roommate

How to Survive Living With a Roommate Who’s Also Your Friend

Adulting, Author: Danny Abriano

I didn’t go away to college, so the first time I ever had a roommate was when I was well into my career. And that roommate just happened to be one of my closest friends.

There are all types of things — good and bad — that come along with having a roommate. When that roommate is one of your best friends, those things present themselves in different ways. And how you handle them will impact not just your living situation, but your relationship with someone whose presence in your life you value.

 

Rent and bills are business, even when your friend is involved
Do not be the person who needs to be asked more than once for the rent. If only one of you has your name on the lease, the other is responsible for paying the rent each month. That means the other roommate has to transfer the money over at least a few days in advance. Whether it’s with Venmo, by handing your friend cash, or some other way, do not ever slack off and pay late. It’ll put your friend and roommate in an awful spot. The same goes for bills (cable, internet, other utilities, etc.). Pay your share immediately.

Understand that you’re a team
If you’re a millennial who is living with another millennial, odds are that one or both of you has an active social life that often precludes you from paying attention to the cleanliness of the apartment. When you do have time to focus on it (at least once per week, unless you want visitors to think you’re a slob), help one another out. Dishes in the sink aren’t yours? Wash them anyway. The bathroom is filthy and you don’t want to clean it alone? Guess what, someone has to. Your roommate will recognize that you did something you didn’t have to, and take care of it for you next time.

Respect boundaries
Even though you’re close friends and have probably seen and done almost everything with this person, there are times when they’ll need space. Offer to be there for them if you think they’re in need, but back off if they reject it. If your friend comes home, and is furious for no reason, chalk it up to them having had a bad day. Don’t take it personally. And give them time to cool down.

Enjoy one another’s company
This seems obvious, right? You’re close friends who are living with one another. Hanging out and having fun should come naturally. But often, it doesn’t. If you both have full-time jobs, life will get in the way. And seeing each other every single day and night can take a bit of the shine off the friendship. But you’re close friends for a reason. Go out to dinner. Watch the game together. Sit on the couch and talk nonsense for a bit. Unwind.

Have an issue? Don’t let it fester
If your roommate/friend is doing something (or multiple things) that get on your nerves, tell them. If you keep it inside, you’ll start to resent them, while slowly going insane. That’s a bad combination. It can be awkward to tell your friend if something they do is bothering you. But the alternative is much worse. Tell them what’s on your mind. Your friendship and relationship as roommates will be better for it.

Game of Thrones

Career Advice as Told by Game of Thrones

Author: Danny Abriano, Career Advice

Game of Thrones is not only a once-in-a-lifetime show, but one we can learn a lot from. From the struggle of power to the characters to The Game of Thrones, we all learn a thing or two that we can carry over into the workplace. Keep the dragons at home, though.

Never be afraid to speak your mind
The Game of Thrones isn’t one for the timid, and neither is the workplace. That isn’t to say that you should speak out of turn (it won’t get you beheaded out the workplace, only fired). But, you shouldn’t ever hesitate to calmly and coherently let your opinion be known, much like Tyrion advises Dany and Varys advises all. Your thoughts matter, and they can sway decisions.

Embrace new ideas
In the fantasy world of Thrones, seemingly nothing is impossible. Dragons soar and breathe fire, slaughtered heroes are brought back to life, people change faces, and so on. In the workplace, a common refrain is “adapt or die.” And as we get further and further into the digital revolution, it’s important to embrace new ideas not only in that realm, but in others. Make yourself indispensable.

Be relentless
In Thrones, it’s important to be relentless when it comes to your beliefs, when you’re in battle, and when you’re going after someone you love. In the workplace, that relentless nature needs to be used to not only establish yourself, but to impress those above and below you. That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a work/life balance. But when you’re at work, be sure to lead by example.

Try not to mix business and pleasure
Yes, workplace romances “can” work out. But, they ordinarily don’t, and the result is not only an awkward situation between colleagues, but some messy visits with human resources. Take a lesson from Daario, who fell in love with Dany, and was left behind. Keep it professional.

Take what’s yours
As the players on Game of Thrones vie to be ruler of the realm, with many claiming that rightful title is theirs, they battle for that claim. You have to do the same thing at work. Is someone trying to take credit for something you did? Speak up. Are you the one who deserves that promotion? Prove it. Is there a project you know you can slaughter? Take charge and say so.

 

The battle at the workplace, much like the battle for the Iron Throne, is not for the timid. Act accordingly. But watch out for land mines along the way.

NFL

Legal Use of Marijuana for NFL Players Could be Coming

Author: Danny Abriano, Current Events/Politics

The NFL, which has seen young players suddenly retire recently out of fear for their long-term health, while retired players are diagnosed with CTE, is apparently willing to discuss the potential of players using marijuana for pain management.

“The NFL has written to the NFL Players Association offering to work in tandem to study the potential use of marijuana as a pain management tool for players, according to people familiar with the situation,” Mark Maske of The Washington Post wrote last week.

According to the Post, the NFL Players Association is also interested in the league adjusting its rules that currently prohibit the recreational use of marijuana.

CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy) is the main issue the NFL needs to address, with so many former players being diagnosed with it. But the potential of the league allowing the players to use marijuana to help with pain is a nice step for the league nonetheless.

Football is a brutal sport, and while there are only 16 games on the schedule, the players beat the hell out of one another during those games.

