I love reading articles on Pinterest about student loan debt, mortgage (let's be real, my student loan debt after grad school will be the amount of someone's mortgage), paying down debt, etc. I'm basically trying to keep myself afloat by doing some side hustles and whatnot, and I keep failing because I eat way too much fast food (stress eating because of school nomnom), but I try. I get a bunch of Walmart and Amazon gift cards from quite a few of my side hustles that I, in turn, use to pay for non-essential things so I don't have to use "real" money on them. Heck, I've even used those gift cards to pay for groceries/food, which is nice, and definitely have used them to pay for cat food and litter.
There are a few articles that touched upon whether it's a better idea to pay for a house entirely in cash or get a mortgage. There was one article where it sounds like a family did the former, paid for the entire house in one go, but the comments were negative about that, saying it was better to get a mortgage because your money could be making more if it was being invested versus used to pay off a house? And I get that makes sense, but only if you could make more money off that money. Frankly, I think I prefer paying off the house entirely (because if I get a house, I want to stay in that house for a long, long time) would be better for me because it's already guaranteed that I paid off my house. There is no guarantee I'll be able to invest that money to make more money (and I already know there's interest involved in a mortgage so I'm also losing money there).
Not that I'm anywhere near thinking about buying a house, not even close, but I like reading about it.
Where are the black ballet dancers? This article is from 2012, but I highly suspect that it's still relevant.
a Hellenic polytheist
another sort of polytheist
not a polytheist
I would like to see Hellenion Youtube videos on the subject of...
I'm hoping for answers from people in all three categories. The idea is to see what people want in terms of informational (etc) videos from Hellenion, and then work on those videos first.
Devastation in the US and British Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma and How to Help
NYT: How to Help Victims of Hurricane Maria
Hispanic Federation: Donate (choose "Hurricane Relief Effort" from the dropdown menu)
We are coming to the United States because we have to. In our increasingly interconnected world, what happens here impacts on Europe. What happens in Europe has an impact on what happens in the United States.
Last year Britain voted to leave the European Union (commonly known as Brexit). This would not have been possible without the intervention of Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica. Likewise, Brexit gave Donald Trump a huge boast and convinced him and his supporters that anything was possible.
One of the main protagonists behind the Hillary Clinton conspiracy stories was Paul Joseph Watson, a 32-year-old man who lives in a flat in London. More recently, the ship charted by far right activists from across Europe in the Mediterranean was funded primarily by Americans.
From last year -- here's a Guardian piece on a Hope Not Hate workshop:
The Guardian: What does Hope not Hate actually do?
In November, I went to a Hope not Hate event at a mosque in Cardiff – a three-hour workshop on how to challenge and discuss anti-migrant and prejudiced sentiments. It drew a crowd of around 20, one or two of them local muslims and a few with migrant backgrounds, but the majority were white Welsh, many of whom had not previously been in a mosque. The organiser, Jonathan, began the session by asking what had prompted people to attend. Many described feeling worried, frustrated and in need of a toolkit for discussing race and immigration with family, friends and colleagues.
Their undercover reporter patrik_h -- looks like a cinnamon roll, will secretly infiltrate your international white supremacist network:
Dagens Nyheter: The Swede who infiltrated American Nazis
”He offered me to speak at the opening about my thesis topic: how the left has infiltrated the right. I spoke in front of 75 armed white supremacists.”
The Local.se: Meet the Swede who went undercover for a whole year with the alt-right in the US and UK
Of course, then I was scared. I mean, there was this combination of a group of young men with guns and a violent ideology. That's not a great combination.
2. Getting close to done with the bunny I'm making for the now-12-year-old kid with fop who's still in the hospital. I have an ear I'm satisfied with, so just have to make a second ear and then attach them. And then do the trach, if I can figure that out. "
3. Getting my first delta. Er, okay, that requires explanation. There's a subreddit called cmv -- change my view -- where people post their opinion on something to get other people to chsnge their mind. (Basically, "I believe X, and it's an unpopular opinion and I'd like to believe something else, so persuade me otherwise".) If you feel a comment has changed your view, whether or not you're the op in the thread, you can award a delta, kind of like a kudos; this is separate from the upvoting/downvoting that all Reddit uses. I've posted a few things ere or there as responses, but mostly they've been un-responded to, much less in-delayed, until tonight. Which is trivial and yet super exciting.
