You’d think that I’d learn my lesson, but I managed to overdraft my checking account for the second time in a month.  It makes me mad at myself because I prided myself on being in tight control over my finacial life (maybe one of the only areas really.)  The problem is that the job I have now literally pulled me back onto the finacial cliff.  I did not have enough money to pay my November rent.  But it also marked the first time in 3 years that I was back to living on a paycheck basis.  I lived two years being paid in big chunks and then I lived off the savings of the big chunks.  And about 3 years ago I stopped using my checking account.  I’d pay my bills out of the chunk, I’d make purchases on my credit card, then pay it off in full at the end of the month from the chunk.  While I was working I alway had the big chunk and it was plenty and more.  In fact I managed to save about a third of what I made that got me through the year.  But as that chunk started running out I started to carry a balance on my credit card.  Which I don’t like at all.  So now that I’m working again and living literally paycheck to paycheck (which are luckily enough) my chunk mentality is still getting me in trouble.  My expenses have gone up at least as much as my salary from the last time I was on the tight biweekly pay. Stupid grocery costs plus internet plus about $1000 more per year in rent.  So that control  I need it back.  But some things are hard to learn and when you make money mistakes you literally pay.

Realistic Expectations

January 6, 2009

Happy New Year to everyone… and I’m back once again.

Okay I’ve been gone awhile, but keeping up a blog while you’re unemployed is immensely easier than when you are working full time. But like everyone else in the world does it. So I’m gonna work back up to posting more often. And in the meantime I’m going to continue to get used to having a real job.

She’s so nice

October 4, 2008

I’ve always thought of myself as a nice person.  But I have subjected myself to some introspection recently and I have cast some doubt.  Now I am fairly sure that I do plenty of acts of kindness, so that maybe enough in the truest sense but I’m talking here about people’s perceptions.  See I’m quite shy so I mainly have two ways that I relate to people.  One in a socially awkward, quiet…”shy” kind of way and the other is with confidence and even aggression maybe?  See I’m also a performer.  It makes for a weird mix.  I have no problems with public speaking or leading a group, but put me in a cocktail party and I’m like a different person.  But I think ultimately both of those ways are pretty cold.

When I was in tenth grade, my English teacher told me that I ought to smile more on the first day of class.  Like from the front of the room, in the presents of all my classmates.  It was harsh.  Hear that teachers?  Don’t do that.  I do find myself scowling occasionally when I’m thinking but I don’t mean to.

In college one of my best friends told me that one of her friends who had become a mutual acquaintance found me intimidating.  That’s really the first time I thought about that I could intimidate anyone (well except maybe a second grader.)    And speaking of that, I don’t have that “kids-want-to-sit-on-my-lap” thing anymore.  My VBS kids loved my high school co-teacher, but not me so much.  And when I’ve worked wit the youth they just don’t think I’m as cool as some of the other helpers.

And I even got in trouble when I was working on “Once on this Island” for being too mean to the cast.  I told them in notes one night that I was going to come hit them if they did not stay quiet backstage.  Of course I was joking, I mean that’s not a hard one to figure out.  But on the other hand I was basicly left to be the long arm of the law, with the director whinning about behavior but not setting any standards or doing things like start rehearsals late.  But the one good thing that came of that was I may not have made any best friends, I came out the end with everyone still respecting me (something the other staff couldn’t say.)  The good word from that whole fiasco (the show was great somehow, I mean the offstage drama) traveled far and wide I’m sure and it makes me wonder if that’s some of the reason that I’m having issues with the directors selection commitee and the excutive director.  One would hope that they’d give me a chance to tell my side of things.

So I guess that’s it; I’m not a warm and fuzzy person. I’m not so nice.  But I try to be good…sincere, friendly, loyal, loving. And I try to think about smiling more.  That’ll have to be enough.


September 21, 2008

Saying “maybe” means I don’t really care enough to make a real commitment. Somethings are important enough to say “yes” or “no.”

Heard but not seen

August 12, 2008

The news that China choose to have a cute 9 year old lip sync to the national anthem that was actually sung by a 7 year old made me very sad.  Apparently she was not cute or charismatic enough.  And they weren’t going to tell anyone.  The fireworks were apparently prerecorded as well.  Oh and John Edwards spent 6 solid months denying he had an affair.  No wonder no one believes it’s not his baby. Would someone please tell the truth!  Or better yet stop doing things crappy enough that you feel like you need to hide them.

Think before you lie

July 22, 2008

Recently a former presidential candidate from Columbia and three US contractors were rescued from their rebel captors after being held for over five years. (Here’s one of the first articles to cover the story.) Now besides the fact that these people were still alive after all these years there are some highlights that make this a particularly cool story. First, though the US provided equipment and intelligence, the rescue mission was carried out entirely by the Columbian military, a group that’s been plagued by political corruption (so I’d say that’s a step in the right direction.) Also the rescue team took acting classes (I mean how great is that.) (They used a rebel informant to trick the guards by saying they were here to move the prisoners on orders of some other leader.) And finally though everyone was armed with machine guns strapped to their backs, no shots were fired, no one was hurt, it was completely peaceful. When I first heard about the story I thought “wow, that would make a great movie.” But there may be a high cost for that peaceful mission.

Photographs of the Colombian military intelligence-led team that spearheaded the rescue, shown to CNN by a confidential military source, show one man wearing a bib with the Red Cross symbol. The military source said the three photos were taken moments before the mission took off to persuade the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebels to release the hostages to a supposed international aid group for transport to another rebel area.

Such a use of the Red Cross emblem could constitute a “war crime” under the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law and could endanger humanitarian workers in the future, according to international legal expert Mark Ellis, executive director of the International Bar Association.

So next time the Red Cross wants to send aid worker or monitors to check on prisoners’ conditions, or news outlets send journalists (the mission was documented on film by rescuers claiming to be journalists) those rebels will think twice. And somebody’s life is going to be in danger.

I think it had to just be a mistake in thinking out the outcome. One step too far. They obviously convinced them that they were fellow rebel soldiers; I wish they had left it at that. Sometimes circumstances require a deception, like when you’re rescuing people, or conducting a social psychology experiment. In psychology you have to justify any lies that you tell your subjects and show how you can’t do your experiment in any other way.

Why? Because lies mess with people’s attitudes and perception of others, they are powerful. I just had some money stolen from me on an online purchase. It makes me rethink whether I want to use that system again. Even though I know that hundreds of thousands of trouble free transactions go on on the site and this is only my first problem, I am still disconcerted. The bad egg messed with my psyche. Because he lied to me, I’m taking it out on all the other good sellers out there.

So lying is mainly a bad idea (doesn’t the bible say something about that?) but if you do it just be sure to think through all of the consequences.