Sunday, March 30, 2008

RANT: Right to Life

Every day I spend at least a couple of minutes imagining myself torn apart by arrows, crashed against the stones by fierce winds or a crashing wave, or facing death in honorable combat. In making my death a constant part of my life, I master it and it holds no power over me. In thinking about death daily, I appreciate life and its' wonders that much more. Big problems become smaller and complexities simpler. All I really have to do is live and die, then journey from one end to another is just details.

Morbid? Probably, but it keeps me sane. It's also given me a unique perspective on death and loss. I've lost a lot of people close to me in the past few years, and while not all of them have died, some of them probably wish I would. Others don't wish for anything anymore - because they're dead. They don't get to make the journey anymore because they've done the final thing that they truly had to do. I don't know what happens to them, but I have a feeling that it's mostly good, stress free, and pretty peaceful.

Sure, I mourn them in my own peculiar way, but that's how I cope. I miss them when I think of them, but I also wish them the best. My favorites are the ones who chose how they went gently into that good night, but I still mourn the ones that, tragically, had their lives ended early. I'm sure that when the time comes and I want to die, it will be in a manner of my choosing, and I hope that folks will respect my wishes.

Think about this stuff the next time you're presented with options to keep someone lingering on, or to stop a life before it really has a chance to get started. Honor the wishes of the living, and respect the memories you have of the dead.

Monday, March 17, 2008

RANT: Corporate Raiding

See that logo on the left there? Yeah. I've played the pen-and-paper version of that game before. I don't really mention the fact that I'm a gamer on this blog a lot, but I am. I only mention it now because lately I've been thinking a lot about one of my favorite sessions.

Our contact met us in your run-of-the mill dive bar and set out to contract us to kidnap a scientist from a corporate research facility. The money was right, so we took the job, completed the extraction, and got screwed in the process. Turns out our contact was working for the scientist, who had to fake the kidnapping because he wanted to change jobs. He worked for a company that kept you for life - and the only retirement option was a lead injection to the base of the skull with a high-caliber hypodermic.

It got me thinking about the lengths people go to when they want to avoid hurt feelings with their employer. They think of their company as an entity unto itself, something that hopes and dreams, lives and dies, and loves and hates. Since corporations are made up of people, that's sometimes true. Since corporations flow with the blood of money earned by the labors of those people, it's also not true.

Think about it for a minute. If you were costing your company money and not generating any results, would they keep you? Would they really worry about how you felt or how to protect those feelings? If their bottom line was in jeopardy, would they keep you out of fear of inconveniencing you or causing grief?

If the answer is yes, you should start looking for a new job, because your company isn't long for this world. For the rest of us, the answer is no. Knowing that, you take the offer that's best for your bottom line (whether that's happiness, job satisfaction, or monetary gain). Sure, some people will miss you, and some of your co-workers will be put out because they have to make up for the slack your absence generates, but if your company really wanted to keep you, wouldn't they make a better offer?

So, if you're thinking of moving on, solicit some offers, make your intentions known, and give everyone a chance to do right by you. Get it all in writing to cover your bum, and make the best decision for you. Look out for yourself, and trust everyone to do just the same for themselves. That way, whether you walk or stay, you'll be able to do it with a clean conscience.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

RAVE: Sex

Not really a whole lot to say about it, aside from the fact that it's really really really really good. I've rarely had bad sex, and even that was still pretty good. Still, I feel like I owe you loyal readers something for the really dry month of February. I know this isn't much, but I'm thinking about ya (and sex, 'cause I'm male).

So go out there and have some. I'm going to.

Monday, March 10, 2008

RANT: Strays

I read a story awhile back about a father that couldn't handle his newborn son's crying anymore. He snapped. An hour later, his wife was dead and his son was left in a dumpster behind the neighborhood McDonalds. I'd link to it, but I can't remember where I read it.

It riled me.

Last week, someone dumped a perfectly domesticated American Shorthair outside the building where I work. When I say perfectly domesticated, I mean perfectly. We got her home, gave her some food, and she immediately went and found the litter box and did her business. We didn't even show her where it was. She lives with me and my roommate now, her name is Holly now, and she's sprawled out on my bed right now - button cute in that awkward not-a-kitten stage of her life. She's like that tall girl in fifth grade that everyone made fun of, but wanted to date once eighth grade came around.

How she came to live with us riled me.

Humans have a social compact with the defenseless. Children and companion animals depend on us to take care of them and fulfill our end of the bargain. We're allowed to get mad, get frustrated, and even to want to give up on them, but we still have to keep up our end. We have a duty to honor the obligations we accept for ourselves, and it pisses me off when I see folks that don't. I know it's old-fashioned, but I think it's been pretty well established that I live by an old code.

I need everyone who reads this to think before they take on responsibilities. Remember that kittens become cats, puppies grow into dogs, lizards need crickets pretty much daily, and, most importantly, babies aren't always going to be a walk in the park. If you take it or make it, be sure to keep up your end of the bargain - or at least have the balls to seek out someone who can.