Debt free?

I’ve heard that I can be debt free in 12-36 months. There’s a catch, though, even for this Debt Settlement idea: I have to have a job… which, at the moment, I don’t have.

Where does that leave me? Unable to be helped by anyone but (possibly) bankruptcy.

Great.

Planes, Trains, and…

Oh, wait. Just planes.

Have you ever been on a private jet?… Yeah, me neither. I’ve flown across the country more times than I can seriously count, and I’ve even flown first class a couple of times (mostly because I used my sky miles—whatever you call them—and the “cost” for a first class seat was the same as for a coach seat), but I’ve never had my own private jet. My father’s flown an airplane solo, but it was a small plane with a private flying license. He’s not me, but that’s about as close as I’ve come to hoity toity flying. My family may be upper middle class, but we’re definitely middle class in that way.

In fact, it’s never even occurred to me to ever be a part of a company that would have a business jet charter or company plane or something. I guess maybe big corporations have private jets, and the Backstreet Boys do… or, at least, they did at one time, so there’s that, if it means anything. And I remember watching a movie about… something… I think it was Barbarians at the Gate. In one scene, the main character takes his private (company) jet across the country with his dog, and then the pilot flies the dog back across the country alone. (Imagine my reaction to that extravagance.)

Still, it’d be way cool to fly in a private jet even just once.

The Joy of Printing

And by that, I mean printing out my work from a computer to write all over in red pen and then input my edits back into the computer. There’s something about reading a piece of writing—dot-matrix printercreative or not—in hard copy rather than on the screen. Seriously.

While actually finding and buying printers can be a pain, using them generally (hopefully) isn’t. I’m not the most computer-literate person, but I can get around a web browser and Word document just fine. I write poetry and nonfiction and have printed out entire manuscripts with the intention of editing on paper rather than on my screen. And without a printer, that couldn’t happen.

I’ve had some pretty crappy printers in my time—I wear them out faster than computers, to be sure—but generally, as long as I keep the ink cartridges full and don’t run out of paper, I don’t have a problem. I’ve never worked with laser printing except professionally, so I don’t have the luxury of awesome (super fast) printing like that at home. But inkjet printing is just fine for something I’m going to seriously markup anyway.

Haha, I remember my first printer. It was a dot-matrix (something similar to what I had is shown above) that was, at the time, pretty up-and-coming in the computer market. It wasn’t the most cutting-edge thing, but it wasn’t like it was old, either. I remember sitting there watching the paper being fed into it when my dad printed something really long. It had only black ink ribbon cartridges (is that what they were even called back then?) and was super loud when it was printing.

I don’t think we have that printer anymore, and we’ve gone through quite a few since then, but it was a big deal at the time.

Rugs

For the past couple of days, I’ve been reading about living in Japan from an American who’s visiting there for two months a couple of weeks a while and it got me thinking. I generally considered my apartment in New York to be small because I grew up in Southern Cali and was used to single family homes, but it (the apartment) was not small by New York City standards. (It was about average.) Anyway, thinking about the space I’ve become accustomed to living in got me thinking about other things I’m used to.

Like interior decorations and floors. Seriously. I know that sounds somewhat not-all-there, but just bear with me a minute. When I was growing up in SoCal, both of the houses my family lived in (one after the other, not at the same time) had carpeting covering most of the floors. When I lived in New York, my floors were linoleum. And that was normal. I had no rugs or other covering except what was already there. I don’t think any of the apartments I looked at during my search for housing had anything but tile and/or linoleum. (Actually, that’s not true: one place I lived for a short time had carpeting in every room except the kitchen.) Thinking back on it now, I think that I could’ve benefited from some kind of rug or rug-equivalent. Like oriental rugs, for example.

Upon returning to live at my parents’ place in SoCal after losing my job in New York (yeah, it sucked big time), I discovered that they had ripped up the carpet from the stairs to the second floor. We have hardwood floors underneath most of our carpets, so the stairs themselves were fine. Or so I thought, until I fell down them one afternoon while I was carrying a bunch of stuff and not able to hold the handrail. Luckily, the stuff I was carrying wasn’t worth much and I didn’t break any bones (though for a minute or two, I thought I had), but I’m now the biggest advocate of rugs that I know of. That is, I need something that creates friction between my feet and the floor so that I don’t slip and fall every time I go down the stairs. Seriously, is it that hard?

Meeting your match—Online?

Online Dating isn’t for everyone, but it sure has upsides compared to traditional forms of dating. And by “traditional” I mean basically one of two ways to meet people: at the bar or in the pew. Seeing as I’m not really a bar-going or pew-sitting type of gal, online dating is a godsend when it comes to meeting others of like mind. Recently, I mentioned my friend who’s getting married in May to a young man she met through the church—and more power to her. But honestly, I don’t think that’s for me.

When I was living in New York, I dated a guy I met online for a while. We had a lot of fun; neither of us were much into drinking and he was much to much of a philosopher for church (or, in his case, synagogue), but we really connected in a lot of ways. We were able to skip over a lot of awkwardness that comes with getting to know someone because we’d had so much time to talk and get to know each other online before we ever met the first time. (Don’t get me wrong: there was still awkwardness, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been and it didn’t last as long as some awkward moments I’ve had with other people.)

It didn’t work out, ultimately, but we’re still friends and he’s got a great lady now (who he also met online!).

Black Dating

Honestly, I’ve never dated a black person. I’m not opposed to it, but I’ve almost never been in a situation with a person of color that presented itself as “I like you; you like me; maybe we can work something out” in regards to dating. I don’t know if that’s because I’ve never looked for that kind of situation or I just misread the signals or what, but I’ve never dated a black person.

Some part of me thinks it’s a culture thing, but I’ve never really sat down to think about what “black culture” is, either. Or what my culture is in comparison to other cultures, for that matter. If black dating is anything like the world of “white dating” (if there is such a thing), I know it’s gotta be tough… Because any kind of dating is tough. It’s like you’re interviewing for a job but worse because, if you’re rejected, it’s not just your resume that’s being rejected—it really is you.

I started thinking about it seriously, though, and I started to wonder: why is it “black dating” and not just “dating”? I think it’s because the default (at least in the U.S.) is white (cisgendered heterosexual male), so anything that’s not white has to be defined to make it clear. Interesting. Food for thought, I guess.

Dating while Christian

Tomorrow, I’m hosting a wedding shower for a childhood friend of mine. Actually, we haven’t spoken in a long time, but she’s getting married and it was my shower or nothing, so we’ve reconnected. It’s actually a lot more complicated than that, but the complications aren’t the point of this post.

She works for a group that advances the Christian faith on college campuses in the United States, so she pretty much wears her faith on her sleeve. Her upcoming wedding got me thinking: what’s it like, facing the dating world as a Christian? Are there any christian dating services that might help out a faithful believer? I was raised as a Protestant Christian, but I’ve pretty much abandoned its tenants, so I really am interested. I remember the saying, “A woman’s heart must be so lost in God that a man must seek Him to find her.” And, at the core of it, I think that’s true for Christians, though I think it should go both ways.

I hope to be able to talk to my friend more about this tomorrow. What do you think? Seriously, I want to start a discussion about this.