4. The realization that I can order another tube hydration system thing (like what I use at night) for choir rehearsals. Hydrating during choir is awkward because I need both hands for the iPad, which means my drink has to go in my hip pack drink holder thingie, but the ridiculously straws I have aren't long enough to reach without me holding the bottom of the cup; and it's really hard for me to get the cup out when there's an iPad in the way. But this tubing system is stiff enough that I can get it to my mouth -- I'd gotten it for bed because the water bottle hangs above me and the tubing hangs down from it and I just need to move it laterally to get it to my mouth, but this particular system is nicely sturdy enough that I can hold it pointing up without it immediately flipping -- and then I wouldn't have to get the *bottle* out, just wave the tubing in my face, and otherwise have it in my lap within easy reach.
5. The fact that Phantom Tollbooth is available in kindle format. 😍 It's been ages since I read it and it's just as charming and wacky as I remember. (And it has a great first sentence: "There was once a boy named Milo who didn’t know what to do with himself—not just sometimes, but always.")
K.B. Spangler has a new book out this week--one that's not connected to A Girl and Her Fed. (Digital only right now, but a print version is coming.) seananmcguire wrote a short Twitter thread in response when Spangler announced the new book's availability; the key takeaway about the actual writing is "If you want some of the most elegantly written, internally consistent, funny, touching, TRUE science fiction coming out today, you should take a look at @KBSpangler. She's the real deal, y'all. She's writing shit that breaks every rule, and still works."
In related news, I just spent a vile amount on US-to-Canada shipping* to get a print copy of Rise Up Swearing (so far the only compiled volume of AGAHF) and a little pin of Bubbles, the Fed's digital clownfish...avatar? (I'm blanking on the correct word. "Avatar" is applied to something else in that 'verse, though, IIRC. Hmm.)
I was spared having to decide, in this time of "yes, I swear, I'm trying to cut back on spending", whether I was going to get a "Literalists do it with their genitals!" shirt; the shirt is currently unavailable (as in, no longer showing up on the site at all, not just out of stock). My wallet is grateful.
*Ordered directly from the AGAHF store, and she was as appalled as I was at the shipping cost. It wasn't surprising, though.
The first week at Casual Job is over--all two days of it! (Four hours yesterday and eight today.) I'm having some tech frustration at the office that would take ages to type up and is not terribly interesting, but I'll say that I really, really hope the person who sometimes does on-site IT support for us is around on Monday, because WOW, calling the help desk was useless. -_-
So far at Hal-Con I've seen several people wearing geeky shirts from stories I know, and things like a Sailor Saturn costume down in the mall food court. (A moment of respectful silence for the food court workers this weekend, who'll be slammed.) But the best was when Ginny and I were running down from work to get lunch and ran into someone in Tohru cosplay! The cosplayer mentioned that she was off to get her Yuki and Kyo, but Ginny and I were then unsure if she'd meant plushies of the boys in their cursed forms or fellow cosplayers.
Everything else is going well; my post-surgery range of motion is pretty darn good and I am optimistic about how long it will take me to recover. That said, I am still typing one-handed, and my sling is a terrible pain in the butt. But it keeps me from doing stupid things by reflex, so... (Travis is doing surgery on Monday on a guy who decided not to wear his sling and tried to catch something. Perhaps I should say, re-doing surgery. :P)
I'm sadly getting a lot of headaches, between not being able to do my usual shoulder PT and wearing the damn sling, and I get tired pretty easily still. But it's going okay.
On the computer front, my tablet has a loose display wire (I think) and my Mac is in reboot hell. I have a few more tricks to try with the Mac tonight, as none of the usual tricks work, and an appointment at the Genius Bar tomorrow if those don't work.
I just need to find a good picture. Suggestions?
People keep making the mistake of thinking that just because I'm nice, I'm a pushover. Or gullible. Or both.
That is...beyond hilarious as a concept.
Fuck everyone today.
(Work issues, though I've run into the same idea outside of work, I suppose. I will elaborate when I'm not vaguebooking on a work computer on a work network.)
Pie party went well! We talked a lot about DILFs I guess, and also swirly porn and whether that's a thing (it is). We ate a respectable amount of pie and ice cream.
Work continues to be something all right. My back continues to be messed up and uncomfortable if not in straight up pain. My dog continues to be awesome (I got to spend some time with her alone in an otherwise dog free area).
I guess things are pretty okay.
It had sold out and then got discontinued (naturally) … and so, even though I love how yummy it smells, I use it very sparingly so I can have it longer.
It’ll be a sad candle day when I finally use up the Italy Espresso candle, but at least I have the Coffee one and Cocoa one to take it’s place now.
I made a pie
I am going to a pie party tomorrow!
That's a party where we eat pie. yum!