Allowing the players to use marijuana to cope with the pain — while others, I’m sure, will love to simply be able to use it recreationally — would be wise.

While marijuana has been decriminalized in states such as Colorado, California, and Illinois, players for the Broncos, Raiders, and Bears would be subject to suspension if they tested positive for marijuana. That’s absurd.

It’s also absurd that marijuana is still something that’s causing people to go to jail, while money is wasted on law enforcement agencies targeting those who use. But back to the NFL.

Commissioner Roger Goodell has been getting it from all angles lately with his laissez faire approach to the CTE issue, and it would behoove him to not stand in the way of one small nugget (pun intended) being given to the players who put their health on the line for the sport.

Thrones

5 Timeless Life Lessons From Game of Thrones

Author: Danny Abriano, Entertainment

HBO’s massive hit, Game of Thrones, is a cultural phenomenon. There are many reasons for that, including the incredibly complex but addicting story, the performances of the actors and actresses involved, and the moments that make viewers gasp. But one huge thing with Thrones is that it resonates. While it takes place in an alternate world that would’ve been thousands of years ago had it actually existed, there are lots of themes that are timeless.

 

Love is love
In Thrones, love is love. Even if it’s between a high-born imp (his word, not mine) and a prostitute, an afflicted Knight and a Dragon Queen, someone who is already sworn to another and a woman he falls in love with via happenstance, or brother and sister. Okay, we’re drawing the line at brother and sister, though Thrones doesn’t. The point? In love, you need to go for it. Regardless of what anyone else thinks and regardless of the kind of person you have fallen for.

When it comes to power, size and gender don’t matter
There are more female characters on Game of Thrones who are powerful in mind, body, and actions than male characters who have the same traits. As is still the case today, which is absurd by the way, the female characters have to stand up for themselves and bust stereotypes along the way. Aside from the powerful female characters is the imp (again, his word, not mine), who may just be the smartest and most impactful character on the show.

Always think ten steps ahead
This can apply in any aspect of life, big or small. On Thrones, it could mean the difference between being stabbed in the back (literally) or surviving to live another day. In life, it could mean the difference between getting a promotion you’re going against a colleague for or being left in the dust. Thrones not only teaches us that things aren’t always what they seem, but that things can change in an instant. Don’t get left behind.

Humor is needed
Bracing for an invasion that might lead to your demise? Have a drink and laugh. Locked in a cell with a minuscule chance of ever seeing the light of day as a free person again? Crack a joke and smile. If Thrones characters can find humor during those times, we can do the same during much less stressful ones. Unless you’re actually facing an invasion or in jail (if you’re reading this from jail, at least you have internet access), try to inject a bit more humor into life.

Expect the unexpected
Life can change in an instant. And on Thrones, more important than what happens (assuming you survive what happens) is how you react and adjust after. On Thrones, it’s not about what happens to you that defines you, but how you respond. The same applies in the very real universe we live in.

It’s Harder to Leave Than it is to Stay

Author: Danny Abriano, Real Life Stories

Before getting into the crux of this discussion about life and relationships, it first needs to be noted that I’m divorced.

This shouldn’t come with a stigma or raised eyebrows, but it sometimes does. Why? Because for most people who are in long-term relationships that are going wrong, it’s easier to stay than it is to leave. Leaving is better.

I’ve had a woman I was talking to stop answering me, and never answer again, after I told her I was divorced. That sucked. But, it’s better than being in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy.

And for most people, the process that is separation or divorce or moving out, combined with the fear of being alone for whatever period of time that transition lasts, is somehow preferred over starting anew. Starting anew is better.

The details of why I’m divorced really don’t matter. I have no ill will toward my ex, and she has none toward me. But we weren’t right for one another. And while I perhaps knew that before getting engaged, it took time to muster up the courage to leave the situation. Four years to be exact, one of which was absolutely brutal.

And in a long and winding way, that brings me to the main point, about long-term relationships — marriage included — in general.

I can literally count on one hand the amount of people in relationships I know who I believe are truly happy. And I haven’t drawn those conclusions anecdotally. I’ve drawn them from things I know to be true and posts on social media that portray two happy people, while I know one of them is dying internally.

Perfection, in relationships or elsewhere in life, isn’t possible. But happiness? That shouldn’t just be possible. It should be a requirement when you’re in a relationship with someone, let alone a marriage. And not sporadic happiness, either.

Yes, there will be fights. If you’re in a relationship and don’t fight, either one person is being dominated by the other and afraid to react, or both people are so boring that there are never any disagreements. Disagreements, within reason, are fine.

What’s not fine? Being with someone who you can very easily live without. Being with someone who doesn’t make you smile and laugh. Being with someone who doesn’t challenge you intellectually. Being with someone who you can’t wait to get away from.

And, there are far too many relationships/marriages like the above, as evidenced by the number of truly happy relationships I can count.

One such relationship involves people much older than millennials — a couple who are both around 70 years old. They realized after having kids that they should get divorced, but didn’t. Why? For the kids. They stayed in an unhappy, loveless, sexless marriage for their children, who were then raised in a house where their parents fought every day and showed no love toward one another.

The lesson?

While it can be incredibly hard and scary to leave a situation and start over, there is simply nothing worse than potentially wasting your life with someone you don’t belong with. And the sooner you get out, the sooner you can find the person you should be with. The person who will actually make you happy.