Posted in Everyday Life

My Hope For You…

… is that you someday no longer see the contempt you feel for yourself in other people’s eyes. 

It doesn’t exist in their minds.

It doesn’t lie in their hearts.

It isn’t circulating through their veins.

It doesn’t plague their hearts… like it plagues yours. 

You matter, and you are important.

But, while you ruminate in a pool of water that grows stagnant, there is an ocean of possibilities and living… waiting patiently for you. We’re waiting patiently for you. 

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Posted in Everyday Life

Back to School

I go back to school, again. I will again step out of my comfort zone. My comfort zone is so… boring.

I will begin signing like my life depends on it. My education depends on it. My ability to pay off these extra student loans depends on it.

Extra student loans? Yeah. More.

Students shouldn’t have to worry and panic this much about the finances of learning something new, special, and so important. Bankruptcy. Not a solution.

I should have done this program a decade ago. Before the Bachelor of Psychology that I use for customer service. Don’t get me wrong. I am GRATEFUL to have the education – and the ability to Jedi-mind trick people into doing what I bid (just kidding, people somehow have this uncanny ability to block my mind meld). I appreciate all the people who I meet with every 3 minute to 120 minute conversation. You are amazing, unique, and inspiring.

But, a decade ago, I would have already been working toward an Interpreting career that is challenging, fun, energizing, enlightening, purposeful, passionate, and so many more adjectives that I cannot get onto this page.

Boy. Too much thought on shoulda, woulda, couldas. Right?

No more. Time to get up, gussy up, and LOOK UP!

_\m/

We know the secret of the world is profound; but, who or what shall be our interpreter, we know not.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Posted in Everyday Life, Instructions, Rambling, Surprises

Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Went to the Post Office

Hi folks!

Long time no blog! Right? Well, I think I’m ready to get rolling again. How exciting!

I wanted to get started with a little postal know-how. Before my experience with mass mailings – beginning in 2008 with my first secretary job, I knew not. After my mass mailings experiences, I know now. See how that works?

First, I will start with the Self-Service Kiosks. These mystical machines exist in only a few very rare places – and NOT NEAR YOU. The easiest way to get started is by googling these keywords: FML IHU.

No, no. Not those! Those are the words you SAY after you travel 22 miles and realize that the kiosk doesn’t do what you want it to do. Sssshhh. Calm down. It’ll be okay.

Instead, do this. Type “USPS” into your browser address bar. Choose the “Welcome: USPS” link. Easy so far.

USPS 1

Next, click “Find USPS Locations”. Locate the drop down bar, and then choose: “Self-Service Kiosk”.USPS 2

Awesome. Now, type your zip code and then choose the number of miles you would be willing to travel (and how much gas you would be willing to waste) to utilize the kiosk. Finally, click “search”.

Voila! Seriously. It is a really easy task. What ISN’T so easy is suddenly arriving at the kiosk and being limited to the Liberty Bell FOREVER stamps and other denominations of stamps and 5 per transaction. Das it.

If you need anything in addition to your 49 cent stamp, either make time to go to the counter and talk with a clerk or go here:

https://store.usps.com/store/browse/subcategory.jsp?categoryId=under-stamp-rate&categoryNavIds=buy-stamps%3Astamps-by-type%3Aunder-stamp-rate

Don’t give me that look. I’ll tell you how I got there.

USPS 3At the same website, click the “Postal Store” option in the blue ribbon. Then, choose “Stamps”. Now, choose the option in the left sidebar that says “Under 49-cents” or one of the others if you so desire.

Great SCOTT! Look at all those options!

Click a stamp with the cents that make sense. (I just made myself chuckle.)

Next, scroll and click through your options. Take a look at how many stamps are included in a sheet, book, or roll. Add the desired quantity to your cart. Check out, and BAM! You’re done until you’ve got those stamps in your feverish little hands.

Now, this is something you CANNOT do at the Self-Service Kiosk. And that’s okay, because we (meaning me) need to do our (meaning my) research so we can avoid the huffy, puffy anxiety once we realize the stamps we want are not available!

This will come in handy too if you want any specialty or limited edition stamps, like Black Heritage, that certain neighborhoods either run out of instantly or do not carry at all.

