Merry Monday – Young Adult Thoughts

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I started a YA novel awhile ago, but haven’t gone too far into it. I have a few other projects ahead of it, but it was something that just came to mind one day that I had to jot down while I played around with my distraction free writing tool.

In thinking about YA, I find it is a challenging thing to write.

It’s challenging because there needs to be a balance between recognizing what this group of people lives with regularly and a want to plant the seeds for growing a better world through our youth.

When teens are engaging in activities like The Blue Whale Game, and their friends are experiencing their loss, it can be unhelpful to read a story about a character that has little to no serious problems. It can feel like an author has no clue about being a teen when your friends are overdosing on opiods despite having seemingly perfect lives and bright futures. If you’ve never been to a party where the cops showed up, you might write teen parties that only ever get out of control rather than The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

There was a suicide pact running through my hometown when I was in grade nine. My brother lost a friend to it. There were assemblies for addressing the general student body. Close friends of those lost were sent to talk to social workers whether they were ready to talk about it or not. They weren’t really given time to grieve. Those weren’t the only kids that didn’t live through high school while I went there. Those weren’t the only bad things that happened.

The survivors need to feel authenticity in literature and film, but they also need to see that ray of sunshine just beyond the dark clouds, so they can find the courage to make it to adulthood preferably without a criminal record.

So writing good YA is a balancing act between the dark full truth of reality and a happy magic place with rainbow unicorn poop that tastes like caramel. It’s like half monty.

Speaking of monty, sex scenes in YA typically shouldn’t be graphic. Things can be inferred like a PG-13 trist where clothes come off, the lights go out, and the scene fades to black. Easier done in a script than a novel. One can even address rape without being overly graphic using this example.

If I write teens that don’t do anything but eat pizza and watch movies, I’m not going to connect with the target audience.

The teen years are about figuring out who you are. To do this, teens experiment with risky behaviours. They try drugs and alcohol. They have sex. They do bonehead things like fire a potato bazooka at a politician’s office or get stuck in a football field in winter while trying to do donuts with a boat-like Oldsmobile. Yeah, I did a lot of dumbass things as a youth.

YA is rather new. I spent high school reading Anne Rice, Agatha Christie, and Stephen King. Before that, I lived on Nancy Drew. I also loved reading Magic Kingdom for Sale as a teen. It was my first experience of fantasy. I loved watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I grew up with the first Degrassi and vividly recall an episode addressing AIDS. I also grew up with 90210 and Saved by the Bell. Both of them had their moments, but didn’t really feel authentic in terms of what high school was actually like. Buffy addressed a lot of things through metaphor like Angel turning into Angellus after they have sex. Degrassi was much more direct about issues without being preachy.

The Harry Potter books contain adult content that is subtle.

… Harry heard Fleur and Roger fall out of their rose bush.

Gee, I wonder what those two sneaked off into the rose bushes for during the Yule Ball…

There’s also Myrtle, the glum yet naughty ghost that spies on the prefects as they take baths. She’s forever in the hormone-induced haze that is part of being a teen.

So there are a lot of ways to reach teens in authentic ways and I hope I’ll be able to write something that does in the future whether it be a movie or a novel.

Salut,
R~

Fortifying Friday – It takes two…

WTFI had a scare last night. I went to the grocery store around 8:00 pm. I’ve done this before without any issues. When I came out to my car though, there was a man that came out of the shadows and started asking me for money. I refused and had to do so more than once. Lucky for me, I was really close to my car. He kept coming towards me and I unlocked my car, opened my driver side door, locked the car, got in with my groceries, and took off. When I got home a very short while later, I called the store to let them know that they have a dark parking lot and a strange man was skulking about asking for money. I suspect given that he was preferring to stand around in a dark area rather than near the doors that it wasn’t actually money he was after.

All I wanted to do was get myself some dinner. Were I a man, wouldn’t have to worry about it.

“It takes two to make a bargain.”

If someone says no, whether it’s to a request for money, food, sex, or anything else, it means no! It absolutely doesn’t mean continue asking and walk closer to them.

I’m seriously glad I didn’t have to break bottles of pasta sauce on his head. Or bash his head against my car. In the moment, I thought about the pasta sauce, but not using the car itself.

I feel very grateful that I came out of the situation okay. It could’ve been a lot worse.

I shouldn’t have to worry about this. I shouldn’t have to be scared to grocery shop at any hour of the day.

I really hope he was caught.

