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Good Credit History

June 29th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in encompassed

When I first applied for a credit card (back when I was a little itty bitty 17 year old straight out of high school), I didn’t know what I was looking for. Credit cards actually scared me a little, since my dad told me how they can ruin a person’s credit history and then you can’t buy a home later on. So I took my time and began to compare credit cards, including those from my banks, from malls, from other banks, and even from companies that I am part of (like National Geographics). Now, almost 10 years later, I have to say with pride that I have an excellent credit rating and history, though not without the help of my parents. Some people aren’t so lucky, though, and they have to try and find 0% balance transfers in order to switch from one to another to make their payments a little easier to handle every month (like Dave!). Whatever the case is, being careful with credit cards is definitely the way to go. Having a good credit history goes a long way.

Leaf’s Party

June 29th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in visualization

So tomorrow is my old supervisor Leaf’s retirement party. I need to draw him the present I was going to do, but I am feeling lazy and I’m sure I will get it done (I always do, right?). Tomorrow will be a good day, despite the border line-up due to the 3-day weekend in Canada for Canada Day (their equivalent of Independence Day). Unfortunately, unlike lucky Dave, I have to work on Monday so I don’t get a 3-day weekend like the rest of my Canadian friends.

Anyhoo, to get back to tomorrow, I visualize seeing a lot of old friends from the school I used to intern at when I was working with Leaf. I can’t believe that was more than 2 years ago. Was it really that long since I was in my last year of graduate school? How bizarre. It will be good to see Leaf again, to catch up on old times, and I really do love giving gifts to people. It’s always so cool seeing their happy faces and their cool surprises when they open the presents.

Daydreaming About Dallas

June 29th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in headlines

I’ve always daydreamed about Dallas, and possibly visiting it someday. It would be a really neat experience because of its rich culture and heritage. I hear a lot goes on in Dallas, and while Texas itself is such a huge state, it’s interesting to see the different enclaves that exists in it. One of the things I enjoy doing when I visit someplace new is seeing the town centers, and visiting local shops and restaurants to see how the locals truly live. It is different between being a tourist and seeing the way the locals see it. It’s like apples and oranges, entirely. Because Dallas is such a huge city, it would be easy to get caught up in all the touristy things there, like visiting the big restaurants and the landmarks and whatnot. If I ever go there, I daydream about going to local markets, and cruising in rural neighborhoods to check out houses and apartments (not to say that I would live there, but I am always so curious how people live elsewhere). Hotels in Dallas are rather inexpensive also! Sidestep.com allows you to peruse through the different prices, and differentiate between amenities and specific searches you’re looking for when you want to visit a location, like Dallas. With the cheapest hotel being only $29, I can even save money to stay a little longer!

Friday Freedom

June 29th, 2007 | 1 Comment | Posted in gratitude

I never truly understood the meaning of Fridays when I was little because Fridays, at the time, meant dreading the weekend coming because my Mom would be home. It meant cleaning and being yelled at for not cleaning right. I looked forward to Mondays so much, and it was completely out of the norm from other children my age.

Now, having a safe, secure, loving home to come back to everyday from work, Fridays mean coming home to someone warm and loving. It means relaxing, it means being able to do what I want (and yes, sometimes I choose to clean on Fridays, like a bit today!). The key is that when we are adults, we get to do what we want, while balancing the responsibilities that rest on our shoulders that weren’t there before when we were children. I’m okay with this. Freedom of Fridays mean so much more than when they did when I was a child.

Nice New Windows

June 28th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in encompassed

There are a lot of “work” that I’d like to do with our house here. We’re planning to move into our own space within the next couple of years, but before we go, Dave and I have been talking about getting some things done to increase the value of this property so we can rent it out. One of those things includes window treatments. Our windows are so darn old and shabby looking — made in the early 70s, I believe. I’d like new vinyl treatment windows, like James Hardie siding products, to replace the ones we have now. Not only will it increase the value of the home, but it will also make it look nicer, and probably save a whole bunch more energy during the summers and winters (what with the heat staying INSIDE instead of seeping out, and leaving the cold OUTSIDE instead of seeping in). Nice windows go such a long way!

Easy Thursday

June 28th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in encompassed

Alrighty. So today is Thursday and it is proving to be a little more easy-going than Wednesday… not that Wednesday was bad. It was just really very busy and I only had 20 minutes to each lunch. Needless to say, by the time I got home around 9:30pm, I was tired, hungry, but more sleepy to do anything about anything. I crashed and ended up only reading a couple of pages off my book. I usually get at least a hundred pages read before bedtime, but last night I only managed about 20. Yoinks.