Next, DO NOT go with the 28lb paper at your local office supply store’s website. Go in the store. Talk to a clerk. Choose the lighter (in weight) paper.

If you choose the heavier default paper, and if you have 3 pages to fill and no more than that, prepare to edit meticulously. If you go over 3 sheets, you’re gonna be looking at extra postage – not from the Self-Service Kiosk.

So, I do hope that this has been helpful to you. Please let me know if you have any Post Office tips that folks might find handy.

Cheers!

Posted in Fun, Music, Rambling, Surprises

What the what?

*If you know who H and C are, you’re in good shape to read the rest of this. If you do not know who they are, imagine a hippy Grizzly Adams for H, and a spry, talkative tween boy (who hates the term tween) for C.

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Whew, okay. So now that things have settled down, here’s the other details of our mighty adventure. So, the place itself, the people within the event, and the scenery are mind-blowing for this one-level Ohioan (pavement). The camping on-site actually started a week before we even got there. We took our camping gear and lots of other stuff, but we did not take perishable food. Why? Because we knew there were going to be Food Trucks and because we didn’t know if the place had accoutrements for camp fires. Answer: nada for camp fires. BUMMER!

We put up the tent, got our stuff in it from the car, and I went to a gas station to get a pack of water bottles while H and C trekked the hill to the nearest tower of outlets to blow up the mattress. The first gas station didn’t have jack so I went to the next one, the later offending Exxon. I got the water and some cash from their ATM.

Glory be, what happened to me? The freakin’ electronic window, driver side, would NOT go back up. Crap.

I got back and we explored. We discovered that the trek up to the festivities from our tent was going to be mighty. We got a heck of a workout while we were there. H and C played with banjos, fiddles, and more. We finally found a friend who was camped out clear on the other side of the woods. I cheesed out early on both nights, but H and C stayed out late on the first night jammin’ with the enthusiasts.

On the second day, we checked out more instrument vendors and food trucks. All three of us went to the gas station to pick up a few things, snacks and H for the ATM to get a really freakin‘ cool 12-string mandolin that he later gave to a beaming and overjoyed C.

I have to admit right here, I had a bad feeling about going into the gas station before I went in on the second day.

Right after H got cash out of the ATM, we were standing in front of the refrigerators in the gas station and couldn’t decide what to get. I checked my own cash flow after H asked if I was good for the rest of the weekend. I concluded I was fine on funds. Hunger was getting the better of us so we finally decided on a couple of things each. After I put my wallet back in my bag I got the royal stink-eye from the female shop attendant. I thought she was giving us the evil eye because we must have been lingering too long.

So, H and C go up to the register first, then me. The female shop attendant, a woman in her early to mid-60s said for me to put what was in my bag on the counter too. “Excuse me”?

“I saw you put lunch meat in your bag.”

“Pardon me?”

“You put it in your bag and then you turned around and smiled at me.”

“I smiled because I was acknowledging your presence.”

After my face went blood red and eerily, angrily expressionless (according to H and C – this is a phenomenon I’ll have to explore), I took out of the whole contents of my bag. Nada. Nothin’.

Before I got the last of it out of my bag, the man whom I had seen the day before and had carried the pack of water to my car immediately went to the ice cream refrigerator, offered his sincerest apologies and fudge bars, “since we were wrong”.

Like really, do you want to associate yourself with the accuser here? Did you know she was going to accuse me? Were you accusing me?

She began apologizing, but really back-handedly, “You never can be too sure this time of year” (referring to the festival).

H was incredibly upset and ret’ ta go, C was stunned. I refused the “extras” and said, “No, we’ll take what is on the counter, and pay for it.” So, she rang it up, I paid, we left, and OOPS. H left his sunglasses on the ATM machine. So, he had to go back in and get ’em.

Then, we got hit by a really amazing thunderstorm that shook our sturdy tent and empathetically distracted me from my severe irritation. The fresh mist continued until the next day and we finally packed up and hit the road – open driver side window on I-77N at 70 mph and all.

Lessons learned:

1. Don’t let a fickle window stop ya, but get it fixed when you get home whether it rolled up again or not.
2. Take up a string instrument so you don’t feel like the only person not playing next year.
3. Shop at grocery stores in the backwoods of W. Virginia, not gas stations. Thems some weird, leery folks. They think cash looks like lunch meat.

