Bits and Pieces of Thoughts While I Think on my Next Bit o’Fiction

First things first, or at least things that excite me – My English teach really liked my video game essay. There are a few teensy things I need to clean up, mainly a few awkward word choices and left over “on”s and things from my massive number of edits. Once I’ve done that, she wants me to enter it into an essay contest that happens at the school every year. The winner gets $50 and entrants get to put their name out there for teachers to get to know. When it comes to more subjective classes like English, psych, etc. I feel it’s important to have your name associated with the idea that you are a good writer before you enter a teacher’s classroom. Perception means so much and teachers are more willing to gloss over errors if they already “know” you can write, as humans are wont to do. Even my current teacher did something like that for my 2nd essay when I had two really bad cut/copy/paste-based errors. She didn’t take off points for those like what I would have expected her to because she knew that they were editing fails, not writing fails, if that makes any sense.

I’ve been trying to figure out what I’m going to use as my topic for my next argument essay, but haven’t really had anything stick out to me. Well, I’ve got two things, but I can’t decide if I really can argue either of them effectively because I am just a wee bit passionate about them.
The first is equal marriage rights. I’d end arguing for a case that would include marriage licenses being granted to two or more people above the legal age of consent who are willingly entering into the civil contract regardless of gender, sex, procreation status etc. Most people have an issue once the “more” part is added in, and to be fair, with the way current laws are written that affect civil marriage law contracts it would get really convoluted and tricksy. Especially things like inheritance and social security benefits and whatnot. Especially if the primary bread winner/head of house passes or decides to divorce one or more of the other parties. What happens to the rest of the contracts? Are they will that primary person or binding amongst all parties? Oy, such a headache and the primary argument against such marriages.
The second is abstinence only versus full disclosure sex ed. I (luckily) grew up in county that taught full disclosure sex ed by default and started in fifth grade. Yes, parents always had to sign permission slips to say “sure, teach my kid about sex” or “find them something else to do cause I want to be the one to educate them about sex” or not educate them as the case would likely be. I think I only saw maybe three kids not have permission to be educated in sex ed from fifth through twelfth grade. That’s pretty awesome in my opinion, especially considering that it was a requirement for every year of school up to high school and then was taught in bio and two or three other classes that were required for graduation.
Anywho, the point is that I feel pretty strongly about these topics, but think I could maybe argue either one of them. My teacher did give me the okay to write my essays on more divisive topics should I choose to because I could “handle” them maturely. On the other hand, this next essay is going to be sent out to the rest of the English dept. and I’m not sure that I want to write about anything so politically charged, no matter how well written, and be known as the student that is too opinionated/liberal/socialist/controversial at the end of my first semester of school.

On a completely unrelated note, I’m excited about the weather here. We’re supposed to get a pretty decent amount of snow between tonight and tomorrow night and I have nowhere to go and no one to meet until Wednesday morning, which means I get to just enjoy the snowfall. Huzzah! Pretty weather will be nice.

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O.O Do Not Like

First, I know I totally failed at the daily blog thing. Apparently getting home after 3am one night and then working the weekend and being distracted by my fiance and Jaime and Claire in Outlander is enough to make me forget about blogging.

Tonight though I am blogging because I need to try to calm down a bit. I have never felt so much panic as what I did tonight while on my way back home from the movies. I was following my fiance home and watched him nearly get rear-ended while going 65 mph while changing lanes. It was probably the most terrifying thing I’ve experienced in, well, ever. It involved more panic and physical reactions on my part than when I had a drunk, psychotic patient grabbing for an eight-inch knife from a co-worker or any of the times when I was doing military training with live ammunition (because really, who trusts the idiots that are people in basic training?) or any of the times I tried to kill myself when I was a kid. Honestly, I discovered tonight that I really could not care less about my health and safety when compared to my fiance’s. It is both an interesting discovery and one that makes me wonder just how much it is possible to love another. Apparently enough so to feel as though I was watching my entire world disappear.

