3x Thursday

  1. Do you have health insurance? If so, what’s it thru (job, spouse, etc)? Is it decent? If not, do you have a real need for it? I have pretty decent health insurance. I would say it’s “great,” but it was a lot better when I started working here 6 years ago (lower co-pays, more coverage, etc). It’s through my work, and we’re union (a pretty large one at that). We transferred ERIC over to be on my policy because what he had through work wasn’t good (which is about what you can expect from a very small company.
  2. Do you have a job right now? If you do, lucky you! If not, how long have you been out of work, and what are you looking to do? How do you feel about the economy and finding a job sooner than later? Yes, I do. Thankfully, my job is pretty safe, or at least the idea of remaining employed. I’m pretty low on the totem pole as far as seniority goes, so if the positions of people above me get eliminated (the state does have a pretty big budget deficit right now, which generally means cutting positions as well as other things), someone can “bump” me from my job. Thankfully, I can then “bump” someone in a lower class, which means I’d be making less pay and would probably be working in a different office (you can bump anyone a certain distance from your current position – 30 miles maybe?), but I’d still be employed.
  3. What’s your housing situation in this current ‘crap for an economy’? Have you lost your house, or have you been able to keep a roof over your head and not get into economic trouble? Our housing situation is fabulous, all things considered. True, we want to sell it, and that has been very difficult, but on the bright side we’re totally able to make the payments because our interest rate is low and our payments are too, and we’re able to save on the side (which is something we won’t be able to do as much of when we buy a larger house). I do know of people who’ve lost their homes, which is really sad. Thankfully, I think both of my parents own their homes outright, so there’s no need to worry about their situations (both are employed, but you never know).

3x Thursday

  1. Do you have a calendar on your wall? What’s it of? Do you like it? Why/why not? If you don’t have a calendar on your wall, what do you do when you need to look at the days and months ahead? At work, I have several calendars on the wall (OK, two, but last year it was three), and I rely on them constantly for work-related tasks. At home, we have no calendars, but I generally know what the date is and what my upcoming schedule is. If we need to plan ahead, we can look at my planner, or jointly look at our calendars through Google.
  2. Do you wear a watch? Why/why not? If you don’t wear one, how do you keep track of your time, appointments, when to eat, go to bed, etc? No. I tend to lose a lot of watches. The one functioning one I have right now was my Aunt Shirley’s, which I had fixed, but rarely wear. It is a bracelet-type, which often interferes with typing at work. Plus, I find I just don’t need one. My cell phone is almost always with me, or there are clocks (especially computers) around that tell the time.
  3. How do you keep track of appointments (of all kinds) in your life? I have a physical planner and use Google calendar, and keep them synced. It’s a bit tedious to keep a duplicate system, but it works well for me. The main thing I have to manage is homework, and in my physical planner I have each assignment written on a Post-It (color-coded by course) that is stuck on the day I am supposed to do the work. When I complete the assignment, I write it onto the planner itself on the date/time that it was actually completed. This gives me flexibility to do assignments early or postpone if necessary. (This is why, by the way, it was nearly impossible for me to find a weekly planner that I liked, because I wanted it to be in a vertical format and each day’s column needed to be wide enough to fit the small Post-Its. Plus, my handwriting is rather large, so I didn’t want the tiny little lines for each hour, and I wanted the hours to be longer than 8-5, which wouldn’t help me out at all. The one I have goes 8-8, which is better, though in a perfect world it’d be 8-10.) In Google Calendar, each assignment is posted as an “all-day” event, which is then moved to the right date/time when completed, matching my physical calendar. For non-homework events, I just write them into the calendar. It sounds like a troublesome system, but after almost three years of schooling, it serves me well and I’ve got it down to a science. The Google Calendar aspect also allows me (supposedly) to calculate how much time I’ve spent on homework for a given class.

