Aug 10, 2011

To the End, To the End, I'll Journey to the End.

Greetings all.
This is going to be the last Ask A Punk post for the forseeable future. Blogger spellcheck is telling me that "forseeable" isn't a word ...but then again, it is also telling me that "spellcheck" isn't a word.

I started AAP in January of 2008. Now, over three and a half years, 182 posts and nearly a quarter million words later, it is time to refl
ect and reconsider. The good news is that I have the opportunity to turn 'Ask A Punk' into an Ebook. The bad news is that the few hours in the week I had to dedicate to this website will now have to be spent working on the Ebook and so, well, something has to give.

I won't be taking the site down or anything, so if you're a new visitor and just stumbling upon this post I'll say - hello & welcome, please look around and read as deep as you like. I'm proud of what I did here, every Wednesday for 182 weeks (not one missed deadline!) and I hope I helped, or at the very least entertained some people.

I appreciate the loyal weekly visits of all of my
regular readers (numbering in the 100s.) I knew you were out there, my 'Google Analytics' reports told me so. So a special thank-you to you folks in Minneapolis, Austin, Lynnfield, Portland, Seattle, Dublin, Sydney, Varanasi, Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, London, Manchester, Leeds, Ulster, Perth ... well, I can't name them all, but all told, thousands visitors and 100s of regular readers from 98 countries/territories including all 50 US states. I appreciate every moment you spent on the site.

Maybe to some web-savvy folks, a few hundred readers doesn't sound like much but to me it is. I never advertised, promoted or otherwise 'pushed' this website. Maybe I should have, but I didn't. So everyone who read my posts week after week did so after discovering it for themselves and then deciding to stick around. That's pretty cool.

Thanks for all your questions and supportive emails and comments. Thanks also for the flames, they made some of my weeks a bit more interesting.

Egods. I'm getting maudlin. It isn't really a big deal. Just another blogger needing a break after nearly 4 years of weekly deadlines (for no money.) As I said, I'm leaving the site up and will still be regularly checking for messages at the email address. I reserve the right to come back and start answering questions at any point in time. you've been warned. ... and lord knows, when/if I get the Ebook compiled, edited down, formatted and out into the world, I'll spend some quality web time flogging the heck out of it.

That's it for now. Stay punk. Stay alive. ...and remember to pull your brothers and sisters out of the pit when they need help.

Aug 3, 2011

Summertime and the living is sleazy.

Dear aap- I thought I would be spending a cool summer at a local resort area. I landed a job at a restaurant, in the kitchen because I'm not a cute/waitress kind of chick. I moved into a Summer rental with some friends who are doing the same thing and thought it would be a Summer of working hard and partying hard, both of which I find equally fun, which I guess makes me a bit weird to my friends. The problem is that it is turning out to be no fun at all. I'm ok with working almost 70 hours a week, I need the $$ and no one would ever describe me as lazy... but I think if I could have found a job like this closer to home, I would have been better off just taking that because the 'fun' part isn't fun at all. My friends-turned-roommates are more annoying and spoiled than I even thought was possible. They live like four-year-olds who I guess expect the house to magically clean itself after every party, and well, you get the idea. I want to party as much as the next girl, but I don't want to be the only one cleaning up the mess the next afternoon. When i have a rare day off I want to actually enjoy the beach and the town myself, I don't want to spend it cleaning up our crappy rental place. What can I do to turn this Summer around before it is too late? - Seaside

Dear S-
There are a few things it is too late to do: such as be a better judge of potential roommates. I know that saying that doesn't help your situation, but it is always eye-opening when we're forced to live with people we've always considered 'friends' and then we suddenly see a whole new (and unappealing) side of their personalities. This isn't news, I know. It is just interesting.

As far as your situation goes, you first have to go through a couple of obvious steps. The first step is to TELL your friends what is on your mind. You describe them as basically clueless/thoughtless and no maliciously out to ruin your Summer, so maybe they just need a little reminder that their moms aren't around to clean up after them and they have to step up and do a better job as roommates. That might work. I doubt it will, but it might.

It'll probably come as no surprise that clueless / thoughtless people rarely like having this shortcoming pointed out to them and so they usually react by lashing out, arguing, or accusing 'the other people' of being "just as bad, if not worse." ... and then you're back to square one, but now with added resentment and possible name-calling. You can stage a silent protest by NOT cleaning up after the others and waiting for them to notice or complain etc... this passive-aggressive thing rarely works either...

Yeah, basically I'm saying you're screwed and you're probably going to get that thing people always end up with when they don't get what they really wanted: "experience." ... You wanted a work hard/play hard fun Summer and instead you've gotten the experience of now knowing what you don't want and hopefully you'll learn how to avoid getting into this crappy situation in future Summers. That's the bottom line. Everyone has to live through crappy roommates and disappointing Summers.

I'm not saying that you should give up. I'm saying that this is going to be a tough ship to turn around... You have to speak up soon, and directly, and let your roommates know exactly what your grievances are and what steps you would like them to take to make everyone's life better and the living situation more agreeable to all parties. You have to speak up because people are not mind-readers, they don't know you're angry or frustrated if you don't tell them... and no, they're not going to just 'notice' that 'something is bothering you' since they've already proven themselves to be the sort of self-involved and inconsiderate people who can't do their share of housecleaning. Just don't expect them to listen closely or radically change their personalities and living habits.