Luckily for me the entire thing lasted no more than three seconds and everyone is safe and fine and I had at least 12 minutes to calm down enough that I was able to grab him into a bear hug and tell him he’s not allowed to ever do that again as soon as we were both out of our vehicles. If I hadn’t had that time and some soothing music, I’m not so sure I would have managed to not burst into tears as soon as I touched him. That would have been rather embarrassing you know.

Anywho, I’m off to remind him that he’s not allowed to go away in any sort of permanent sense. Again.

Peace

Post a day – Quiet Time

I’m still tired from yesterday, definitely in need of some recharge time. So of course this topic comes up from the post a day blog – When You Need Quiet Time, Where Do You Go?

I have several places I go, all having their different purposes.

If I’m in deep need of pampering–not in the sense of wanting to look good or pretty or even feel well treated, but in the sense of needing to feel like I’m worth receiving a service rather than always being the one to give a service–then I will often schedule myself a massage and try to relax. Or, if I do not have the time or money for that, a bubblebath with an entrancing book and lovely music is the next most fantastic thing. I can really even manage some of that sense just by finding myself on the floor of the tub during my morning shower. Feeling the water wash away whatever I allow myself to release can be enough to get me going for another day.

Honestly though, if I’m truly in need of some quiet time, to me that means time with no other souls around for miles. I live near the beautiful Rocky Mountains. By near I mean that their shadows cover my apartment before the sun has fully set. That means the opportunity for finding places where it at least doesn’t feel like anyone is around is high and I can even engage in several different “quiet” time scenarios. Recharge time for me isn’t always quiet. Sometimes it’s a clash of sounds and sensations. Driving with all my windows down through the winding mountain roads with my music blasting and the feel of the moon on my skin is just about one of the most absolutely therapeutic things I can ever do for myself. Finding a spot that is undisturbed by any others and grabbing a notebook and pen(s) from somewhere and then immersing myself in the silence that is a mountain night is exactly what my soul cries for. I can disappear into my mind and thoughts and heart for hours and hours – at least if it’s warm enough!

Honestly, just typing and imagining this is enough to help settle my soul and mind. THe human mind is quite impressive in that it is able to see and feel and remember so much from particular experiences, especially ones that have truly influenced us as individuals. And for me, those mountain drives are the things of dreams and memories and desires.

Funny enough, I can also find quiet time in some of the most crowded places – a Starbucks or mall or whatever can be very soothing to me… Assuming I’ve my headphones and pen and paper and the chance to completely disregard and ignore the entire world around me. This is something I discovered nearly three years ago when I was mobilized for a year to the desert of Southern California. I knew no one. I was around no one. I had no desire to get to know anyone. It was the loneliest and most introverted and internal seeking year of my life so far, which is sort of saying something. The loneliness was something I quickly got used to and eventually even managed to crave and desire nearly as much as my mountain drives. The introversion and looking into myself was what helped me to recognize that I was not happy, that I was trapped and in the midst of a desperately abusive relationship. And the time to think and just be with myself gave me the chance to learn to that I could do without others and therefore did not need to subject myself to that man and what he represented to me.

Essentially, it helped me to discover and re-establish myself as an adult. Not someone who doesn’t make mistakes. Heaven help me if I ever get so delusional as to believe that I don’t make mistakes. But as someone who is willing and able to learn from my mistakes and maybe even the mistakes of others. That is enough, in my opinion. At least enough to be getting on with now.

Ironically enough, despite the fact that I absolutely adore and love my fantastic fiance, I cannot be “alone” or have true “quiet time” if we are near each other. My attention goes to him and I am too concerned about him and what’s going on and what he may need in order to truly disengage myself enough to start recovering. I think I’ve described this to him, but I’m not sure that he understands. Even now, he’s playing a game on his computer and I’m typing here and half my brain is distracted by wondering if that throat clearing was because he’s feeling like he’s being ignored or is bored but doesn’t want to interrupt me. However, I also know that it’s quite possible he merely needed to clear his throat. If it were anyone else, I wouldn’t give a damn and just assume it was throat clearing. But I do not want to ever appear to be ignoring him. That is not love. But that is also a completely different post.

