Thoughts from a tree

Randomness

We are almost fully moved in now, with one more trip to storage remaining – this week will be a big push as we have to unload the trailer we filled up yesterday and then be ready to go again by the weekend. Halloween completely crept up on me and I didn’t realize it would be the same weekend until recently, not that we have any plans for it, since we don’t. This year we are actually in a place that might have trick-or-treaters, if people do that anymore; it seems like more and more families go for mall excursions and things like that instead of the traditional house-to-house. Some of my best memories are from traipsing around the neighborhood in the dark of Halloween (sans parents) – it is also how I met some of the nearby kids who later became good friends. I remember one year in particular when a tropical storm came through in the midst of it; we tried to outrun it and failed and I fell down a ditch in the dark and was mostly upset about the candy I lost; exciting times! I must have been a lot less shy as a kid too, for we seemed to end up talking with our adult neighbors quite a lot. One time a guy felt bad about not having candy and showed us his model trains to make up for it. Nowadays, people would freak out over that, since everyone is always at suspect for abducting or molesting children. Paranoia and over-sheltering are of course the reasons why fewer kids are allowed to trick-or-treat in the traditional way anymore, or if they do, the parents come with them. A lot of kids aren’t even allowed to walk to or wait for the school bus anymore. I don’t know if this behavior is as common in FL as it was in VA, but we could see lines of cars near school bus stops on the way to and from work, as parents watched and waited to make sure their kid(s) got on or off the bus safely. Children are constantly told to stay away from strangers, but, ironically, strangers are not usually the problem: 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members (http://www.childhelp.org/pages/statistics#gen-stats). Also, the likelihood of a child being the victim of a stereotypical kidnapping is about 1 in 347,000 (http://www.suite101.com/content/statistics-on-child-abduction-a147599), whereas the probability of a female child being sexually abused is about 1 in 5 (male children are 1 in 10) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sexual_abuse). Personally, I think the media is mainly responsible for inflating the fears of parents so much about kidnapping, and I think its sad and unhealthy in the long run. Constant supervision makes it more difficult for children to grow mentally and socially, to learn to be independent, mature, and capable of handling problems on their own.

Sorry for that long tangent. In other news, I just got and watched season 2/final of Dollhouse – It was awesome! I highly recommend it; it even has Summer Glau! If you haven’t seen season 1 (including the 13th unaired episode), get that first of course. We finally got around to setting up our TV just so that we could watch it; it’s that good! Since we setup our TV and PS3 (I got it on bluray), we went ahead and setup the other consoles and patched everything as well. I’m really excited about Rock Band 3 coming out, but I don’t know if I’ll have much time to play it before December, particularly with Nanowrimo likely taking up most of November.

Speaking of Nanowrimo, I think I’ve decided which story idea I want to pursue for it and I’ve written down a few loose notes for the plot and general ideas. I work really well under deadlines, so I’m hoping the goals and pressure of Nanowrimo will be a good starting point for me to get back to writing seriously. I’ll probably try to do daily updates on here once it starts, with the daily wordcount if nothing else.

On the income front, my unemployment funds end in January. We should be able to scrape by without them, but it will be tight, unless I start making money with my tie-dye. I have listed several things (anevergreen.etsy.com), but I should list a lot more and maybe start going to flea markets and craft fairs. On the plus side, we might actually be able to sell our house in VA, which would be such a huge stress and monetary relief! Apparently its been getting a fair amount of interest since we switched realtors, particularly for purchase rather than renting (previous realtor wouldn’t even list it for sale – grrr)

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