3x Thursday

  1. Do you watch TV? If so, what kinds of things do you watch? If not, why not? Yes, I adore TV. Not all TV – I am discerning, but as a general rule, I’m fond of TV. For the last few years I’ve been into crime drams (Law & Order, SVU, CSI, CSI: Miami, Cold Case, Without a Trace, Monk). I also like a good (or quasi-good) sci-fi show, but there aren’t really any on TV right now (there are some on cable, but I have to wait for the season to come out on DVD since we got rid of cable – The 4400 and something else that I can’t remember and seems to have gone off the air now). I also like House, the new Knight Rider (yes, I know it’s terrible, but it’s wonderfully entertaining), 30Rock, and Friends reruns. There are some shows on PBS that I enjoy as well, like America’s Test Kitchen and New Yankee Workshop.
  2. If you watch TV, what are your favorite types of programs? Which ones do you watch? If you don’t watch TV, what do you do instead? Didn’t I just answer this? Instead, let me tell you what I don’t like. Game shows (only in a limited quantity can I handle them – Jeopardy is pretty fun though), reality television, American Idol and all other shows of its type, almost everything on FX, most daytime television, and anything that’s too tense.
  3. Can you imagine a world without TV? What do you think it would be like? Do you think it would be a better place to be? I gave up TV for lent about 5 years ago (was it really that long ago that and I lived together?) and it was OK. I didn’t die or anything. The world is a lot quieter without TV, and I prefer there to be background noise in my life, so I think I listened to a lot more music then. I think I’d be on the internet a lot more if there wasn’t TV, along with the rest of America, because it is one way that we stay informed, even if only in a very small sense, of what’s going on in the world.

3x Thursday

List the 3 most important things in your life, and why they are important to you.

My family, because they remind me of who I was, help me to be who I am, and encourage me to be who I am striving to be. That may be ridiculously optimistic, but at the end of the day, I’m grateful for my family, each member, in their diversity and the strength they give me.

The option to have a creative outlet, because life can’t be all work and no play. I really like being productive, but homework isn’t always fun. So when I need to relax, I can sit on the couch and embroider or knit while watching TV, and get the best of both worlds. Creative outlets also give me a chance to use a different part of my brain than other activities I engage in.

Change. Knowing that my life isn’t always going to be exactly as it is now is really… hopeful and important to my well-being. It’s not that I’m unhappy with my life as it is, but that there are aspects that I wish were different, many of which I’m actively working to change (like my job). The idea that the future will be different, even if it’s not different in the way I have planned, is awesome, because it means unlimited possibilities. I love that I live in a day and age when there are so many options available to me.

3x Thursday

  1. Do you live near your immediate (like, your mom & dad, siblings, grandparents, etc) family? How close/far away are you? Yes and no. It depends what you consider “immediate family,” and gets especially tricky if you consider Prince Charming and me the immediate family. But whatever. Mom and Alison live here (the latter with my brother-in-law and adorable nephew). Dad lives back home in Chicago with his wife and my grandparents. Mom’s mom lives in Florida. My aunts and uncles live in Illinois and Michigan. Prince Charming’s dad lives nearby, as does his brother, and his mom and her husband. And his mom’s mom. And some random aunts and uncles and cousins.
  2. If you don’t live near your immediate family, how often do you get a chance to see them? If you do live near, how often do you see them? I don’t get to see Dad very often anymore, because the Twin Cities hold more appeal for holiday get-togethers than Illinois does (all of Prince Charming’s family, my adorable nephew, etc). In the next six months, however, I’m guessing I’ll see him more than usual (hopefully going home for Christmas, and probably for my aunt’s funeral – we’ve been told “months”). I see Mom and Alison fairly often, but different times of the year are more difficult, like right now (Alison is a school teacher and the beginning of the school year is crazy busy for her and her husband). We see Prince Charming’s dad the most, probably.
  3. Do you like having your family close/far away? Why/why not? Yes, I do. It’s why I moved to Minnesota, after all (to be near Alison). I’m glad Mom moved here (after all the initial panic and fear that struck my heart). I wish Dad would too, but he really doesn’t like the cold weather and talks about retiring in North Carolina or Florida (arguably not the best plan, because they are places where Candy has family and exactly how long will she continue to live with cancer? My guess would be “not into retirement.” But what do I know? You think he’d stay in the Chicago area to be near his parents and sister, though by the time Dad retires they’ll all probably be dead too. Man, that’s depressing. Let me rephrase: considering he will probably have no one else, you think he’d want to move to Minnesota to spend his retirement years spoiling his grandson.).