I also hope they fix the lighting in the parking lot to deter unscrupulous individuals from hanging about and preying on women.

Previous to that, I was super happy at finding gluten free ramen. I don’t eat the stuff a lot, but having some at home for the odd quick meal isn’t a bad thing. I add meat and veggies to it and it makes it a little healthier.

He wrecked my happy moment. He made me feel scared for my life.

NOT cool.

Here’s to a weekend hopefully free from assholes. And snow, because it’s supposed to be spring!

Salut,
R~

 

Thoughtful Thursday – A liar ought to…

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“A liar ought to have a good memory.”

True. They’ll be found out pretty quickly if they aren’t good at it. Trump pathologically lies as his daughter takes a new position and signs documents in front of the media. Somehow, he got good enough at lying that he made a huge amount of money doing it and now he’s rather untouchable. Everything he says can be a lie and everyone can know it is a lie, yet this doesn’t stop him from doing anything. I mean, he holds one of the most powerful positions in the world. He got it by lying and, so far, he continues to hold it while lying despite calls for impeachment. Not a good role model to be sure. It’s an interesting thing to puzzle how someone like Trump can lie so successfully and yet most other people get found out and stopped long before they ever reach some sort of celebrity status. Is it morals or ethics that separate most of us from people like Trump or did he sell his soul? I mean, the demons in Supernatural seem to have more heart.

I’m not a fan of lying. On the few occasions that I’ve done it, I noticed it just creates more work for me. And the truth is that I have so many other things I’d rather do than keep up some charade.

As a storyteller, it can be a fun thing to write into a character though. Say you have a character who decides the sky is red. This is how he sees it. Eventually they’ll be questioned about it and have to produce some sort of documentation. They could do talk shows about how they see and all the while it’s a lie. You have the freedom to continue making each moment full of tension and make the reader/viewer wonder if they will be found out. We want to know how far the character can go before they are found out.

The last time I lied it was to protect myself but also to get a couple to talk to each other. I had found myself in the middle of the two of them and, given I was once involved with one of them, it was an immensely uncomfortable place for me to be. I lost a friend because of it. Even lies with good intentions are lies and someone always gets hurt. Hindsight tells me I could’ve handled it better, but sometimes one just reacts. I didn’t lie about any of the experiences I had in dating the person, but only that I was okay talking about any of it. Sometimes it’s just better not to know about someone’s past anyway as there’s no guarantee they’ll be the same with you.

This is why I don’t feel the need to talk ad nauseam about my past marriage nor know everything that happened in my partner’s past. What is more important is knowing what they want in life and if we can possibly build a future together. If they don’t want kids ever, there’s no possibility of a future and it’s good to find this out early. It doesn’t mean I necessarily want kids with this particular person. That will depend how compatible we are in other ways. If they’re a smoker and/or hate all physical activity and have no interest in health, we won’t be a match. If they are usually more negative than positive and spend their days whining about problems instead of solving them, we aren’t a match. If they prefer to spend their free time tearing me down, they better get the fuck away from me.

I think one of the most annoying things about being a writer with a past in acting is that people assume I must be great at lying. As if entertainers have no integrity. As if we don’t actually feel anything that isn’t some character we’ve acted or written. As if we aren’t actually human.

I hear this exclaimed often after someone meets a celebrity, “He’s just like a regular person!” I shake my head when I hear it. Celebrities are people. Most of them are people just like you. They just followed their dreams and worked their ass off on a different set of skills than you. Very few people are naturally gifted. They all have to work at it. JK Rowling was 32 when she published Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. Alan Rickman was also in his 30s when he began his acting career. Carrie was Stephen King’s first published novel, but the fourth he had written. And King had been writing since he was a child. It wasn’t until he was married that his writing career took off.

I’m getting caught up on Bates Motel lately and there was an episode where Dylan goes for a job interview. Emma’s dad encourages him to lie because his distribution experience is in an illegal industry. Dylan chooses the path of integrity. He’s tired of making bad decisions in life and wants to be a better person.

Are we doomed to live in a world where people like Trump can do whatever they want without recourse? Will there always be another Trump or Putin waiting in the wings who’ll tell us what we want to hear?

Well, I have other things I need to do today, so my pondering must end here.

Salut,
R~

Merry Monday – The Leopard Does Not Change Their Spots

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“The leopard does not change their spots.” This old saying speaks of leopards but suggests that humans are the same.

Not true.