I put dicks on my pie. We can then eat a dick.
It's an apple pit
I did some tagmoddng
I am tired
--The first few days back are usually pretty reasonable. (I could conceivably even be home for supper tomorrow evening!) Thankfully, today I was able to finish and submit the half-volume that's due tomorrow, so that's not hanging over me...but I'll need to go pick up my and scruloose's con passes, and then on Friday, no matter what time we wrap up at the office, I'll be going straight from there to the convention. I even made it as far as looking over the schedule and making notes this evening, although in practice I rarely make it to more than a small percentage of the panels and talks that catch my eyes. So many people. O_O (The "rarely" applies to cons and similar things in general, as this is only my second Hal-Con.)
--When I was poking around in my tags the other day to see if I could figure out when I stopped bouldering, I came across this 2013 post about Claudia from when she and Jinksy were about five months old. Oh, my kitten. *^^* (*finds baby!Claudia!kitten icon*)
--I have this half-formed theory that Casual Job is the appropriate excuse to actually start figuring out lipstick, since I really haven't, despite buying a bunch in Toronto. The defense I have to offer is that I'm usually at home living in pajamas when Casual Job isn't on (I'm very glad I'm not one of the many people who needs to Get Dressed to successfully work at home--although if it'd help my focus, you bet I'd do it), and when I go out it's usually either quick errands (hard to convince myself to bother) or to have dinner out with someone (and I know people eat and drink with lipstick on all the time, but it turns out I find it intimidating to consider needing to immediately touch it up while out if it smears/wears off).
I have not read Hilary Clinton's book yet, but all the one sentence one star reviews on Amazon are hilarious. Most of them are one sentence long reviews clearly written by people that just want to air their opinions on Hilary and have no intention of reading a single page of the item in question. I would really like to read "What Happened," but I generally don't buy books until they've hit the bargain bin and the library's reserve list is probably a mile long. Also, my self-imposed book-buying ban starts on my next birthday, which is exactly 31 days from now.
I'm not happy about the cancellation of Dark Matter. What am I going to do without Two in my life? (Note to self: get a Two icon or make one.) Because of Syfy's habit of constantly retooling its image, I've never seen a non-reality TV show that lasted more than five seasons on that channel. Killjoys got renewed and I guess that's good? I never made it past the pilot because Syfy no longer streams its shows on Hulu.
What are you currently reading?
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015. (Yeah, I'm a little late.) So far it's the most delightful thing I've read all year. I encountered my first Seanan McGuire story and she certainly lives up to the hype.
Anansi Boys - Not as good as I expected. The characters are a little too flat for my taste.
What did you just finish reading
The Prince of Medicine: Galen in the Roman Empire by Susan P. Mattern - I gave it three stars on Goodreads because it is well researched and the author does a good job of remaining objective. However, I found the book's subject utterly unlikeable and the accounts of public dissections made my blood chill. I don't recommend it for anyone who isn't a diehard fan of ancient medical history.
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - Excellent, but definitely not an easy read. I feel Atwood chose the book's uneven narrative style to bring readers even further out of their comfort zone. There's also a spoilery explanation for it at the end. I'm not sure if I'm up for watching the TV show.
What do you think you'll read next?
Lately, my books have either been fantasy or non-fiction. I should tackle some of the unfinished series I have around my apartment, which consist of:
Kushiel's Legacy - There's sadly only one more Phedre book to go, then it's on to Imriel.
Dune - Given that I've read Dune three times over the past twenty years, I really should move on to the rest of the series.
Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy - Meh, it looks like JMS isn't turning it into a miniseries after all. However, I still bought the whole trilogy and should finish it...someday. The world-building is mildly interesting, but I find most of the characters to be utterly unlikable, with the exception of Nadia and Arkady.
Lord of the Rings - *winces* I like the Hobbit, (possibly because it's geared towards a younger age group), but LOTR makes me want to tear my hair out. Does Tolkein really need five pages to describe a rock? I just have The Return of the King and The Silmarillion left, but I'm on the fence about finishing this series. This is one case where the movies are better.
Harry Potter - Still haven't finished book 5. I might bump this up on the list for comfort reading.
I'm technically watching Underground, Sense8, Orphan Black and Doctor Who right now, but school takes up most of my free time. It looks like I'm going to be dropping/Netflixing some shows.
Jane the Virgin
Agents of Shield
Legends of Tomorrow
On the Fence
How to Get Away With Murder
Game of Thrones
I'm not a fan of the traditional broadcast way of airing shows episode by episode. I like to have entire seasons dumped on the internet, available for me to watch when I have the time. For example, I've been wanting to see The Americans for some time, but I know there are four seasons on Amazon patiently waiting for me.
