Book Review – Bad Land, An American Romance

Johnathan Raban’s Bad Land: An American Romance brilliantly and descriptively describes the attempts by would-be farmers and ranchers, those of the late 19th Century and the early 20th Century, to make a living on highly questionable land. This land, most of it in eastern Montana and the western Dakotas could have been described as marginal land, but Raban’s fact-finding mission has made it abundantly clear that these lands were less than marginal.

The federal government and railroad companies would benefit by having settlers in this region. Their benefits: There would be more products to ship to and fro and travel to this region would be greatly increased. However, as Raban documents and, I have seen first-hand, this marginal land had shallow topsoil, heavy wind patterns, low precipitation, and extremely frigid winters; and, the efforts to cultivate the arid land were seldom rewarded.

This book was written in a casual, personable manner as the author walked this region and perused some of the failed homesteads. It is drama indeed as Raban explored the remnants of these numerous failed homesteads. He even found a book that described the best method to prosper on these arid farms. The book was entitled Campbell’s Scientific Dry Farming Techniques and it was subtitled The Camel for the Sahara Desert and the Campbell Method for the American Desert. According to meteorological figures any area with an average annual rainfall of less than three inches per year would be classified as a desert region. This eastern Montana region is certainly considered desert as most of it averages less than the three inches of rain per year.

Like Raban, I too, have walked this land, but I walked it for a different reason. I was in search of sharp-tailed grouse and the elusive sage grouse. I was amazed, those many years ago, to have seen so many remnants – remnants of rotted and fallen wind mills, broken and gray boards of outbuildings, barns, and house, as well as, vacated rock foundations, long-rusted barbed wire fencing, fence posts that were rotted and lying flat on the ground, and space – wide open space… endless space. Raban’s book told a story of the many courageous human attempts to produce on this infinitely poor homesteading land, bad land. The government pamphlets and railroad brochures were, no doubt, at least spurious, if not downright lies.

Raban had an inspirational idea to write this story, and he followed through – brilliant inspiration, first-hand research, and highly descriptive writing!

12 Qualities Of Romance In A Conscious Relationship

Romance, the first component of passion, exists when a relationship contains the positive feelings of peace, respect, fulfillment, happiness and love. Each person has a uniquely private definition of romance. Do you know the words, actions and behaviors that make up your Romance Language? Do you know your partner’s?

“I-TO-WE” offers a broad definition of romance: the loving words you want to hear, the actions you need to see, and the behaviors you desire to experience to make you smile, warm your heart, and fill your soul with positive energy. Romance describes the happiness experienced when you receive a gift from your partner for no particular reason. It is the love that stems from recognizing a gift from the heart, which reflects your deepest needs and makes you feel wanted, desired and loved.

How do you put romance into your relationship? Real, long-lasting romance is necessary to Create an Emotionally Intelligent Relationship. If you need direction to make some romance, look at these. You may have some personal qualities to make them even more meaningful.

1. We make our partner feel safe, loved, and cared for every day

2. We treat our partner with respect and admiration on a daily basis

3. We let our partner know he or she is the number one priority in our life

4. We show a willingness to go out of our way for our partner

5. We gain an intimate knowledge of our partner’s needs and desires

6. We see our partner’s needs as important as our own

7. We do everything we can to satisfy those needs and desires

8. We love our partner the way he or she wants to be loved, not the way we want to be loved

9. We are conscious to please our partner in ways that are meaningful to him or her

10. We give unconditional romance gifts to our partner

11. We are inspired to do something to make our partner smile every day

12. We are conscious of how we treat our partner by being soft, kind, gentle, and compassionate

I hope you and your partner

Gain the Awareness, Learn the Skills and

Practice the Techniques so you are successful on your

Journey from “I-TO-WE”(TM) to live your lives as each other’s

Best Friends During the Day,

Lovers at Night, and

Partners for Life.

How Movies Can Help You Deal with Romance at the Workplace

Mixing business with “pleasure” has never been a recipe for a “happily ever after” and sex in the workplace seems to cause pain more often than satisfaction. Every year, an average of 15,000 claims are filed for sexual harassment in the workplace; news headlines about sexual scandals between prominent bosses and work subordinates provoke public contempt and outrage; more families and couples split as a result of an extramarital affair that one of the spouses began in the workplace; and more psychotherapists treat patients experiencing the aftermaths of a workplace romance gone sour. Such aftermaths may range from feeling angry, confused, humiliated and depressed to having been fired from the job, sometimes without even a letter of recommendation.

More companies today are enforcing work dating policies, providing training about work romance, or choosing to show lenience toward romantic involvement among employees, so long as it doesn’t threaten productivity and team effort. And yet, so many people are not clear about the rules of romance at work. Still a taboo and a subject for tabloid gossip, sex and romance at work is considered a thorny issue most of us wish would go away.

