i’ve ever really challenged myself.  I’ve worked to perfect what already came naturally to me.
With all that said - I’m seriously considering Law school.  I want to take the LSAT in February.
this scares the ever-loving shit out of me.  It’s something I’m passionate about - educational law - and something i’m completely unfamiliar with.  I’d have to bust my ass to succeed.  I’d have to venture into something new.  I’m not good at starting from scratch.  I’ve let a lot of the things i love fall by the wayside for fear of failure.  it’s why i haven’t been on stage in 6+ years.  it’s why I haven’t pursued a career in voice.  I’d rather *CHOOSE* to not do it, than fail at it.
help me out tumblr, dont let me talk myself out of this one.   time to strap on my big boy pants, and get it done.
Mike wrote that on tumblr about a month ago. I was going to write a response to it on tumblr, but really wanted to give it more attention than that platform allows.


Because it reminded me of this ...

There really aren't many times when the age difference between Mike and me plays a significant role in our relationship, but future plans - taking a chance at doing what you want NOW - is one of those times.

Maybe because I thought I could buy myself the freedom to do what I wanted to do later.

When I left the Army, I had grandiose plans. I was going to go back to school (law school, coincidentally) using my GI Bill while working full time. It would take me 2? Maybe 3 years at the most to finish up my Bachelor's Degree. I'd pass the bar and land a position as an attorney before I was 35.

Less than a year later I found out I was pregnant and would be a single mom.


I can look back and speculate how things would have been had I made different decisions, but I don't know how accurate those speculations would be because I never made those decisions. There was no sense of urgency. I was certain I could buy myself the freedom to do it later.

I'll be just short of 50 when Cam graduates in the spring. I am looking forward to getting my life back, because the life I've been living the last 17 years hasn't been one I've lived for me.

It's likely too late for grandiose my plans - I'll have to modify them a bit and have 2 less decades to enjoy them. And I'm okay with that.

What I'm not okay with is for Mike to ever look back and think, "I should have done this when I had the chance ..."

I am STRONGLY encouraging him to follow through with this plan.

What have you not done, betting you could buy yourself the freedom to do it later?

06 August 2013

What Goes Around Comes Around

Some of you might remember Cam's brush with boobies ... so to speak ...

If you don't feel like clicking the link and reading yet another dreadful post, I'll give you the Reader's Digest Condensed version (Are any of you even old enough to remember when Reader's Digest did their Condensed Books? I might have lost you on that joke ...)

When Cam was in middle school, these bracelets became all of the rage.

Girls in Cam's school were allowed to wear them in support of breast cancer awareness because they were girls and obviously the only reason girls would wear these bracelets was for the good of the cause.

Boy's in Cam's school? Well, they certainly couldn't be supporting breast cancer awareness, so their wearing of these bracelet was considered "sexual harassment" and any male student who was caught wearing one would have it confiscated and would receive in-school suspension.

At the time, I thought it was ridiculous to have such a double standard, but really? I had bigger fights to fight.

Apparently, some parents didn't ...
Two students who were suspended for defying the prohibition challenged it in court through their parents as a violation of their First Amendment free-speech rights. The students are Brianna Hawk and Kayla Martinez, who are now in high school.
In a major decision on the free-speech rights of students, a full federal appeals court ruled Monday that schools may not prohibit popular "I ♥ Boobies" breast-cancer awareness bracelets because they are not plainly lewd and they comment on a social issue without disrupting school.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, in Philadelphia, ruled 9-5 to uphold an injunction blocking the Easton Area School District in Pennsylvania from barring the bracelets, which are sponsored by the Keep a Breast Foundation in Carlsbad, Calif.
That's right! If what you say is not plainly lewd and it comments on a social issue without disrupting school, you can do it!

I'm thinking testicular cancer awareness should be next.

I better find a manufacturer for my I ♥ Balls bracelets.