Friday, May 31, 2013

Signs A Person Is Broke

In light of Baxter getting sick, and my current eye infection/almost blindness, my typically low funds have plummeted to couch digging to afford the raemen noodles. While I was at work today, Damien stopped in so he could pick up my eye drop prescription. I handed him my credit card and said, "This may get rejected, but still, try it first. If it does, here's my debit card."

After he left, I started thinking. Plus, you guys know how much I love making lists, SO, with no further rambling, here is a quick list of

Signs that a Person is Broke:

*They pay their bill with more than one form of payment
You know that person who says, "Okay, I'd like to pay $1.88 in cash, and then $2 on this card, and $15.78 on this card"? Well, chances are there's not much on either card. And the cash they're paying with was probably a loan from a friend or from returning bottles for five cents.

*Their items at the store consist of...
A bag of dog food. Only.

Yep. This was my car. On the way to work :)
*Gas Light
Yea...that's been on for the last twenty miles. I think I have another twenty in me.

*At the gas station, their car is sitting beside a gas pump.
While the owner is inside, crying, shaking a credit card in front of them.
Chances are this person could use some help. (Lord knows I've been this person and kind strangers have helped me get home!)

Oh, that was supposed to be paid two weeks ago? And my car needs registered? And my licence, too? Yea..well...this 18 pack of beer is only $10.

*Bottle Return
In Michigan and Maine, there are lovely things called Bottle Deposits. In Maine you get at least five cents for just about any bottle you can find; water, soda, orange juice, etc. In Michigan, it's soda and beer. AND it's TEN cents! Poor people collect bottles from friends. Desperate people collect bottles from the trash.

From Baxter's yard sale. We raised almost $400!
*Yard Sales
Oh, this old thing? I've had it forever. (I bought it yesterday.) It was just collecting dust. (I really wanted it.) I never used it. (I used it every day.) Oh, you'll pay $2? (It's worth at least $70, but I'm desperate!)

*Neglecting Health
A lot of people aren't insured, which means when they get sick, they tough it out. They go into work hacking, get their fellow employees sick, and continue on. If their eye gets infected for over a month, they'll pass it off and say, "It'll heal." Or if they fall in a snowboarding accident and crack their head, they won't get their concussion looked at by a professional. 

So there you have it, a small list of things we broke people do. You can spot us a mile away. But just because we're broke doesn't mean we aren't working toward bigger and better things!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Books and Boards: A Dream

Books and Boards. Best idea yet.
A long long time ago, I got it in my head that I really liked books. My ideal jobs were; a librarian, a bookstore clerk, or a coffee shop barista. Well, we all know I got fired from a coffee shop. And well, sort of a library. But, of these career choices, I have yet to take on a bookstore clerk. Or, better yet, bookstore owner.

Until now.

The local bookstore is for sale. It has three floors and a basement. Baxter and I would be able to live on the second floor. Ideal since I hate moving, PLUS I hear it has three bedrooms. Suddenly, BOOM all those rent payments are going towards paying off this ginormous loan! The third floor is rented out to a yoga studio that pays $450/month. The first floor and basement are a mix of new and used books.

The catch: I'm broke. I hear you have to have money for a down payment on such a venture. Either way, I'm meeting with the realtor Wednesday to look at the entire building, and Thursday, I'm going to try to talk to the bank to see how much a loan like this would cost/how much of a down payment I'd need/is this a good idea?

My projected time frame is this:

Buy it by July.
We'd be like this. Only, we'd be at work!

By October/November turn it into a Books and Boards shop. We'll sell books and snowboards, because
well, those are the two very best things in life. Plus, across the street is a bike and ski shop. There are no board shops around here.

Then Baxter and I live happily ever after, while he rocks out at work with me.

What could possibly go wrong?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Reality Check V: My Generation III

In case you've managed to live in a hole for all of your years of existence, you should know that people are killing us. Not by guns (though that happens, too), or bombs, but by our food.

My generation has sat idly by, "Waiting on the world to change," as John Mayer said. But the unrest has become tangible. We've started the Occupy movement. We've started fighting for women's rights. And finally, we're taking on Monsanto and saying no to GMOs.

In Portland, Maine, the street was LINED with protesters holding signs, chanting, singing. There were people giving out signs for those who didn't make one. Hundreds of people showed up for this event.

Some lined the roads, holding their signs so traffic could read them. We rejoiced when cars honked, and cheered, and high-fived us.

I arrived late and didn't have time to
make a sign. They gave me a bee :)
Months ago, I started to become disappointed with my generation, about how we don't do anything but sit there. Before we set off, speakers talked about the effects of Agent Orange on the Vietnam Soldiers. They told us about the effects of our food being poisoned, linking diabetes, cancers, infertility, and birth defects to the things put in our food and into our bodies.