3x Thursday

  1. In general, are your friends your age, or are they older/younger? If they’re not your age, why go with the younger/older crowd? My Minnesota friends are all younger than me. My college friends are exactly the same age as me. My one friend who doesn’t fit in that category is Betsy, and she’s a year older than me. It just kinda happened that way. Betsy is a kindred spirit, so age has been irrelevant. The people I met in Minnesota just happened to be younger than me, and in college we were a small enough school that we knew everyone, but a regimented enough major that you really kinda stuck to the people in your class. Plus, by senior year, most everyone was working off-campus and engaged/married, so that made it difficult to forge additional relationships. Oh, and I was a student mentor, so some of the kids in the two classes below me had been in my mentor group. And, all the guys were eternally interested (the single ones, that is) in the current freshman class, and the rest of us were kinda chopped liver.
  2. Do you believe that age makes a difference in certain situations? Why/why not? Sometimes it does, but “relative” age difference. Like some people have had enough experiences or the right kind of experiences so that they’re older than their age. Or, the inverse, haven’t had any life experiences at all, and are still 12 years old. I think it’s this… experience of the world that makes a difference in relating to each other, not so much the year we were born in.
  3. What about in relationships? Does age matter? Why? [Assuming we’re speaking on dating relationships specifically.] Yes and no. I think relationships with huge age differences are a lot more work, because you don’t have a collective generational memory or as many shared experiences, and may have to spend more time explaining yourself or what you mean. But, those things can be overcome if you work at it. Usually, small age differences (a couple of years) don’t really matter, unless the relative age difference is larger.

Bonus Question for Comments: Do you think that how you resolve conflict changes with age? Why/why not? I think how you resolve conflict changes with experience, which is generally acquired through time, which means one ages, so… yes. I know that I am not so good at dealing with conflict, mostly because I rarely experienced it growing up. So most of my life has been spent avoiding conflict, or minimizing it, or pretending it doesn’t exist. As I’ve grown and had experiences and (hopefully) matured past my childhood home, I’ve come to realize that perhaps that is not the healthiest way to deal with conflict. And so I’m slowly changing my ways. (Emphasis on slowly.) And I can only hope that, as I age, I will continue to get better at it. I also hope that I won’t, at some point, stagnate and get stuck in my ways, which is the way that older people get stuck in their ways. And while I understand why that happens and how comfortable it is, it isn’t necessarily healthy.

3x Thursday

  1. While living your day-to-day life, what are 3 things you look forward to throughout the week? At least one night per week sitting at home in front of the TV (even if I’m simultaneously knitting and/or doing homework); that moment when all of my laundry is clean; finding time to work on projects.
  2. Thinking into the future, what are 3 things you look forward to achieving? Grad school; living in a house where at least one of the rooms wasn’t “in progress”; working full-time in the [new] career of my choosing and enjoying it.
  3. Do you look forward to weekends? Why? Absolutely. First of all, I really do detest my job most of the time, and I think that speaks for itself. But mostly, it’s the only time I get to spend with Prince Charming. Also, I get to sleep in, and sometimes do social things. And for about half of the year, it means that I get to actually see the sun while it’s up, instead of being cooped up inside my work building with the tinted windows.

Bonus Question for Comments: Got anything special coming up that you’re looking forward to? What is it? Let’s see, there are a few things in the upcoming months to look forward to…. my cousin’s wedding next month, which means going home and seeing family and friends, some of whom I haven’t seen for years (since Mom’s family continually schedules the Christmas get-together at a time that I can’t attend). Amanda just announced the Boo Ball, so there’s a chance to dress up for Halloween. My first nephew/niece will be born in December (or maybe the end of November). How’s that for starters?

3x Thursday

  1. Name 3 projects you’d like to accomplish (they could be anything). At the moment, find new roommate, move into Melissa’s room, and… get this website done that I’m working on for work.
  2. If you could plan a lengthy trip/vacation, where would you go and what would you do? Amanda reminded me Tuesday night about the Apostle Islands, where I’d love to go camping this summer. I think it’d be cool to go to the Bay of Fundy, but it’s in Canada and that’s kinda far away. And there’s always Paris with Mom. And, really, anywhere I haven’t been before.
  3. If you could start (and keep up) 3 hobbies, what would they be? Why? 3 new hobbies? Why in the world? OK, if I have to… crocheting (because, according to Mom, every knitter needs to know how to crochet a little bit), hammock-sitting, and… underwater basket weaving. Seriously. I don’t need new hobbies. I’m quite happy with the ones I have (and can’t seem to find the time to complete the projects I’ve got started as it is).