So Dave has been good. Can’t say how, but he’s been good. He deserves a treat. Maybe I’ll bring him some goodies home for dinner tonight. His favorite meal. He loves that stuff. Pad Thai. Any pad thai, really. Heh.

By the way, did I mention how truly excited I am that our wedding is less than a month away?!!

Working Class Heroes

June 28th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in being

Dave and I happened to turn on Much Music and the cover tune “Working Class Hero” by Green Day came on. Then I decided to put on John Lennon’s original of the song on. And now, we’ve been sifting through all our favorites of John Lennon, including “Imagine,” and “Woman,” and yes, even “Instant Karma” and “God.” What a profound person he was. My favorite song is “Working Class Hero,” but the others come as very close seconds. I can’t believe how early he died, and I can’t believe this was a whole generation before mine. How profound it is to make a believer in me, a person who didn’t even exist while he was still living. And here he is who affects me in the everyday lifestyle that I live.

“Working Class Hero” sends chills up and down my spine because that is the whole reason why I get up. I work with working class heroes everyday. The drugees and the non-drugees. The insane and the sane. The decrepit and the able. The people who walk and the people who sleep. They are all heroes, in one way or another. This is why I wake up… to walk with those who have been overlooked by everyone else. This is why I go to work… to listen to those who learned no one else was listening. This is why I keep going even when I’ve worked over time and am tired to the bone… to smile with those who forgot what smiles felt like. They work hard, to survive, to keep up, to be a “Smith” in this country we call free.

We walk around everyday, doing our thing, eating our lunches, talking our talk, walking our paths, same thing, everyday. We are told what to do, we are told we can be. We all have “lists” we need to follow by, and when we can’t or won’t, we’re outcasts and we’re invisible. When we don’t, we go onto another “list,” of criminals and the “need to be fixed” ones. Homelesses that parade the streets with people pretending they don’t exist. Sign holders on the side-walk begging for food, money, shelter, and just an ounce of dignity. For a dollar, give them dignity. It only costs a dollar. It’s only worth a dollar.

They too, are the working class heroes of America. They too, deserve to be smiled at, walked with, listened to. Sometimes I want to stop my car and stand by them, and help them hold the signs that say “Feed me, please.” And what makes me more sad is when I see the signs that say “Veteran in need of shelter.” We work for this country, and so many of us end back on the streets. And for what? For what, I say? To make our teachers happy, our president rich, our government strong. We pour the streets with our cars and our money and our pretty suits, and we pretend the others don’t exist.

The working class heroes. We’re all the same. I shouldn’t have to feel pity or pain or pretend to look away when I see a woman and her four children on the street corner. I shouldn’t feel shame for them. I shouldn’t feel guilty that I see them. I should feel proud because they are a part of me, a part of the product I work in, a part of the reality that we exist in. They are a working class hero, just as I am. They just do it differently.

Why are we all so blind and sorry and lost? Why do we all pretend like we don’t see? Why do we all do this to ourselves, to each other? I don’t understand. Sometimes I just don’t understand what the world has become. Sometimes I don’t understand… until I come into yet another home, hear yet another story, entirely different from the last, and then I feel the overwhelming need to help. One family at a time, one child at a time, one mother at a time.

Today, I finally saw a mother who has been resisting to see me because she has been judged so many times in the past by “workers” that she didn’t think I would be any different. I made a random home visit and she happened to be there, and she didn’t want to invite me in. She didn’t want to talk. I smiled and I said, “You are discouraged. I would be too.” She finally looked at me, and opened her door. I walked in. We ended up talking for 45 minutes when she had told me at first that she was very busy and didn’t have any time to spare.

Why don’t we take the time? Why don’t we just take some time, to stop judging? To stop pointing, to stop demanding? Why don’t we take the time to just stop, breathe, and walk instead of run?

I want to make a difference. It’s not enough just living day to day, to prove my teachers wrong, to pay my bills and to wear pretty things. I want to make a difference. It’s not enough for me to wake up and go through the motions, to eat the bagel and cream cheese at breakfast, to have noodles for lunch. It’s not enough to just hear.

I want to listen. I want to help. I want to reach out. I want to open my arms. I want to hug, and scream, and smile, and laugh, and jump, and run, and walk. I want to passionately be with every person I meet. I want to live in the shoes they live in. I want to feel the feelings they feel. I want to know what their pain is like so I can help them take it away. I want to swim with them.

We are all heroes. Look to our left, look to our right. We are all working class heroes. Each and every one of us. We are it.