Actually read this week:
- Smile by Emilee Martell (DSF)
- Farewell, Amanda by Buzz Dixon (DSF)
- Planet of the five rings by Marissa Lingen (Nature Futures)
- An Averted Tragedy by Brian Gene Olson
- Contractual Obligations by Jessica M. Kormos
- Nothing Between the Stars by R.W.W. Greene
What I've read: long fiction
Banishment by M.C. Beaton, which is the first of six apparently-fluffy Regency romances about six beautiful sisters and a malevolent stately home, recommended as a Yuletide fandom (thanks ceb for the pointer!) This one was indeed the promised fast, lighthearted read, in which the family lose their beautiful stately home and much of their wealth, and (some of them) begin to learn Important Lessons About Not Being Awful To Other People. And the first of the beautiful daughters finds true love, etc. The remaining five in the series are now on their way so I can find out just how malevolent the house gets ...
For origfic bingo:
Arc’s lying in bed, humming a lullaby to herself, before she stops and bites her lip. She glances across the room, but for once, her normally insomniac roommate is actually asleep, exhausted from over-training and getting thrown hard into the wall by another team member.
There’s always curiosity from Skylight, questions pooling in her eyes. Where did you hear that? Do you remember it? Do you remember?
Her mother used to sing her to sleep, and Arc still remembers her father tucking her in.
He betrayed her, let them bring her here.
She shakes her head and tries to forget.
Their newest finding? That in the last year, public opinion in America has swung quite dramatically in favor of immigration, diversity, and refugees, with most population segments adding at least 10% to their approval. And practicing Christians who believe the US should welcome refugees more than doubled between 2016 and 2017, which is why there are currently more religious leaders across the board speaking to refugee and immigration issues. (Evangelicals are the lone holdouts, surprise, surprise.) For example, the Christian community is pretty much united in opposition to ending or limiting the DREAM program. Even the Evangelicals agree there.
Unfortunately, the shift doesn't seem to be from racists, nationalists, and other right-wingers changing their minds. Where the shift seems to be coming from is the people who were undecided a year ago moving towards open-mindedness, tolerance, and compassion. So it's not that the whole country is moving towards tolerance, it's that the people in the middle are moving leftward on this issue. Which is good, don't get me wrong! It just means we've got our work cut out for us to reach out to the Evangelicals and the FOX newsers and all and help them see things in a different light.
(Obviously I'm not talking to people who aren't safe or wouldn't be safe if they tried to reach out, whether psychologically or physically.
"Seanan McGuire on What She Learned From October, Plus a Sweeps!" The interview is about what writing Toby's series (AKA her first novel and series) taught her, and the contest, which is open until September 30, is for all eleven books to date.
"Transcript for OTW 10th Anniversary Chat with Seanan McGuire & Martha Wells".
"Exclusive Interview and ARC Giveaway: In Other Lands author, Sarah Rees Brennan". This contest has closed, alas, but I really liked the interview (and its entirely appropriate attention to mermaids): "My protagonist Elliot is a huge nerd, so when he arrives in a magical world he immediately asks ‘Show me the mermaids!’ rather than ‘Explain to me this strange word… magic…’ and mermaids are for him a shorthand for him wanting to behold the many wonders on offer in a magic land–in other words, harpies, unicorns and mermaids, oh my. He then keeps asking about the mermaids, having lessons about them, researching them, getting different answers about mermaids from different people, until he finally does meet one–with consequences I will not spoil for those who do not yet know!"
"Sci-fi author Martha Wells on writing a series about a robot that calls itself Murderbot".
"‘SHEroes’: Wonder Woman meets Bionic Woman". "Lindsay Wagner, aka Jamie Sommers or “The Bionic Woman,” posted her photo with Lynda Carter, aka Diana Prince or “Wonder Woman,” on her Facebook page recently and, as expected, fans went wild with nostalgia."
"Superheroes for the Jewish New Year". [Book Riot]
Over at ladybusiness, renay posted a great interview with Kate Elliott.
"Present-Day Devices as Props". "Every Star Trek production requires a large number of props to act as technical devices of Starfleet or of aliens. There are custom prop designs for standard phasers, tricorders or communicators. But in most cases there is a need for additional props that either serve a specific purpose in the story or are used as generic futuristic decoration. Several of the props that could be seen are actually slightly modified devices of the 20th/21st century. In particular, game consoles have been used repeatedly for handheld scanners."