With hard work, a human can change. With money, they can change even more. There’s another saying that applies to people, “Turn over a new leaf.” Humans have the capacity to change nearly anything they want about themselves. People overcome drug addictions every day. We can change genders. We can transplant limbs and are working on doing the same with heads for people who are severely paralyzed. Every human has the capacity for good and evil within themselves. Some days one side wins more than the other, but every day we can try again to become something other than we were the day before. Some resist change more than others, so the effort required to make a lasting change varies. With some people, it might be less likely, but even people like Trump *could* wake up and find their heart like Ebeneezer Scrooge.

It’s worth mentioning that not all changes are good. I’d never want to become someone who takes photos with a bowl of diamond necklaces as “spaghetti”. Did they never hear of the tale of King Midas?

I’ve found it easiest to make good changes happen in small chunks and to give myself a lot of passes. Major changes don’t happen overnight and the last thing you need is to be an asshole to yourself. Successful people don’t do that. They have good days and bad days and they treat each like a new chance to move forward. Some days that might only be a baby step. Also, sometimes we take steps backward that ultimately lead to launching us forward like pulling back on the string of a bow. Sometimes we miss the target, but then we learn something that will move us closer.

This weekend, I spent a lot of time working on the background of my blog. I’m not done yet, but I noticed I have over 200 tags and more categories than necessary and realized I needed to tidy it up. This is part of a life change toward getting my shit together. I’ve removed many tags that were overkill as the topics were in the body of the post anyway. I had a ton that were just used on one post. I had multiple similar tags (fitness, exercise, workouts, etc) and it has been a giant mess. What I’ve decided to go with is a mix of the eight samurai virtues, some specific things like guitar for the music category, writing related tags, and way less random tags.

I started this by writing down what I enjoyed writing about and I’m aiming to put some real effort into keeping a post focused on one thing instead of 20 things. I think that will lead to better quality posts. I wish I had had the foresight to do this when I began blogging, but sometimes things need to grow organically before you know what it will become.

I intend to go through all nearly 400 posts to ensure I’m not using tags irresponsibly too. I want to place rules on myself for when I use them. The guitar tag, for example, would be good to use when talking about guitar techniques, but not just casually mentioning I played guitar. This will make the tags more useful.

My goals tag has become the virtue of Discipline. I should be down around 50 tags by the time I’m done. I want the categories and tags to really reflect what the post is about. If it’s messy, it’ll be categorized as Musings and have a couple of tags, but I’d like to have ideally one category only and as few tags as possible.

It’s a struggle to apply discipline to tagging blog posts. As I write this one, I wonder if I should tag it with something else like blogging, but now that I’ve mentioned blogging, the SEO will take care of it for me. As so many of my posts are about writing, I wonder if I really need a category of writing or should I use tags instead?

There’s always more to do.

Speaking of discipline, the analog journal hasn’t been working great. I think it’s largely just not flexible enough for my reality. I’m going to get a generic brand bullet journal and use that instead.

On the fitness front, I need more discipline. I’m going to hit things hard in April as French will be done and I should only need to edit my short story. I’ll be doing a lot of sewing starting then and also reading film scripts. I’m looking forward to time away from learning French.

Well, I have a number of things to work on before French class tonight.

Salut,
R~

Fortifying Friday – Routine

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I’ve been struggling with routine for a while now and I think I’ve actually been fighting the routine that is ingrained in me from nearly two decades of traditional work. One would think I would be quicker at getting my writing projects done given the extra time I have during the day, but something in me says writing is to be done in the evening or on the weekend.

Most of my jobs have been the 9-5 variety, so I think I’m fighting to change my routine to one that is mostly writing during the normal-for-me workday hours. Some days I can write just fine and others it’s like all my other tasks are coming first. Maybe I need to have one day of the week where I get errands and such done while things are open. That should probably be neither Monday nor Friday as there are many holiday Mondays and people are less attentive on Friday. Maybe Wednesday should be the errand day.

The week that the time change happens in is always the most screwed up for me. My brain and body are off kilter. Hopefully, next week is better in terms of productivity.

I suppose it IS March break for many, so maybe I shouldn’t feel bad for taking some time to relax. Over the past few years I’ve taken vacation days, but they haven’t really been time off. They have been used for attending writing conferences, martial arts seminars, home improvements, or some other career related thing. I haven’t had a day where I just game all day or just read all day in a very long time. And I think we all need those days.

Especially those of us with anxiety whose minds are constantly running. We need to engage with something that forces our minds to shut up about all the things we CAN’T do anything about, so our subconscious can work on the things we CAN do something about.

