If you haven’t read “Polytheism without borders” over at the House of Vines yet, I encourage you to do so. If you’re really feeling lazy (and it’s okay, I get like that), the jist of the post is about starting a time bank, wherein people pay each other for different services using a “time dollar”, which is essentially an hour of your time. Neat, eh? Now, it’s not really necessary to quantify things into time dollars or how much one service is worth over another; the point is to create those reciprocal bond between people that we already try to create with the gods. Sannion ends his post with two questions: “What do you need and what can you give?” There were some great responses. A lot of people have writing experience, another has convention organization skills, etc. A Lot of people were simply looking for people to be there. I figure it would be most appropriate to create a post instead of a comment on the post, mostly because I hate super large comments, and because it would give me an opportunity to explain in detail what I can offer.
What I need: Honestly, there isn’t much I need except for someone (or multiple someones) to keep me on track with projects, keep me inspired, keep me moving forward, etc. Basically, I need a wife minus the romantic/sexual overtones (a real wife is nice, but I’m not a very romantic/sexual person, so yeah). I’ve tried doing commissions and things in the past, or sitting down to write, and then I flounder, mostly because I get lazy and/or bored. I’d be happy with people who call or text every once in a while to make sure I’m working, giving me ideas for projects, or just keeping me company while I work. Part of what I hate about doing art is that I don’t have people to do it with. Just having someone talk at me whilst carving or sketching is extremely beneficial.
Another thing I would like would be some rural knowledge. I would totally do the whole farm thing if I were able. Homesteading is something I’m very interested in, and I’ve talked to quite a few folks via snail mail about the subject lately.
What I can offer: There’s a lot I can offer, really. I guess this would be best displayed as a list.
1: Organizational skills
Being in the military and being used at all three levels of warfare (strategic, operational, and tactical) has given me a pretty good understanding of what makes a good organization, what makes one bad, etc. I’ve been a squad leader, a quality controller, a funeral detail member, a combat readiness instructor, as well as the vice president, public relations officer, point-of-contact for pagan students, and sergeant-at-arms for the largest student chapel program in the Air Force. I’ve been a leader and a follower. I’ve got extensive experience in public speaking both from my time in the Air Force and my current job as a tutor, where I give lectures about research and writing. Having worked at both the federal and state level, I’m a whiz with forms and paperwork.
2: Research skills
As an analyst and now a student, I have a knack for finding things out. I have a damn good memory for things and can usually find an answer to just about anything. Being a student at my college comes with lifetime access to their subscription of databases and journals, which is awesome. It doesn’t cover every journal (alas, no Pomegranate for me), but I can look a lot of things up. It was through my school library that I was able to find my most valuable Ares resource. As a former analyst, I’m very good at finding what is important in a given dataset, and how to organize said data into graphs, charts, etc.
3: Writing & Language skills
I’m a former Arabic linguist and English tutor; I literally get paid to be a grammar nazi. I am good at breaking down sentences and other constructs. I also can teach. Most of the focus of my tutoring is directed towards ESL students. I’m good at recognizing whether a mistake is a result of ignorance to the rule or a superposition of differing grammars (as English has a few of its own, even native speakers do this).
4: Sculpting, etc
While I currently don’t do commissions like Lykeia, I do have experience in the art and am willing to guide others in making their own creations. Small-scale metal casting in pewter is relatively inexpensive (you can get started at around $100 and make a few pieces) and can be done on a stove-top (I suggest outside on a camp stove for safety).
I’m good at being a jerk. This might not seem like a skill, or if it is, it’s one that many people thing is overabundant. I’d say the difference is that my dickishness is cold. It can make me seem cruel, but sometimes you need someone to slap you when you get all hysterical–I’m that guy. Other times, you just need someone to make a cold-hearted decision, like those thought experiments about choosing one group of people to die over another; I’ve had to make those kinds of calls before. I’m good at being a bad guy, I guess, even if it’s just part of posturing. I guess that’s why Ares is my god of choice.