Sarah Gailey (author of the hippo-wrangling AUs River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow) currently has an unrelated serial, The Fisher of Bones, running in Fireside Magazine, who've just announced that the whole story is now available for preorder (and...get the ending before folks who're reading it/choose to keep reading it in serialization, which seems a bit odd to me, but sure).
"Linda Hamilton Set to Return to 'Terminator' Franchise".
"MISS. FISHER’S MURDER MYSTERIES Movie Is a Go, Thanks to Kickstarter".
"“Madam Secretary” Showrunner Barbara Hall Developing CIA Drama for CBS" about "a multigenerational family of spies."
"The real hero of Netflix's "The Defenders" is the way Jessica Jones throws very heavy things".
"REPORT: Marvel Studios Developing a Power Pack Feature Film".
"Dictionary of the Oldest Written Language–It Took 90 Years to Complete, and It’s Now Free Online". [Open Culture]
"A 68 Hour Playlist of Shakespeare’s Plays Being Performed by Great Actors: Gielgud, McKellen & More". [Open Culture, 2015]
"Street Artist Paints Fantastic Fake Shadows Under Objects Perplexing Sidewalk Pedestrians Walking By".
White Supremacy background and history, plus of course present danger: The International Alternative Right
The GOP broke off bipartisan talks with Dems to shore up ACA's insurance markets, and now they're trying - again - to unilaterally repeal ACA and take with it a huge chunk of Medicaid (which will, of course, completely destabilize our entire healthcare system, but that's where we are).
You can find more information by googling Graham-Cassidy, but here's one link [on this new attempt to dismantle the ACA].
Apparently, Lindsey Graham - one of the bill's sponsors - got on Breitbart radio (yes, now we're integrating Breitbart into GOP mainstream, fun times ahead) to urge listeners to call in support of the new bill, so it's VERY IMPORTANT that the Senate be flooded with opposition calls.
Here is one script and information resource.
My secular Jewish household will mostly eat apples and sweet honey when it comes to action. But both my wife and I will think of the Jewish community, in our different ways as an American Jew and a German Gentile.
Hope Not Hate (Twitter: hopenothate_USA)
By way of making a dramatic entry, this seems to have been timed to co-ordinate with the announcement of their epic undercover project: Patrik Hermansson, an extremely brave young Swedish grad student, infiltrated the alt-right and lived undercover in the movement in London and the US for nearly a year, wired for sound and carrying hidden cameras. This ultimately included being at Charlottesville and witnessing the car attack that killed Heather Heyer.
The documentary is coming soon, and the comprehensive report on the international alt-right (for which the infiltration was part of the research) is here:
The International Alternative Right
New York Times: Undercover With the Alt-Right
Raw Story: ‘It’s gonna end with concentration camps’: Alt-right executive boasts of a future Europe with Hitler on their money
As you will have noticed, I love HnH. They have a long history working against fascist and far right groups in the UK, through research, infiltration, legal action, anti-racist/xenophobic education and campaigning, and their work seems to have naturally become international as the "alt-right" has (e.g. with the "Defend Europe" boat). I think their expertise (and the willingness of their reporters to put their necks on the line, holy fuck) will be a formidable addition to the US scene.
Also they will allow you to give them money to help sue Nigel Farage, and honestly I would love them for that alone. PLEASE TAKE MY MONEY, PLEASE.
I love everything about this story:
Archaeologists digging at an island religious retreat have unearthed the remains of a porpoise that, mystifyingly, appears to have been carefully buried in its own medieval grave.
MAYBE THE PORPOISE WAS A MONK, HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THAT.
... and now I eagerly await the medieval monk were-porpoise shifter romance.
For a different kind of wonderful:
The Fader: This Artist Is Filling London With Murals Of Extraordinary Black Women
The art is gorgeous, but what I really love is that he's portraying his female friends, people who aren't famous but are ordinary/extraordinary people - a youth worker, a psychotherapist, and so on. And I love the shots of the murals with the real women posed next to them.
Gee I can't wait until I'm actually old... -_-
Written for origfic bingo:
They called it ‘magic’, this feeling that was supposed to overwhelm her when she finally met the one.
Air tossed another cheap paperback book across the room, narrowly missing Shadow’s head. He shot her a raised brow glance from the dresser he was sitting on.
“Boring,” she said tightly. “Unrealistic.”
She picked up another book, then wondered why she bothered. She’d tried genre after genre, looking for something she could either relate to or believe in long enough to forget the things she related to.
She sighed, admitted quietly to Shadow, “He’s not magic. He’s real.”
It’s what she wanted.