During the police escorted, mile long March Against
Monsanto, I became proud of my generation. Voices echoed off the surrounding buildings. The line of marchers was so long I couldn't see the start or the end, I could just hear voices shouting, "No more GMOs!" and "Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Monsanto's Got To Go!"

People were stuck at stop lights because of our march. Bystanders took pictures and cheered us on. We disrupted daily life. We brought awareness. We're rallying for change.

It's time to stand up for ourselves.

It's time to stand up for our food, for our rights to know what we're eating. It's time to create change.

The next time you go to your grocery store, you may want to ask yourself, "Do I really know what's in this?" before buying it. If you're not sure, perhaps you should contact your government and support GMO labeling, or better yet, get Monsanto off our shelves!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

People Watching

When you're in a big group of people,
it's easier to be invisible.
Great for watching.
I've spent a lot of time sitting off to the side and watching the way people interact. I can tell you if a girl is interested in someone, if a boy is interested in someone, who's a jerk, and who isn't. (Most of the time. Sometimes, if I've had a few beers, my super powers become fuzzy.)

If you look for small gestures, a woman placing a hand over her stomach. It's not always indicative of pregnancy, it can also signal insecurity, an eating disorder, or something else. If you look for someone playing with their phone, it can also mean more than just getting a text.

I can also read people from the way they talk. It's a little easier with people I interact with on a daily basis. In example, I once called a friend, said hello, and she simply said, "Hey."

But there was a catch in her voice and I heard it. As soon as I asked if she was okay, she burst into tears and said, "I was trying so hard not to let anyone know."

Being able to people watch and read their interactions and tone of voice helps with writing, I think. So if you feel blocked, or if you can't quite get interactions right, go to a mall. Sit on a bench and bring a notebook. Look for couples. Look for friends. Look for kids who are upset with their parents. See how they act. Try to eavesdrop on what they say.

Monday, May 20, 2013

What Do You Want To Do With Your Life?

Me. The day I helped Planned
Parenthood collect
signatures for a Patient Safety Zone

Awhile ago on Twitter, someone posted a quote that said something like:

Never place your goals in people. People can let you down. Set your goals so that you can accomplish them.

It's kind of stuck with me. That was the defining moment where I realized that I could be happy being alone. I could be happy never getting married, and becoming that crazy cat and dog lady who reeks of urine.

The other night I was taken to a friend's house. Because I'd had a few beers, my (somewhat) social filter had completely disappeared. I asked questions normal sane people don't ask. (Have you had an abortion? Oh, you have a kid? Why did you decide to have the kid? How old are you now? How old is the kiddo? etc) The primary one was, "What do you want to do with your life?"

Three people eluded to, "I want to find the one." I said okay, cool, but what else? And they stalled.

I'm bitter with the Disney mentality where your Prince will come, rescue you, and save the day. It's up to you to save yourself. Save the kingdom. Save or change the world. You do that. Not your prince.

So, what happens after you find the one? Do you just...snuggle? All the time?

No. People who don't establish themselves in the world don't make healthy relationships. You need to have YOU time, and your significant other needs to have SO time. You need to come together, share a life, be partners. But also be independent.

So, I'll ask this question again:

What do YOU want to do with your life?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Accomplishment Lists

You know those days where you wonder why you do anything?

Maybe you've just gotten your fifteenth rejection of the day, your boss just fired you, AND the cops pulled you over for speeding. It's arguably a bad day. So why bother?

On Wednesday, I got to go to a middle school class and talk about Self Esteem and Relationships. It was different from anything I'd ever presented before, not only because of the format, but also because of what I was trying to convey to the students. I started it off by having them write four lists:

1) Things I'm Insecure About:
2) Why I'm Better than Those Insecurities:
3) Things I Do Well:
4) Things I Like About Me:

Because I was given free reign of the classroom, I used the dry erase board and filled in my own answers. I talked about how the higher your self esteem level is, the easier your lists (2-4) will be. Once those lists start to come easier, List #1 stops having so much power. 

You just gotta think the world of yourself,
you know?
So then the question was, how do we boost self esteem?

My favorite answer is the Accomplishment List. On those days you feel utterly worthless, remember that you're not. No matter what age you are, what gender, what circumstances  you have done things that you have been proud of yourself for. It's time to remember what those are.

Here is a mini list of mine:
*Sophomore year of high school, I ran a 10 mile road race (it was a life goal of mine) AND beat my sister
*In college, I was published in the 2007-2010 editions of Zephyr
*I went to college, obtained a degree in Medical Biology, and had no help from my parents
*I bought my first car at the age of 22 WITHOUT a cosigner
*I ate three meals today

Once you recognize one thing you've done well, you start to recognize others. From there, you can start to allow yourself to be proud of these things.