Posted in Everyday Life

Facebook Privacy Settings

Hello Fellow Facebookers!

There is a post that is going around. That posts asks your Facebook friends to do something. I will share what this something is:

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If you were one of the many who has posted this, and you’re reading this, I’m not singling you out!

Now, realistically, how in the world can a person with ANY Facebook friends count on them ALL to actually do this? I certainly cannot with 826 friends (now don’t go unfriending me).

It’s a waste of Re-Posting time and an unrealistic expectation even if you did not expect a drastic end result.

So, let me tell you how you can avoid this post and just take care of the dang thing yourself.

Please note: the rest of the pictures in the post may cut off some details, so please feel free to click the picture in the post to see what is in edge of the picture, like “edit”, “close”, etc.

1. Click the little gear/sprocket:

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2. Click the Privacy Settings

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3. Get overwhelmed by all the options

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4. Breathe into a brown paper bag

5. Start with who can see your “stuff”

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  • Click Edit and make your change

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  •  *Grin* because you took the first step to become a self-sufficient Facebook user
  •  Ignore this section unless you were drunkenly Facebooking last night

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  • Feeling extra paranoid? Fiddle with setting

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6. Got a Facebook stalker? Click Edit and make that creep get over you

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  • There should be a “NO ONE” option

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  • I have no idea what this one is really about, but it’s on the strict setting and hasn’t bothered me one bit

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7. This one is super important. Get picky.

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  • Choose friends. Friends of friends don’t matter

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  • Again, friends

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  • This one looks complicated, right? Why? Because some snake oil salesman got in someone’s head at Facebook and told them to make it tricky (just kidding). Do NOT check the dang box.

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8. 9. and 10. Now that you have made your Privacy Settings more secure, you can move on to the Timeline and Tagging section. I’m not going to bullet point all those out, but you are welcome to mimic my settings.

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11. It’s okay to get “block happy”. No one else can actually see that you have blocked him/her. They’ll just get the subtle hint when they stop seeing stuff you post and they can’t see your Profile anymore. If you regret the decision, go back to the Blocking section and unblock the person. But, don’t be a doormat. If the person doesn’t deserve to see what you’re up to, make the wise decision and keep him/her blocked. There’s a difference between “blocking” and “unfriending” though. Unfriending just means that if your settings look anything like mine, that person can’t Facebook-stalk you. “Blocking” means that he or she cannot harass you via Direct Messages or through friends of friends.

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12. Annoyed by all the notifications? Fiddle with this until you’re happy. But, don’t blame me if you mess something up. Uninstall and reinstall if you’re mobile.

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  • Extra annoyed by one particular person, but you don’t want to unfriend or block him/her? Switch around these settings on that person’s profile page. Recommended: switch to Only Important and uncheck all the types of updates. Passive aggressive or setting boundaries? You decide.

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13. You’re welcome.

Posted in Everyday Life

And you are…?

Ladies…. Ladies, ladies, ladies. And gents, really.

I have a bone to pick with many of you apparently, and for your own good.

Why? Oh, I’ll tell you why. Yes, I will!

Because we don’t ask. We assume. Just because so-and-so said this-and-that, he or she is who he or she says he or she is and they are there to do what he or she said.

Okay, okay, okay. A little too serious of a tone for me. Whew! I was giving myself an ulcer and wrinkles!

Here’s why I’m a little upset though.

I came home from work early today. I just couldn’t sit any longer. I was too tired and had a lot of school-related stuff on my mind. Including procrastinating that school-related stuff – hahaha, I’m just kidding.

I got groceries on my way, so I had two decent sized paper bags with handles to take in the house. I situated myself to more easily enter the gate and a man walks up from the alley.

“Hi, pardon me. Do you have dogs?”

I noticed the man had a cut-off grey cut-off t-shirt, jeans, work boots, grey close-cut hair which could have been blonde at some point in his life, blue eyes, tattoo on his arm.

“Uh, yes, I do. Why do you ask?”

“I’m here to change your meter outside the house. I just need to know if your dogs are in the house so I can go through the gate.”

“Oh, and do you have identification?”

“My truck is right over there,” it was within eyeshot around the corner of our fence, obvious markings and all. “I’m with AEP. It’s a new meter. I’ll need to shut off your electric for only about 5 seconds.”

