Good morning everyone and happy Saturday once again! For me, it’s a very happy one, because our son is home visiting. He turned 21 earlier this week, so immediately after I picked him up from the train, we paid a visit to the DMV to get his driver’s license renewed. After that, we went back home, got caught up on stuff, ordered Chinese for dinner and then presented him with the cake I made. Oh and he loved it, too: Devil’s food cake in three layers, with Oreo cookies, chocolate frosting and chocolate pudding in between, plus covered in chocolate frosting and surrounded by maraschino cherries. What’s funny is he not only loved the cake itself, but Ryan said the cake is iconic. Neither Ron or I understood that, so he said it was a video game reference, which of course I had to dig up. So it seems a mother’s love had just unintentionally proved the cake is not a lie, and here I was thinking I was just creating a decadent dessert. Silly me.
One thing’s for sure, I’m just grateful we once again avoided any serious bad weather. Sure, we got a few inches of snow Thursday night, but it’s nothing like what everyone else is getting socked with. I’m just hoping folks in New England and the East Coast were prepared, especially after Sandy just a few months ago. I could crack a Finding Nemo joke, or even one revolving around the mannerisms out that way, or perhaps I could even throw in a Stephen King reference, but uhhh… I’ll just hold off on that until I know everyone’s okay! Please send a report on how you all are doing.
As I was doing my showings yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice the postal workers sliding around on on the sidewalks, since unfortunately, there are so many folks out here who don’t shovel their sidewalks, much less lay out salt or chip away at the ice. (And come this summer, they’ll have one less day to deal with the weather.) Oh sure, they’ll call dibs on parking spots they didn’t even shovel, but they’ll be damned if they’re actually going to do anything that helps their community. In case you can’t tell, I’m not a fan of dibs, because unless there really was a blizzard and there’s really no place for the snow to go and it’s only a temporary thing, I think it’s kind of selfish. And yes, this is coming from someone who was brought up around the notion. My dad – ooh, if you parked in his spot, never mind the fact he didn’t actually shovel it out or that it’s a public street in the first place – if you picked up his broken furniture and parked your car there, well by gawd, you were going to keep that spot. He would come out with a bucket of ice water and pour it on your locks. Nice, huh?
It’s like I’ve said before, I was raised in a Me and Mine mentality and all others be damned. We were a very insular lot with no real care for the outside world or even a connection to folks outside our small circle. I readily admit I still don’t know who my neighbors are, mostly because people move so much around here. But, I at least know some of the stationary folks like the Chris Rock look-alike mailman (Jesse), the UPS guy who’s a short-haired Antonio Banderas (Alex) and the Psychobilly grocery store cashier (Eric). It’s kind of odd how I grew up if you think about it, not even talking to anyone else, much less getting to know them, especially in this day and age where everyone is connected to everyone else. Me, I’ve upgraded that notion I was raised in to Me and Mine First, because while I do believe in helping others and being a better person, I’ll do so if I have my own shit together first. It’s like how they say on the plane to secure your own mask before putting it on the kids. Or even, how you shouldn’t offer to help someone clean their house when your own place looks like an episode of Hoarders.
But even in those examples, I do believe there is always a little bit of help that can be extended, because well, I categorize my shit. (Ha!) We’re not millionaires by any stretch, so what I can’t give in the way of money I can in explanation by way of example, labor and time. And true, my time is very limited these days, since well, time is indeed money for someone who works on straight commission, but I would like to think whatever free time I have, after I’ve made sure my family has gotten some, I help out. There’s always a few dead minutes between showings; I make sure of that so I’m never late. So if I see a beer bottle on the street (or a nail!), I’ll pick it up so someone doesn’t roll over it and get a flat tire. I say hello with a smile to complete strangers as I walk past them (trust me – this is a big deal in the city!). And yes, I do make sure my voice is heard when it comes to politics, because it all circles back to the benefit of us all.
I foresee this whole gay issue, the women in combat issue, the various minority religions issues, and so many others, slowly going the way of the Dodo. It’s not just about building Karma points, it’s not just about doing the right thing, and it’s not just a cluster of personal issues, but it’s a combined mass of good societal issues which betters us all. I came across a political cartoon the other day that sums things up well:
It’s like I’ve always said: Hatin’ has no business in business because it’s bad for business. And business doesn’t always mean dollars and cents, but sense.
- Two guys want to hold hands at the commissary? Okay, whatever. They’re still shopping there, right?
- A woman wants to try out for Infantry. Okay, whatever. If she graduates, maybe she’ll end up saving a life or three.
Catch my drift?
Here in Illinois, we passed another hurdle toward marriage equality, and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is setting up benefit extensions for partners. Unfortunately, hands are tied on equality due to DOMA, but I’m really praying that gets repealed come this summer. Even the Boy Scouts are rethinking their stance, though methinks it has less to do with doing the right thing over doing what’s right for the coffers – and so far only on a limited basis. Now some people ask me why I even care about this stuff since I’m not gay. I mean, I get that to a point. Why do I care? It’s not my thing. So if I have to go beyond stating I believe equality for some means equality for all, including Pagans being more openly accepted, well, I go back to my Me and Mine First stance and state I genuinely wish my deceased uncle was able to see this come to fruition. Fair enough? Also, yes, equal rights are good for business, which yes, that circles back to the betterment of all involved.
Just yesterday, one of the folks I rented to a few months back emailed me and the landlord a lease update request, as she had become recently engaged and her partner wants to be added to the lease. The landlord, who’s an oldschool Eastern European, caught the partner lingo, and he didn’t even bat an eye. Not too long ago, even stating something like that could raise red flags, and by certain people, it still does. A safer route would have been to say “roommate”, so I admire her for being open. Like he said, “that’s their thing”, which has nothing to do with housing. So far, the rent’s been paid on time, the unit’s been kept clean (one of his higher end units by the way which of course I’m keeping in mind!), and the current tenant is quiet. So to him, all he sees is even a further guarantee on his rent by adding a second person, which is good business sense. Done and done. Yeah, I like that landlord; he’s definitely an okay guy, and I totally dig his accent. Oh and where it’s equally important, even his cheaper, standard apartments are kept up very well. It’s little wonder why I have no problem renting them out quickly.
Welp, I’m going to wrap things up for this week, get in a shower and watch Ryan sleep. He may be a full-fledged adult now, but to me, he will still always be the little boy who picked dandelions for me.
Take care everyone, and blessings to you and yours!