Before I manage to get too much more off-topic, I believe I will leave this one as it is.

Peace

Postaday – topic 246 – Frustrations While Driving

I already posted an observation today, but this postaday was just too apropos for me to ignore it. If you want to see the few responses already, head over to The Daily Post and laugh or agree or wince along with me.

My biggest frustration while driving is probably one of the things that is a sure indicator that yes, I am an aggressive driver. I drive a minimum of 60 miles every day, 30 miles to work, 30 miles back, with an optional 5-15 miles in the middle depending upon how much office hopping I am doing that day. Nearly all of that driving is on the highways. Some would say that’s really good, some would say that’s got to be annoying. It depends upon the time of day and all that, but usually it’s tolerable. What makes it intolerable is when all lanes in the road are going the same speed, which is usually some variation of the exact speed limit and perhaps a few miles below.

I’m impatient. I’m running late, I have many things I need to do, and there is a line of 50+ cars between three lanes with over a mile (and growing) between the leaders and the next huddle of cars. This tells me that the people near the front are not following the most basic courtesy of driving on a highway. Slower traffic to the right. Yes, you may technically be passing the car next to you by a foot or so every mile, but that is not the definition of passing. You are holding up people, bunching up cars, and much as I would love to say we’re all going to follow the 6 second rule, or hell, even the 3 second rule, I know that no one is. If any of the lead cars slow down just by half a mile an hour there is the possibility of one of those distracted drivers in the middle not realizing the change and not hitting their breaks in time, and oops, now we have an accident.

If the lanes are all going different speeds, usually with a difference of 5-10 miles an hour between them, the flow of traffic is much smoother and there is nearly always more distance between cars, an additional bumper of time and space in case anything funky does happen. So, if you are going to move to the left lane to pass a vehicle, don’t be afraid to increase your speed for a minute, pass the other vehicle, give yourself extra clearance and then move over and go back to your original speed. It keeps you from getting annoyed at the “slow poke” you just passed and still gives all the other drivers the opportunity to continue at something resembling their original speeds. Want to know something else pretty cool about that?

You won’t get pulled over for that maneuver.

Cops get it, especially if they see you move back over and reduce speed again. They like traffic moving smoothly and without incident. They actually aren’t all assholes just out to get your hard earned money. They are watching for blatant disregard for the safety of people on the road. If you can go 5 miles over the speed limit, pass someone and return to your original lane without incident, congratulations, you are able to vary your driving based on conditions and could actually help prevent an accident by being such a nimble driver. The asshole who waits for you get back in your lane before zooming ahead at 20 miles over the speed limit is not considered a safe driver and yes, s/he will likely get pulled over for that stunt. I know I should have been pulled over several times for doing crap like that. I will admit though that I’m usually one of about a dozen vehicles that can be observed doing that when finally, finally there is a break and I can *gasp* finally reach the speed limit and try to make up for some lost time.

Now, I know this seems rather petty of me to complain about people only following the law, but I would like to point out again that people who do so in all lanes are actually hazards in traffic and are decreasing the overall safety of that road at that time. That is actually violating the law more so than my speeding by 5-10 miles an hour since I am usually quite able to give more space and have greater maneuverability when given the opportunity to do so. Going the speed limit = a hazard. Having several lanes going at different average speeds is safer.

So, for the love of all that is holy in this world, please think before moving over and learn how to drive in a manner that will NOT have all the drivers behind you pulling out their hair. It’d be even better if you made sure to signal before moving over, but honestly, I’m not going to be that picky or ask that much right now. Let’s just work on getting the feet to work. We can add the hands in later./rant

Peace