Something I’m trying to figure out is how to finish my homemade soft guitar case. It’s the piece that involves the zipper that currently has me scared. I have the top and bottom complete. I basically laid my guitar out and made a pattern then transferred that six times to make the outer durable side and the inner soft liner, as well as, the quilty fluff part that is the sandwich meat. The side is mostly done except for the piece that goes near the bottom for the zipper. Also, I’ll need to make a strap. Maybe I should affix the strap before connecting the side to either the top or bottom.

Yes, I sew much like how I write. It’s *somewhat* planned but mostly pantsed…

Sewing will become a regular part of my routine soon. More on that another day.

Anyway, I have a story to edit and a whole lot of other things to do.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day for those who are celebrating. I’m Scottish so I prefer Robbie Burns Day 😉

Have a fantastic weekend!

Salut,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Religion

thoughtfulA topic we aren’t supposed to talk about is on my mind today. I’m going to try to discuss it without pissing people off, but it is the kind of topic that tends to do that, so it may not be possible.

There’s a lot of commotion about M-103 going on. It involves anti-Islamophobia and other racist and religious persecution. The fear is that it will lead to widespread Shariah Law applied to everyone, not just Muslims. Also that it will lead to anti-blasphemy laws so, for example, atheists couldn’t say that your God doesn’t exist. There is also a fear that our Canadian Criminal Code will become second to Shariah.

I consider myself to be quite open minded. I have friends who are Christian, Jewish, Taoist, Buddhist, Druid, Wiccan, Mormon, Pastafarian, Atheist, etc. I’ve also worked with Muslims and there’s a nice Muslim woman in my building. Not one has ever tried to convert me or convince me their God is the only God. That’s actually why we’re friends. Many of my religious friends are often active in their communities. Some have dinners regularly with people from their churches, synagogues, temples, etc. Some do camping or other trips with them. That’s cool. I’m glad they are connecting with people who share their beliefs. Just like I enjoy hanging out with my writer friends and my martial arts friends as well as my B-Movie club.

In high school, I was part of the choir and one boy was a Jehovah’s Witness. He abstained from singing Christmas songs that were Christian in nature and only sang the ones that were about Santa. Our choir director was Jewish and she sang all the songs. I think both of these are options people should have when it comes to religion.

I had a piano teacher. She was generally nice, but at Christmas she tried to insist I should go to church with her. I cancelled the rest of my lessons. It’s not appropriate to try to convert or recruit someone to your religion. But all religions do it anyway. They come door-to-door and do this just like Rogers does to try and get more customers. Especially the Jehovah’s. One came to my house as a kid and insulted our dog. My dad told them where they could stick their pamphlets. Another man visited my former husband and I every weekend for a while. He was nice and we had interesting discussions, but I had no interest in bible study. I’ve also attended youth groups, which largely played the same games as we did in drama class with the addition of bible drills (a race to find a passage first). I didn’t join that either.

When I was lugging a bunch of heavy bags to my home before my wedding, I was approached by two Mormons who wanted to discuss Jesus with me. I was obviously laden down and struggling and thought that Jesus would have offered to help me with my burden. I turned them down and continued my struggle home. I wondered how they had become so disconnected from the fundamentals of who Jesus was.

Religion is a very personal thing. I think people need the freedom to believe what they believe as long as it doesn’t harm another including impingement of their rights and freedoms. The laws we have protect us and if our criminal code is not protecting a group than a tweak may be needed. Sometimes things need to be updated to reflect reality, but I think people are worried that there is a movement to convert Canada to an Islamic State. And when you see recent videos where an innocent woman is stoned to death because she found a copy of the Quran burning in a garbage can and one man accused her of being the one that burned it, you can understand some of the fear. Many of us do fit the criteria of non-believer and obviously no one wants to be stoned to death.

People are often scared of the unknown. This is ingrained in us by evolution. Strange food, strange people, and strange places often resulted in death. How else would we know which berries are safe to eat?

Recently, I did a search for violence in holy books. I found this quantitative article very interesting. All of them speak of violence. Some encourage it (both Christian bibles and the Quran have passages that allow stoning) and others say things like that we bring suffering upon ourselves when we care too much about the outcome and not enough about the journey, so they have violent words but are actually condemning violence. Some say killing is never acceptable (including the most basic of life forms). Others are lenient with killing in terms of things like pests. If your wooden house is infested with termites, are you going to let them cave the roof in on you? Are you going to let mouse droppings make you ill?