And be proud of yourself, because sometimes, life is hard.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Quick Book Reviews

Sorry I've still been kind of MIA. Baxter's biopsy results are in, but we're waiting to speak with the veterinarian. In the meantime, here are some book reviews for you:

 Lola and the Boy Next DoorBy Stephanie Perkins
Rating on Goodreads: **** of *****

You know those cute stories that stay with you awhile after they're done? This is one of those. I loved Lola, and Crickett, and the parents. It was a cute quick read.

However, I had some beefs with the book which kept me from giving this a five star rating. 1) The way the boyfriend ended up acting. It felt incredibly disingenuous for his character (to me, at least) 2) The ice skating results. I was kind of interested in that sub plot.

Other than that, I did love this book. You should read it.

By Ally Condie 
Rating on Goodreads: *** of *****

This book took me awhile to get through. Part of it was because I was distracted with Baxter and other things, and part was because the writing wasn't so phenominal I had to keep turning pages.

The society was believable, however, the way Ky was introduced didn't quite grab me. From there, it was kind of hard to believe that Cassia began to question all of the rules in place. My head kept comparing this to the Uglies triology (which I LOVED), and I just didn't feel nearly as invested. I didn't feel like there was enough of a true character arc for me to feel passionately about this book.

I still have every intention of reading the next book!

By Josin McQuien
Rating on Goodreads: *** of *****

I thought there were a lot of really original ideas in this. I truly enjoyed how well thought out the author's ideas were (as far as nanites and things like that). For a long time after, I thought about what it's like to go in sunlight verses be surrounded in darkness. Very cool.

The reasons I gave it only three stars was because I started being able to figure out what was happening. I didn't feel as surprised with some of the revelations that I should have.

However, I DID love the love triangle/relationship/mess. I loved Toby, so so much. And the other guy whose name I can't quite remember right now. But yea, if you want a pretty intense read, this is it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I Am So Tired

Baxter recovering from his
procedure on Monday
It turns out, when your dog is sick, everything around you decides to speed up. So while you'd prefer to sit there on the couch and cuddle with him while his nose bleeds all over your jeans and white couch, your alarm clock beeps and says that you have to run errands before work.

This week I've been running like a chicken with my head cut off. Today I sent the AbortionChat shirts (!!!!!) to the screen printers, hung up Baxter's yard sale signs around town (after having to make them), then worked.

Now I'm writing up a presentation for a middle school on Self Esteem and Relationships, which is harder than I thought it would be. (I keep trying to remind myself how much of a butthead I was in middle school. That's the girl I'm aiming this speech at. She still hates it.)

There have been a few good things this week:
*My friends, twitter followers, and blog peeps have helped raise $485 for Baxter
*My friends and co-workers are donating items for his yard sale
*I may be taking over a column for the local newspaper
*I was asked back to a middle school for a presentation
*I got my grant proposal for AbortionChat finished up

Guys. I am so, so tired. Somehow, there is still more to do.

Wanna nap?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Reflections of Baxter

The day after all day
at the vet's
It's amazing how much things can change in the time span of a few days. You can have an uplifting post, and be happy, and suddenly it's like the oxygen has been pushed out of your lungs.

My entire month of April has been filled with Baxter. Why? Because he's my running buddy, my sleeping buddy, my best friend. Last month, I've taken several trips down memory lane and basked in the fact that he's finally a more permanent fixture in my life.

However, in the last few days, things have changed. Scary things that have kept me crying for hours at a time. I've been praying for that Fountain of Youth I'd talked about.

It started with a bloody snout. It got worse a few days later with another. Then on May 1st, we sat in the vet clinic and he sneezed blood on my arm.

We don't know what's wrong with him. He was sedated, he underwent blood work and xrays. The veterinarian and I were hoping he'd snorted something and that a twig would appear on the xrays.

It didn't.

We're being referred to a specialist so Baxter can undergo a rhinoscopy and potentially an MRI. It's going to cost us $900-$2500. I've harassed my twitter and Facebook feeds, so why not my blog? If you're interested in donating, even a single dollar would help. HERE is the link.

As for real reflections of the A to Z, I'm glad I did it. It was hard work, and incredibly challenging. Finding a way to relate each letter to my dog was sometimes grasping for straws. I didn't expect some of what came out to come out. It was a challenge to take pictures sometimes the way I wanted. 

Here are some stats I found cool:

E is for Everywhere and
Y is for Youth got the most visits
He is clearly handling this better than I am..

I gained a few more followers (Hello there!)

 I was going to try to figure out how many comments the pages got...but it turns out, that's a lot of work. Baxter and I loved all the nice and supportive things you all said, though :)

Either way, I'm glad I did the challenge. I think it helped me fall in love with Bax all over again. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everything will turn out okay.

Happy Friday.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...