3x Thursday: Randomness

  1. “I hate it when ________________. ” Why? (following the reading of the Pioneer Press’s article on avocados…) I buy an avocado at the co-op but don’t use it that day and then when I do go to make a delicious treat out of it, I cut it open and it’s all icky inside. So sad.
  2. What makes you feel violated? Why? People, especially co-workers, encroaching on my personal space. I feel like they should know they’re in my space and are just being rude, but they probably have no idea – lack of social IQ. Still, bugs the crap outta me.
  3. Do you ever have reoccurring dreams? Can you remember any of them? Do tell! As a kid, I had a few reoccurring dreams, but none these days. I have had a very active dream life the last few months, but they’ve all been pretty easy to understand how my subconscious got to that point.

3x Thursday

  1. Is money important to you? Why/why not? Define important. Like, I need it so I can pay rent and buy groceries and nail polish. But I clearly don’t care about it all that much (or else perhaps I’d keep some of it around) – if I did, my career goal(s) would have been verrrrrry different (ministry isn’t exactly the place to make piles of cash, as evidenced by first real paying job in ministry, where for working 18 hours a day 6 days a week I earned a whopping $75 a week).
  2. Dollar amounts aren’t necessary, but would you say you make a lot of money? We could always use more, but do you need a lot more, or just a little? It’s all relative. For doing what’s basically clerical work, I definitely make more than I would temping, and more than I would at any other entry-level clerical position. And I make roughly the same as my friends. As far as needing more… I really don’t *need* more so much as just need to learn to spend what I’ve got better. Silly Kelly.
  3. Do you have a retirement plan? As a State employee, we’ve got a nice setup. If I make what I do now until I retire at 67 (or 112 like the rest of my generation because there really won’t be Social Security and none of us are really planning for retirement), I’ll get a whopping $700 a month. Considering it’ll be… 2045, with the current rate of inflation I’ll be broke within a month. Of course, if I make exactly what I do now when I’m 67, I think there’ll be other reasons to cry as well.

Because

I’ve been sorely disappointed with all the memes I’ve looked at this week, I’m answering this one even though I wouldn’t normally. So there. (This should make the phrases that search engines catch and send people to my site interesting….)

3X Thursday – Sex, Sex, Sex!

  1. We all know what society thinks about sex, but what do you think? Is it/should it be a taboo subject? Why/Why not? I don’t think it should be a taboo subject, but I do think that discussions about it have a time and place (not, for instance at Christmas Eve dinner with Grandma nearby). There are certain people I would discuss it with and not others. But at the same time, (in my previous incarnation) if a youth group kid ever asked, I wouldn’t hesitate to answer their questions (not to say this doesn’t involve a lot of thought, to get the kids the answers they need and not upset parents – it’s a delicate dance). My comfort level with that particular type of conversation about sex comes from the semester I spent talking about it twice a week in the required course, “Human Sexuality.” Furthermore, though it barely needs to be said because I’m sure you all know this, I believe that sex is a beautiful thing and is meant to be experienced within the sanctity of marriage.
  2. What do you think about sex on TV/in the movies/in songs? Too much? Too little? Should it be there at all? Why/why not? I definitely think too much. Music videos (except the country station) are scary, really. And I think that in movies and TV it’s just become commonplace and expected, so when a couple gets together, if they don’t within… an episode or so, clearly something is wrong. It’s my experience that life isn’t like that. Sure, there are people who meet people at bars and take them home that night, or who just don’t consider it that big of a deal, and I’ve even known some people who have made foolish choices involving alcohol and sex. I know that this is the exception, but most of my friends waited until marriage (or are waiting, but most of them are married now) – I can think of very few people who didn’t (or aren’t).
  3. Do you think sex should be openly discussed (regardless of context), or should it remain in the bedroom? No, I think context is everything. Again, back to Grandma at Christmas Eve dinner. Or your friend’s three-year-old. And there’s some people who just talk so… disrespectfully and crudely that regardless of whether it was an adults-only conversation where it could otherwise have seemed appropriate, I just don’t want to hear them talk. Context is very important.

Bonus Question for Comments: Does it make you uncomfortable to talk about sex? Why/why not? That depends if I’m talking about it in general (which in the right context I’m pretty comfortable doing) or I’m talking about personally (which is terribly uncomfortable and would result in blushing the color of a tomato down to my elbows). Certain people already know that though, and I’m sure it’s amusing. I must add that, while it may feel uncomfortable, it’s often important enough to just “get over yourself.”

This now end’s my discussion on sex for the day. Whew! Let’s go get that flu shot and some coffee!