But one can’t look at a religion based on one item. That would be like voting a politician in because he wants to legalize marijuana or save the environment and ignoring policies that say he wants to lock children up and force them to do awful things.

Going to Catholic School as a child while not being Roman Catholic perhaps has given me a different view of religion. That happened because my first school converted to all French and I guess my parents were paying Catholic taxes at the time because my dad is Catholic. There was a group of us in that boat. We didn’t do confession or communion, so we just remained seated respectfully at Mass while the other kids took the host. Was this part of why some kids picked on me? If so, it was never mentioned. I did have a cross stolen from me. A necklace my aunt had bought me when she visited New Orleans one year, got broken by a “friend” who “helped” me bag it up to bring home. It was beautiful. It had a number of different jewels on it. I don’t know if they were real or not. For a long time, I was angry at myself for wearing it to school at all. Later on, I realized that the thought my aunt put into buying it and the letter she wrote to me about it were more precious than the cross itself.

I’ve been to church a number of times in my life and I always feel like I’m visiting a cult. But in looking at how some dojos recite their dojo kun and perform their etiquette, I can see martial arts being seen that way by some as well. Actually, I think martial arts has done more to lead me down a spiritual path than anything else. What do I like about it? Everyone lets you experience the spiritual side in your own way.

All this has led me personally to Taoism. It’s quite simple to follow. The major thing is that we all come from Tao, which could be God or just energy, and we all return to Tao when we die. Otherwise it’s about not being a jerk. Some Taoists are vegan, others eat responsibly raised meat that hasn’t been tortured. Clergy are free to marry. Members are free to be atheists. It’s not at odds with science. It doesn’t shun gays. Basically, you make your own path, try to be a good person, and strive for balance in all things. You’re free to decide what makes sense for you. Not trying to convert anyone, just listing the items that made me feel like it’s the belief structure for me.

Anyway, I guess my point is that I don’t care what religion anyone else is as long as I’m free to follow my own path. The moment someone decides to tell me what I should believe or that religion should be taught at school, I’m going to be upset.

So I think Muslims should be free to practice their religion, but they must allow the rest of us to do the same. Canada is a melting pot. As long as you are respectful and allow for certain circumstances where some clothing would be dangerous, for example, it’s a bad idea to wear loose items when operating a table or band saw because you could get strangled by your clothing.

The fear about Shariah has to do with the fact that implementations of it may vary widely. As widely as the full spectrum of extreme left politics (communism) to extreme right politics (fascism). We hear a lot about fascism lately because of Trump and Putin, but there’s a lot of awful stuff that happens in communist countries too. The way Shariah is implemented in Canada is much different than the way it is implemented in some parts of the Middle East.

But Muslims are far from the only religion to have such “laws”. This article from the Vancouver Sun talks about Shariah but also what several other religions do. I particularly like this part:

Fortunately, most of the planet’s Muslims uphold some form of religious freedom – believing shariah should apply only to Muslims.

Pew also found most Muslims stand up for the right of non-Muslims to practice their faiths. However, Muslims in some countries were concerned that principle was often broken.”

It’s important to note that sometimes things look excellent in theory, but when it comes to implementation there could be a bunch of corrupt data or some other problem that makes it impossible to be a good thing. Maybe some of Nikola Tesla’s ideas work better today because we have advanced materials that make it safer to produce. Of course, it’s also possible they didn’t get funded because someone else was better at selling their idea. He may have had the idea for things like Wi-Fi, but society just wasn’t ready.

I’m not sure attending Catholic School has left me unaffected. I think it’s possible my own understanding of the scientific method has been affected. I’ve never understood basic things about experiments. I did fine in biology, but the other sciences were thick with math and scientific method and there was always something fundamental that I’ve never been able to grasp. Give me a piece of technology, give me a social science, give me English, or give me history and I can figure it out, but for chemistry or physics you might as well be talking to a monkey. And not one of the super smart ones either.

But wait, I sometimes write sci-fi, right?

Sci-fi doesn’t have to go in depth about the particulars of a chemical compound. Stories are about people. Also, I try to make sure everything else is accurate and let suspension of disbelief handle the rest.

So, to recap, I feel like as long as Shariah is applied reasonably to only Muslims just as the Catholics, Mormons, Jewish, etc apply religious laws AND that the Canadian legal code comes first, there should be no reason we can’t all get along. Live and let live. Stop attacking Mosques and go play a video game or something else that doesn’t hurt other people.