Whether you are an employer or employee, here is how to prepare your personnel and yourself to deal with Cupid striking at the office:

Know The Definition of Sexual Harassment. Sexual harassment occurs when one employee makes continued, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, to another employee, against his or her wishes. This unwanted behavior affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with this person’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

The film “Disclosure”, illustrates how sexual harassment is the abuse of power that violates another person’s moral, ethical and emotional boundaries. The films shows how a computer specialist is sued for sexual harassment by a former lover turned boss, whose purpose is to incriminate him and destroy both his career and his personal life.

If you are being sexually harassed don’t stay silent hoping it will go away. This behavior usually escalates if you don’t stop the harasser with a firm, proactive stand. Call the person on their behavior immediately, ask them to stop and warn them that you will report them if they continue. If it continues, report the harassment. Your employer has the responsibility to take each complaint seriously and investigate.

Deal Appropriately with Sexual Advances from Coworkers. A sexual advance may be a straightforward expression of sexual attraction to a coworker, a blunt invitation for a physical relationship, or flirtatious behavior that has gone overboard.

In the movies, Andy, the central character of “The 40-Year Old Virgin”, neutralizes his female boss’s advances by staying loyal to his values. His boss understands. When he gets promoted, it is not because of sexual favors but because of his job performance.

Real life often resembles the movies. If you stay loyal to your values and keep your work priorities straight, you too can achieve success without losing your integrity.

Honor Your Work First, then Your Sex Fantasies. In the film “A Time to Kill” a young and handsome Mississippi lawyer is handling with admirable strength a tough criminal case and a very attractive assistant. Even though the sexual chemistry between them sizzles, he chooses to channel his passion into the case, which he wins.

If you ever feel irresistibly attracted to a coworker, before you give into your fantasies do a reality check. Examine how it would affect your work if you consummated your sexual attraction. If you realize that it would jeopardize your work–and your relationship with your colleague–then you should honor your work and look for a different outlet for your fantasies.

Don’t ever Start An Extramarital Affair in The Workplace. In “The Firm”, young attorney Mitch is the victim of a corrupt law firm that throws its employees into extramarital affairs and then blackmails them to extort their loyalty. He has a company-induced affair that costs him his marriage and his sanity. The movie has a happy ending only because Mitch fights very hard to recover the love of his wife.

In real life, extramarital affairs in the workplace never have a happily ever after. Besides the agony of being discovered at home, the parties involved live with the constant stress of being discovered at work. When this happens be prepared to cut your losses. And those losses may include your reputation, your family, your job, the person you have the affair with, or all of the above.

When You Date A Colleague, Set Post-Breakup Rules from The Beginning.In the classic film “The Apartment” C.C. Baxter climbs the career ladder by lending his apartment to his boss for his extramarital trysts. He’s also falling in love with his coworker, Fran. All seems to work fine, until he discovers that Fran is also his boss’s mistress. How will they all emerge from such perplexed dynamics and keep their jobs?

In real life, a romance with a coworker always has some impact on your work life. Once you know each other intimately, you become more vulnerable to each other. This is why you must draw up a contract in which you specify how you will preserve your working relationship, should your personal relationship not last. Sign it and honor it, in case you break up. It’s a smart thing to do. You don’t want a situation like Baxter and Fran’s.

Stay Away from Office Sex Gossip. In the French comedy “The Closet”, the main character François spreads false rumors at work that he is gay, hinting that he will sue the management if they fire him for sexual discrimination. As sex gossip spreads in the office it creates havoc in his coworkers’ careers and personal lives with consequences that vary from hilarious to severe.

In real life, you should avoid office havoc by staying away from gossip about your coworkers’ sexual orientation and sex life. When a coworker confesses to you an affair with another coworker, politely decline to become their sounding board. Protect your self and your job. You never know how office sex gossip may backfire or used against you, whether you have generated it or not.

When Cupid Strikes at The Office, Keep Your Romance Private. In the movie “Kindergarten Cop”, tough guy detective Kimble goes into a school undercover as a kindergarten teacher to investigate a case. He ends up falling in love with Joyce, another school teacher who is also the very subject of his investigation. But this is true love and it changes Kimble’s destiny. Leaving the police force, he returns to Joyce and her school as real kindergarten teacher.

In real life, if you have found your soul mate in a certain coworker and you want your budding romance to have a happily ever after, you must keep it private until it becomes a serious, mutual commitment. Never transfer in the workplace personal conflicts with the person you date. Always respect each other as coworkers. Make your romance public only when it’s a solid relationship that you know will last. Then, it’s a time to celebrate. Congratulations! You have shown discretion and good judgment!

Knowing how to navigate successfully the dark waters of romance in the workplace, should be part of your job training. Follow these guidelines as rules of conduct to ensure your career and safeguard your personal life, every time Cupid’s arrow threaten to pierce your bubble at the office.