“Oh yeah, sure! That’s fine. The dogs are in the house.”

“Thank you, I’ll bring the truck over real quick.”

So, I take the groceries in, observing. He puts on his AEP hardhat, a navy blue long sleeve shirt.

While he’s walking toward the meter, the man says to me, “you know, in all the years I have worked for AEP, you are the first person who has ever asked me for identification. That’s very smart of you.”

I was a little stunned. “Really? That’s kind of disturbing.”

“We’ll, keep it up.”

I didn’t ask him how many years, dang it!

The man made the switch if the meter and left just as quickly as he arrived. His presence and the unstartling way in which he approached me and explained his purpose was very nice, but he actually still could have been anybody.

I texted Howard to let him know the AEP guy had been here. Date and time stamp.

Would you have noticed what I noticed? I didn’t get a good look at specific identification of the truck, but I got a good look at him. Would you be too busy to see and later recall specific things about his attire, tattoo, equipment? Would you have noticed what time it was? Would you have done something to mark the date and time?

I’m not saying there was anything unusual or alarming about the man. I’m just thinking, how aware of our surroundings are we?

Practice being aware of your surroundings. People watch. Do they have tattoos or piercings? Long hair, short hair, lost a bet with a weed whacker? Is their hair color obvious, or dyed, or grey but seems like it could have been blonde, brown, red? Eye color, contacts, colored contacts, glasses? Do they dress a particular way? Hood, preppy, old-man-ish, closet dirty librarian, brand names, holes or tears in clothing? Jewelry like watches, rings (which hand?), earrings, necklaces, bracelets? Cordially say things to people passing by. Do they have accents? Do they react a way you don’t expect? Do they interact with anyone else? Which way did they head?

There are so many more things to think of. Including, “where did I put that mace?”

Are you ever really, completely safe? No, not really. But, you can increase your odds of safety in any situation just by making note of any number of things about your surroundings and people around you. Have confidence in that. If you do not have confidence in your ability to at least semi-accurately perceive and recall what you perceived, PRACTICE!

Suggestion for AEP techs and other such employees: properly introduce yourself first!!!!

G’night!

Abrupt, I know. Hahaha!

Posted in Everyday Life, Rambling

Suicidal Pedestrian and Driver

Truly, females in Columbus and nearby must be on suicide missions and/or have a death wish.

Near campus:

Around the corner from High St, a girl in a irritating, wannabe military-esque hat and a guy with low-riding shorts were crossing the street. The guy scoots along, clearly recognizing that this is a busy street and it would be a bad thing to make contact with a car.

The girl is lagging behind on purpose and this car is coming up at a pace slow enough for her to completely avoid, but – I kid you not – she stares down the driver while still moving quite slowly and the driver has to swerve half way to the right into the next lane to miss her. Had she been any farther back from that lane, I would have hit potentially hit her.

My first thought was: she’s got some sort of a medical affliction that her insurance (if she has any), Medicaid, or anything else won’t pay for. Therefore, if she gets her *** hit, the unknowing driver is sacked with the bill and/or charged for striking a pedestrian with a vehicle – or whatever it technically would be.

Granted, this may not be the case. Yes, I prejudged based on that defiant look. It could have meant something entirely different to her. But it was that look which could have landed her in the hospital and the driver on the wrong side of the law and/or in the hospital.

Rt 61:

There is a known issue, minor though, with my new-to-me Jetta and the dealer is having it fixed – no charge to me. Howard met me at the dealer so I could drop off my car to be fixed up tomorrow.

We’re on our way back home and on Rt 61, this female driver in a rural-fabulous van is riding his tail. I didn’t see how close she was, if she had turn a turn signal on or what.

On a street that is 2 lanes, coming and going, it’s painfully obvious that there’s very little room for error. This driver not only attempts to pass us but she gets to the left of us with absolutely no room to get in between Howard’s car and the one ahead of us. The driver going the opposite direction, and a couple others following, actually had to PULL OVER TO THE DITCH to avoid this maniac! And get this! No more than a couple miles down the same road, majority of the drivers turned onto Rt 229 and that horse’s arse actually went straight – no one in front of her, no one behind her. There was absolutely no valid reason for this person to risk her life and everyone else’s!

Wow. Just wow.