Also, it would be awesome if the rest of Canada would stop claiming that all the racists live in Quebec. Racism is widespread in this country and if you think otherwise, you’re lying to yourself. Yes, I realize Muslim is a religion and not a race. Stop blaming the French for the bad things.

I have a Steampunk story to finish.

Salut,
R~

Merry Monday – Generations

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I’m late on this post today. I needed a nap because Daylight Savings and I’m not sorry about it.

I’m going to preface this post with the fact that though I realize generations are mostly a marketing construct used to increase sales, I can’t escape the fact that I do identify with some of the things they group together as traits. Of course, this could be because they are as broad as most horoscopes…

Recently, I realized I’m not a millennial. Being born in 1981, I’m in that grey area between X and Y, but I identify more with X and here’s why:

  1. My parents are part of the silent generation. There’s so much they just don’t talk about. I didn’t have helicopter parents. My parents weren’t my BFFs. They were authoritarian and disciplined me when I was a jerk and praised me when I did well in something.
  2. I was around when grunge and alternative began and watched MTV. Music videos, the first Degrassi, and Buffy was pretty much my preferred mix of TV though I also watched some ancient stuff like Hogan’s Heroes and the A-Team with my parents and some newer things like Full House and Family Matters.
  3. I didn’t always have a computer or the internet in my home or classroom. Our first computers were Unisys Icons and Commodore 64s. I can vividly recall what a modem used to sound like.
  4. Divorce was still a rather new thing. This was part of the reason some kids picked on me. Their homes were breaking and my parents were still happily married. Also, I was often reading a book. Pizza Hut had the Book-It program that gave free pizzas to avid readers. I ate a lot of free pizza as a kid.
  5. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and a large percentage of my friends also run their own businesses.
  6. I spent my childhood playing outside with no parental supervision and returned home when the street lights came on. We were even sent to buy cigarettes for our parents and it was legal to do so. I even walked to school.
  7. I didn’t get participation trophies. When I won something it was a true win.
  8. My dad worked long hours and Mom’s sleep schedule had her napping in the afternoon so she could spend time with him when he got home at 2 AM. I learned at a young age to do things like cook for myself. Their lives didn’t revolve around me and I wasn’t neglected either. I also didn’t interrupt my parents when they had friends over. I waited respectfully to ask whatever I needed to ask.
  9. I was in college during 9/11 and saw it unedited. We were sent home because the school was too close to the military base, which was a major NORAD location. I have many loved ones that were in wars such as The Gulf War.
  10. Work-life balance is very important to me despite the fact that I’m super ambitious when I commit myself to something.
  11. Though I haven’t had kids yet, I don’t believe in helicopter parenting or blaming the teacher for bad grades. Kids need to do the work to succeed. Failing can be a great lesson.
  12. I’m a problem solver. This means I’m not great at listening to someone vent about something. Let me know what steps you want to take to fix it and I’ll help then. This also means that I see the difference between where we are and where we want to be including the actual work required to transition between the two.
  13. I grew up watching films like The Breakfast Club, Clerks, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. My brothers also subjected me to Star Wars. Not the awful first three, but the originals.
  14. Mix-tapes were made by grabbing songs as they aired on the radio. We also did this with VHS for TV episodes and movies.
  15. I’m rather laissez-faire in terms of social issues. I get involved sparingly.
  16. I aim to live my life in the Goldilocks zone. I don’t like extremes of any kind.
  17. I’m not vegan and have no interest in becoming one. I believe in a balanced diet that includes all food groups.
  18. I don’t go to church, but I do have beliefs. Lately, I’m leaning toward Theravada Buddhism, which is a largely peaceful religion that doesn’t require its followers to abstain from eating meat. I’ve not found anything yet on it that suggests people who believe something else need to be stoned to death. I also like that Buddha was a regular human.

The only things I really feel I have in common with Millennials are my education and the job outlook. And the job issue is really more of a problem with the state of the economy. Education has been more about me figuring out what work is best for me and learning that like many Xers, I need flexibility and really don’t need a boss or HR to guide me to get things done.

Being someone born on the cusp, I get to decide which generation I belong to and I’ve decided I’m a member of Gen X. Henceforth, I’m going to spend my time getting myself to where I want to be and let the millennials do the bulk of the fighting. They seem to love it and I really don’t. It fills me with anger and there is so much in this world to be thankful for. I’d rather put my time to better use.

Salut,
R~